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Birch/Cabinet Grade Ply Info

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StevieB

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Can anyone out there educate me as to the different types of plywood please? I am looking for some decent ply to make some small puzzles/toys for children of toddler age. The obvious material for this seems to be the type of ply that has multiple laminations and no voids, which appears to be variously called cabinet ply or birch/baltic birch ply. However this is clearly not available in the usual sheds, and the builders merchants I have tried have done the usual pursing of the lips, whistling through the teeth, we can get it gov but its going to be expensive routine. They also dont carry samples, meaning I would have to order a sheet just to look at it.

Looking on the web and searching the forums, I cannot even find it at SL Hardwoods (although I may be looking at it and not recognising it since nobody seems to carry pictures of the laminations, only the fronts of boards) nor can I find many references to it in the threads.

I guess my questions therefore are, am I calling it the right name (for the UK), anyone know who supplies it to or stocks it in the SE/Kent region or know of a website I can browse for further info please. I only want small orders of a half sheet / 1 sheet at a time (one company offered 250 8' by 4' sheets for a discounted price!).

Cheers in advance!

Steve.
 

jasonB

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I get my "birch ply" from Richard Russells in Croydon, they deliver all over the South East but may make an extra charge for 1 sheet (they don't sell cut sheets)

http://www.richardrussell.co.uk/view_stock.cfm?sec=1

The Latvian birch is what you need, this is typically made from layers that are each approx 1mm thick with no voids, knots cut out & patched and it is bonded with waterproof (WBP) adhesive.

There is no pic of the side grain but the middle pic on their heading is what it will look like.

Jason
 

tim

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Steve,

It seems that cabinet grade stuff is difficult to get hold of - I asked the same question the other day.

As Jason says Richard Russell will supply but its B/B which means not bad but not best quality (as Jason details above) on both sides. The grade you are after is to have at least one side A grade. Usually to keep the board costs down, the resulting boards are classified as A/C so that the C side is less good but cheaper but also not seen. Trust me I have been doing some homework in the last week!!

Edit:

I have just rung a friend of mine who has just told me that the grading I used is American. I will update this thread with the specs shortly!! :cry: :oops:

Cheers

Tim
 

tim

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Right - here goes:

Birch plywood quality is determined according to its face veneer grade. Each side is graded therefore you can have any combination of grades.

B - for high quality, painting, staining and lacquering. Some selection may be required. Mainly white veneers with no patches. Minimal light discolouration permitted.

S - For good quality, painting, staining and lacquering. Some selection may be required. Plug free. More discolouration permitted.

BB - Suitable for interior paint finish, overlays, films and veneering. Knots or holes over 6mm are replaced with oval or butterfly patches - up to 20 per sheet. Dark and light sound knots allowed.

CP - Solid repaired wood patches up to 40 allowed, but generally no more than BB grade. Heavy staining allowed.

WG - For use where face appearance is not important. Sound knots up to 65mm allowed. Heavy staining, rough patches and glue percolation allowed. Can also be fall down grade from higher grades.

C - for use where face appearance is not important. Usually unsanded with splits and small open defects.

Definitions courtesy of James Latham Timber - http://www.lathamtimber.co.uk. The nearest these guys are to you are Thurrock and Purfleet.

I don't know if they deal with other than trade but they do deliver although they don't have cranes on their lorries.

How do i know that?

Because I ordered 30 sheets of various panels from them once and it arrived at the top of a double height lorry. :shock:

"Oh I thought you were trade" ,said the driver.

"I am", said I. :roll:

" Where's your forklift then?" said driver. :eek:

"I didn't know that was in the list of requiremnets to be trading as a cabinetmaker", :x said I
"best you go back to Bristol!" :evil:

- it goes on - but you get the gist. In the end one of my farmer friends came to the rescue with his tractor mounted pallet forks. :D

Mods,

If you want to copy the definitions to a sticky, feel free, it maybe useful for others.


Cheers

Tim
 

Midnight

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It's been my experience that "Baltic" encompasses Latvian, Estonian and Russian ply, Finnish possibly included in the group too. Latvian was slightly better quality than the others though they were all quite high, any defects in the outer faces being patched with Dutchmen that had a near perfect match. All measured exactly as per spec to within 0.05mm over the board, and if they had any internal voids, I didn't find them..

