Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

General plywood advice

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Matted

Established Member
Joined
27 Dec 2014
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Location
norwich
Hi all,

I realise birch ply is probably the best ply there is, but lets say I want to build some basic shelves or a basic cabinet, which will be painted.

in this case is birch ply the way to go, or can a cheaper ply be used, are there any downsides?

I'm sorry this is such a naff question, but the ply options out there are a little overwhelming for someone new to this


For example - this is half the price of super lovely birch ply, if I used this would there be any noticeable difference?

https://www.travisperkins.co.uk/Selex-S ... 9899?qnt=1
 
Joined
13 Jul 2015
Messages
2,781
Reaction score
95
Location
Suffolk
Matted":uv63otay said:
Hi all,

I realise birch ply is probably the best ply there is, but lets say I want to build some basic shelves or a basic cabinet, which will be painted.

in this case is birch ply the way to go, or can a cheaper ply be used, are there any downsides?

I'm sorry this is such a naff question, but the ply options out there are a little overwhelming for someone new to this


For example - this is half the price of super lovely birch ply, if I used this would there be any noticeable difference?

https://www.travisperkins.co.uk/Selex-S ... 9899?qnt=1
If you go and look at that product in person, you will probably find it has a lot of defects. Which if you're painting, is not really an issue, but you will probably have to fill a fair few spots and give it a good sanding to get a nice uniform surface for painting.

Birch tends to have more plys, which helps with it being more stable, but again, probably not a huge issue
 

Doug71

Established Member
Joined
28 Aug 2016
Messages
1,654
Reaction score
332
Location
Yorkshire
The ply you have linked to is over priced and low qualty, only really suitable for construction purposes, will be very rough and lots of defects. You will get hardwood ply for that price or birch for not much more. Hardwood ply is sometimes a bit splintery when you cut it. I always think birch ply is worth the extra if you want to make a decent job.
 

Beau

Established Member
Joined
23 Mar 2015
Messages
1,877
Reaction score
10
Location
Devon
Ply is not ideal for shelves as the loading is all in one plane and only half the layers of ply are working in your favour. Having said that if it's not a long span or heavily loaded you should be OK. Cheap plys tend to have more cavities and courser grained wood so more filling required prior to painting. Birch as you say is probably your best bet for easily available ply. I have seen some beech ply but it was pretty pricy. Also there used to be a product which was drawside ply which had all the veneers running in the same plane so lovely and strong but again very expensive.
 

LancsRick

Established Member
Joined
30 Dec 2011
Messages
912
Reaction score
0
Location
Lancashire
What size are you talking? MDF with a horizontal reinforcing strip may be a better option.
 

Matted

Established Member
Joined
27 Dec 2014
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Location
norwich
LancsRick":39tp9aiu said:
What size are you talking? MDF with a horizontal reinforcing strip may be a better option.
mdf could be an option - but weirdly I'm keen to use ply as I have a number of projects in mind and I want to practice and get comfortable with ply.

Also, this will be for a bookcase in a busy hallway with kids and an oap who regularly drives their wheelchair into things! I think ply might be better.

That said - a combination of ply and mdf might be worth considering.


BTW, to everyone else, thank you for your help,!
 

NickM

Established Member
Joined
6 Mar 2019
Messages
344
Reaction score
108
Location
Hampshire
I've been looking at this too. Is there a "go to" place for decent quality birch ply, or is it just a case of scouring the internet to find value for money options?
 

merlin

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2010
Messages
480
Reaction score
3
Location
Oxfordshire
I always use a company called Creffields in Reading, apart from a small stock of timber its all they sell.
They are very knowledgeable and help if they can, delivery is good all depending where you are.

Merlin
 

Bodgers

Established Member
Joined
21 Dec 2014
Messages
1,866
Reaction score
1
Location
North Yorks
Matted":2y66t36z said:
Hi all,

I realise birch ply is probably the best ply there is, but lets say I want to build some basic shelves or a basic cabinet, which will be painted.

in this case is birch ply the way to go, or can a cheaper ply be used, are there any downsides?

I'm sorry this is such a naff question, but the ply options out there are a little overwhelming for someone new to this


For example - this is half the price of super lovely birch ply, if I used this would there be any noticeable difference?

https://www.travisperkins.co.uk/Selex-S ... 9899?qnt=1
This stuff is a bit of a sweet spot plywood wise, I have found. It is much better than the far eastern (usually Meranti faced) 'hardwood' throughout plywood that's typically sold at the major chains. Usually there are a very low amount of voids and the faces are pretty good. For softwood plywood, it doesn't get much better. If you can pick through and select it in person you can avoid bad sheets. Typically it is 11 ply, which is not far of the typical you get with 18mm Birch.

Having said all that, if you can find a really decent supplier of good grade Birch ply, you can get a price that equals or betters that.

I have now found a source of 18mm Birch plywood where I can get full sheets for £45 including VAT. - and it is good stuff with no plugs etc.

