Builder Depot - Birch Plywood

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CowboyBeBop

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Hi all,

Does anyone have experience with this Birch plywood supplier? 18mm Birch Throughout Plywood B/BB 2440mm x 1220mm (8' x 4')

I'm planning to build a closet with plywood faces and exposed edges and I was wondering if this is good enough?

I've never bought plywood before, if I go and visit this supplier, is there any specific things I should be looking for to make sure it's good quality?

Thanks
 
Caveat emptor!

If I buy Birch plywood I go to the supplier and examine it before paying! Check for number of plies (IIRC 18mm has about 13) and whether surfaces have "plugs" (oval repair patches) and how many knots there are, and their size - although there are grades (B/BB etc) the interpretation does seem a bit haphazard as regards quality. AND look at the "grain" some plywood has the grain running across the short direction which may not suit your project.
 
Look for core voids,and hope to find none.Traditionally,Finnish birch was the best and most expensive but the other Baltic states could produce decent ply and usually at a lower price.Repair patches are far from unknown and may influence your decision but look at both sides of the ply as one good side and one of lesser quality is fairly normal.With birch ply it is quite common for the face veneers to be cross grain and this may not tie in with your aesthetic preferences.
 
They should state if it is cross grain.
I normally get mine from Timbmet or Arnold Lavers. Last time I bought some they only had crossgrain face but it didn't matter for my job.

Ollie
 
Hi all,

Does anyone have experience with this Birch plywood supplier? 18mm Birch Throughout Plywood B/BB 2440mm x 1220mm (8' x 4')

I'm planning to build a closet with plywood faces and exposed edges and I was wondering if this is good enough?

I've never bought plywood before, if I go and visit this supplier, is there any specific things I should be looking for to make sure it's good quality?

Thanks

'Birch throughout' means that it's 'furniture grade' and doesn't have lower grade plies such as poplar, with voids. Cheaper lower grade plywood as mostly stocked by DIY stores is construction grade, used for flooring, shuttering and the like. Such plywood may have birch surface ply, but the other plies are thicker.

Here's what the specification for the plywood at your link states:

Quote:

Birch Throughout Plywood is made from birch veneers, glued and laid up in alternating directions to the required thickness. It thus provides a superbly consistent strong panel with known engineering characteristics. The board is a B grade which means a higher quality finish and cleaner appearance. At the same time the aesthetically pleasing, fine tight grain of the BB face is suitable for all types of surface finish ( or none ) as required. Please be advised that some suppliers offer a Birch-faced product made up of alternating veneers of other species – sometimes known as twin ply – this will not have the same consistent strength/engineering characteristics, stability or longevity of our Birch throughout product.

Grading Information
This product is graded B/BB. The B face is smooth and uniform with attractive light colour giving an elegant finish. The BB grade is most commonly used in applications where aesthetics aren't a priority. A BB face may have small knots and imperfections that may require slight repairs. It should also be noted that, due to the wood's natural properties, slight colour variations may occur.

Unquote.

So the 'B' grade side could simply be varnished/stained and wouldn't have imperfections. The BB side would have small imperfections, usually with small circles or ovals cut out of the veneer where knots have been, and a piece of birch veneer glued in, but as the spec says, still 'aesthetically pleasing'.

I've attached an enlarged the picture of the plies from the website and it's clear that there are 13 plies.

In short, that plywood is about as good as it gets, hence, the price.

Hope that helps.

Good luck with your project.

David.
 

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Thanks, David.

You said "hence, the price", but I haven't found anywhere else with prices for B/BB birch plywood as low as these and that's why I was a bit apprehensive.
 
It seems as though the supply issues following the sanctions against Russia may have eased. My supplier stocks BB/BB and that is showing at £120 - not cheap, but tolerable. Last time I bought some from them I was told they would not be getting any more.

£132 for B/BB seems pretty good.

Cheers
 
Last edited:
I was recently considering BD birch ply too and emailed them about their definition of B/BB with regard to plugs etc about 2 weeks ago. Got a very non-comittal reply regarding quality and was advised to see boards in person before I bought. Not possible as I live on the opposite side of London so I went for their oak veneered mdf instead.

That price is pretty good! I’m sure it was ~£180 a sheet when I last looked, too pricey to take a risk. At the new price I would have gone for the birch! <facepalm>
 
Thanks, David.

You said "hence, the price", but I haven't found anywhere else with prices for B/BB birch plywood as low as these and that's why I was a bit apprehensive.

Price-wise, I meant ‘furniture grade’ birch through and through ply compared to construction grade. Apologies for any confusion.
 
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