I winna say it's cheap stuff... but it's definately the best I've worked with. I order mine through the Timber Centre who in turn forward through an importer.. lead time can be anything up to two weeks; sheets ordered on a per sheet basis. To date I've had to reject and reorder twice because the sheet was excessivly warped, and particularly enjoyed chewing out a delivery driver for leaving dirty great wet boot prints all over my bonny ply... shoulda seen him blush... :twisted:

For me, the biggest attraction other than quality is that even if I'm lazy with the DC, or I'm sanding with the micro filter fitted to the Bosch, the dust doesn't triger any alergic reaction... Conversly the cheap rubbish B&Q supply wreaks havoc with my eyes and synuses as soon as I cut it...

For that aspect alone I won't think about working with anything else...

Expensive.. yea... worth it.?? Definately..!!!!!
 
A

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Steve

definitely worth going around your local timbe yards/building suppliers.

Our local yard sells only pine and various thicknesses of ply - no voids in the ply at all, and it costs me no more than B&Q pine which is almost all voids :shock:

Asking the yard if they have it is probably a waste of time; just turn up and have a look at their stock
 

StevieB

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Thanks for all the info, have just spent a happy half hour on the James Latham site. I never knew there was so much variation in plywood :shock:

It seems S or B grade is recommended for toy makers, although if the quality of the layers is consistent with regard to lack of voids then I reckon getting BB grade and carefully selecting round the defects might be more cost effective.

Out of interest, anyone know how many sheets are on a pallet or half pallet? I am guessing quite a few as the price differential per sheet between a single board and a half pallet is considerable :roll:

Thanks for the suggestion Tony, may well do that. I only asked the guy behind the desk when I was in for something else whether they could get birch ply or not, didnt actually look at what they had in stock.

Steve
 

Dewy

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I am fortunate in my location as the city has a long tradition of timber yards alongside the canal from the days when ships arived from the Baltic loaded with timber for the furthest inland port (now more like a marina)
Any of the timber yards can get birch ply to order but at a high cost.
There is a plywood importer on an industrial estate but they only sell full pallets.
A few miles away is Severn Plywood in Stonehouse who supply the timber yards.
They sell any sheet material to the public or trade and have a vertical panel saw to cut to size so the ply is small enough to take home.

Birch ply is horrendously expensive since far eastern ply became the normal ply.
Take me back to the 50s & 60s when birch ply was the normal cheap plywood that was stocked everywhere.
 

StevieB

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Many thanks, have had a chat with the people at Aylesford Timber who have been most helpful. Sadly the staff at Travis Perkins in Sittingbourne didnt even know what S or B grade referred to so will cross them off my list for now :roll:

Steve.
 

tim

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Steve,

The trouble with Travis Perkins I find is that while the guys I deal with are immensely freindly and helpful, their knowledge base is low. They have expanded massively over the last few years and now own Wickes, Edens and a huge amount of smaller timber businesses etc. The problem is that there hasn't been staff training to support these cahnges so they are still in effect acting as though they are just a builder's merchant which is a shame. I have found though that if you can give them a very tight brief (and ask for their supplier list eg Severn ply etc) you can get pretty much what you want at a good price. But sometimes you just need a quick response and to hell with the pricing.


I do know now that TP can't get better than BB by the way.

They are the only yard that I buy my MDF from though because their drivers always help me unload and carry the stuff into the garage with me - which for a 20 sheet delivery of 18mm and a 30 yard walk, you can be sure I'm very grateful! Maybe its the Tea and bacon sarnie that does the trick :wink:

Cheers

Tim
 

jasonB

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StevieB, if you look at the Richard Russell link I posted earlier you will see howmany boards to a pallet, varies according to thickness of board.

Jason
 

rollin

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Hi everyone, I've been searching for a good deal on 25mm but yet to find. I buy birch plywood 18mm bb/bb 4x8 for 24 pounds a sheet which is a bargain but unfortunately they don't do 25mm at the moment. I can hook you up with my supplier np, just pm.
 

williams1185

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scotty theres a place in swansea called hancock and brown that stock birch ply may be worth a ring first though , ian
 

rollin

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Peter, I can't find where to click to reply to your message about that plywood. Try calling Russell 07440107272, last time I checked they had tons of 18mm
 

CHJ

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After 11 years I think the requirement may just have rather a distant relevance.

Please take note of Post/Thread dates when finding a thread reference in a search.
 
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