If you are painting it birch ply is a little overkill though.
 

rafezetter

Troll Hunter
Joined
11 Jun 2013
Messages
2,818
Reaction score
106
Location
Bristol
Matted":oy344u8t said:
Hi all,

I realise birch ply is probably the best ply there is, but lets say I want to build some basic shelves or a basic cabinet, which will be painted.

in this case is birch ply the way to go, or can a cheaper ply be used, are there any downsides?

I'm sorry this is such a naff question, but the ply options out there are a little overwhelming for someone new to this

For example - this is half the price of super lovely birch ply, if I used this would there be any noticeable difference?

https://www.travisperkins.co.uk/Selex-S ... 9899?qnt=1

I've used it - it's AWFUL - full of defects, misalignd layers that leads to bumps, bits of metal and often large voids in the layers in the middle of the sheet where they think it won't be noticed.

Use it for shuttering or as a base to be clad over with something, but otherwise avoid for anything furniture / shelving wise ...

hmm about the only way it's good for shelving is if you bought 5mm MDF (or ply) and clad both sides of the plywood for a nice thick shelf that would be less prone to sagging than thinner MDF alone, which is notorious for it over wider spans, then added a nice slighty deeper than the shelf thickness front edge in wood (to combat sagging even more) - or more MDF and painted.
 

rafezetter

Troll Hunter
Joined
11 Jun 2013
Messages
2,818
Reaction score
106
Location
Bristol
Bodgers":9lzhgdl7 said:
I have now found a source of 18mm Birch plywood where I can get full sheets for £45 including VAT. - and it is good stuff with no plugs etc.
Well? Do you have anything to share with the class Bodgers?
 

NickM

Established Member
Joined
6 Mar 2019
Messages
344
Reaction score
108
Location
Hampshire
merlin":2lb5w526 said:
I always use a company called Creffields in Reading, apart from a small stock of timber its all they sell.
They are very knowledgeable and help if they can, delivery is good all depending where you are.

Merlin
Thanks. I'm near Basingstoke so only half an hour or so away from Reading. Do you mind my asking roughly how much they charge for a full (8' x 4') board of 18mm birch ply. (I can give them a call if not.)
 

NickM

Established Member
Joined
6 Mar 2019
Messages
344
Reaction score
108
Location
Hampshire
rafezetter":kbhhjxea said:
Bodgers":kbhhjxea said:
I have now found a source of 18mm Birch plywood where I can get full sheets for £45 including VAT. - and it is good stuff with no plugs etc.
Well? Do you have anything to share with the class Bodgers?
Yes! Is this source a secret?!
 

merlin

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2010
Messages
480
Reaction score
3
Location
Oxfordshire
Hello Nick,
I'm not sure from memory as the client bought the last lot of sheets himself, I did but some 9mm a few weeks ago though and they were £25 each.

Merlin
 

johnbest981

New member
Joined
21 May 2018
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Andover
NickM":3ro9zkhb said:
merlin":3ro9zkhb said:
I always use a company called Creffields in Reading, apart from a small stock of timber its all they sell.
They are very knowledgeable and help if they can, delivery is good all depending where you are.

Merlin
Thanks. I'm near Basingstoke so only half an hour or so away from Reading. Do you mind my asking roughly how much they charge for a full (8' x 4') board of 18mm birch ply. (I can give them a call if not.)
I'm in Andover but spend quite a bit of time in Basingstoke/Newbury and I've been struggling to get to the bottom of a "where to get any decent, preferably Baltic Birch Plywood" saga for a long while, on the Creffeilds website there was a button for "opening an account" with them which to me sounds like they only deal with trade?

I've emailed them to see if they'd sell some sheets to a hobbiest - so if they reply I'll ask for a price then.

Would love to find a place to find some birch ply at 45 quid a sheet as mentioned in here though!
 

merlin

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2010
Messages
480
Reaction score
3
Location
Oxfordshire
Just give them a ring, they know their stuff and will let you have as much or as little as you want without an account.
I had some from them a while ago and it wasn’t a problem for them to let me pick what I wanted out of a pack.

Merlin
 

G S Haydon

Established Member
Joined
24 Apr 2013
Messages
1,489
Reaction score
35
I've been very impressed with Poplar Ply. Only used it for a short while but it's nice to use, very clean and with a good face.
 

Bodgers

Established Member
Joined
21 Dec 2014
Messages
1,866
Reaction score
1
Location
North Yorks
rafezetter":1t9bewkv said:
Bodgers":1t9bewkv said:
I have now found a source of 18mm Birch plywood where I can get full sheets for £45 including VAT. - and it is good stuff with no plugs etc.
Well? Do you have anything to share with the class Bodgers?
Apologies, lost track of this thread.

The answer is: Fall Timber, near Bedale

Haven't got a better a shot, but this give you an impression of one of the faces. Zero plugs, it is super stuff.

 

Horsee1

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2015
Messages
56
Reaction score
4
Location
London
MDF with a solid lipping would take the knocks just fine. Tulip/poplar is cheap, clean and takes paint well.

Sounds like more work but painting out the end grain on ply can be annoying.

18mm birch ply at £45 a sheet sounds like a great price including vat!
I recently paid £57 for 12mm with the vat.
They obviously saw me coming from a mile off but I needed it on the day and it was the closest place.
 
Top