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whatknot

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Hi all

The last few rimes I have been to buy Plywood I have found that most is now supplied in a much lighter facing that previously

I presume the earlier (birch?) facing has become scarcer

But what is this later facing layer?

Its nowhere near as good in terms of quality than it used to be, lots of voids, where previously that was rare

This is in Cornwall by the way
 

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Bodgers

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whatknot":etioz0pl said:
Hi all

The last few rimes I have been to buy Plywood I have found that most is now supplied in a much lighter facing that previously

I presume the earlier (birch?) facing has become scarcer

But what is this later facing layer?

Its nowhere near as good in terms of quality than it used to be, lots of voids, where previously that was rare

This is in Cornwall by the way
There is more to plywood than just "Plywood".

Birch (or "Baltic birch" plywood
Softwood Sheathing Plywood
Far Eastern meranti faced plywood
Poplar plywood
Marine grade
Plywood with just about any hardwood (Oak, cherry, walnut etc) veneer you can mention

So...

If you want lighter coloured plywood, then Birch plywood is available from lots of suppliers. I bought some last week.

It sounds like you just bought what major DIY shops just call "hardwood plywood". This is cheap (typically meranti faced) plywood. Quality can be patchy, with lots of voids and not many plys. I actually find the slightly cheaper structural softwood plywood of better quality.
 

whatknot

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Err yes, I am fully aware there are many varieties of plywood

I don't want lighter, that is what is being sold around here instead of the reddish birch faced ply, I wanted to know what it is, and preferably why its now being sold in place of the previous ply

I am not talking marine or shuttering ply, but the standard variety sold in most diy type outlets, which was once good quality, birch ? faced, I say ? as they don't sell it as any particular variety of wood, just "plywood"

To buy birch plywood costs an arm and a leg round here

Until fairly recently I have been more than satisfied with the ply retailed around here, but of late its been this much lighter, heavier grained poor quality stuff, just trying to establish why this is now being sold, I assume due to price & availability
 

LancsRick

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Just in case we're at cross purposes here - birch ply is not "reddish" at all, that would be the standard meranti faced stuff.

There's as many types of ply as you can shake a stick at, and no global reason for a change anywhere. It's most likely suppliers trying cheaper stuff to see if the market will stand it. Even normal ply I will only get from timber merchants, going to the "high street" DIY shops is an utter waste of time.
 

Bodgers

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whatknot":23sbw44z said:
Err yes, I am fully aware there are many varieties of plywood

I don't want lighter, that is what is being sold around here instead of the reddish birch faced ply, I wanted to know what it is, and preferably why its now being sold in place of the previous ply

I am not talking marine or shuttering ply, but the standard variety sold in most diy type outlets, which was once good quality, birch ? faced, I say ? as they don't sell it as any particular variety of wood, just "plywood"

To buy birch plywood costs an arm and a leg round here

Until fairly recently I have been more than satisfied with the ply retailed around here, but of late its been this much lighter, heavier grained poor quality stuff, just trying to establish why this is now being sold, I assume due to price & availability
There is no such thing as "standard variety". You would never call Birch plywood "standard", as it isn't typically available at say B&Q as far as I know.

You need to be specific about what you need. If what you had before was far Eastern hardwood ply with meranti faces and that's what you are still buying, possibly the supplier has changed.

If you want no voids and complete consistency you have to stump up money for Birch.

If you look around you can find decent prices. A supplier near me does 18mm Birch of a high grade with 11 plys + 2 faces for £45 a full sheet.


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Doug71

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Bodgers":n0tw5puu said:
If you look around you can find decent prices. A supplier near me does 18mm Birch of a high grade with 11 plys + 2 faces for £45 a full sheet.


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Can I ask who supplier is as don't think I am far away from you. I just paid £46 + vat from Arnold Laver for some which is not great quality but luckily it's only for painted units.
 

whatknot

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Crikey, you ask what you think is a fairly simple question ...... ;-)

So starting again :)

I use plywood mostly for scroll sawing, until now when I can't get recycled plywood from crates, furniture, pallets, or offcuts from builders, I have bought from a few diy type places, until now I have not been disappointed, I have never had voids in that I have purchased until recently, when the reddish faced (I did say its not labelled as any particular wood but is a similar colour as birth ply sold online) plywood I was buying has been changed to the much lighter, courser grained stuff I mentioned previously, which is much inferior and has voids (something I haven't had in the past despite suggestion you can't get it unless you buy baltic birch)

I put a piece of the old against the new to show the difference I mean
 

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AJB Temple

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"DIY type places" are struggling and quality, which was never great is now poor. Probably this is Meranti hardwood ply. Quality of that varies and it is graded by some suppliers. People here are trying to be helpful and they are basically saying buy from a proper timber merchant, specify what you want the the top veneer to be, and specify the quality. Accept that to get high quality you will need to pay more. What you used to be able to buy in the past is only relevant if you have a time machine :D
 

whatknot

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I understand whats been said, I am not really asking for where to buy it

I am not building furniture, just using it for scroll work, I am certainly not in the market for splashing out huge sums for what I need it for

I know what you mean re old versus new quality, but I don't think a time machine so relevant when I am talking about a few short weeks ago, this change has come about at several places all within the last few weeks or months

As to "proper timber merchants" that is not something we are very blessed with here ;-) although there are one or two but they don't really cater for small quantities, and the travelling also adds to the cost

I am surprised no one seems to have come across this later light faced ply or knows what it is
 

HappyHacker

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I am lucky that I have found a local source of decent Birch and other plywood at a reasonable price. I have in the past bought plywood from a local timber merchant, the ultra thin hardwood facing peeled off even in the dry, it warped like mad, had lots of voids and was not cheap. I gave up going to that merchant.

The reddish stuff you showed definitely looks like a hardwood facing. The whiter stuff looks like construction grade.

Unfortunately for small quantities your choice of supplier becomes much smaller. Perhaps there are people on here, local to you, who purchase in larger quantities who you could share an order with or joinery firms who may have offcuts or suitable sized pieces you could buy?
 

Bodgers

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Doug71":2y8xr3vx said:
Bodgers":2y8xr3vx said:
If you look around you can find decent prices. A supplier near me does 18mm Birch of a high grade with 11 plys + 2 faces for £45 a full sheet.


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Can I ask who supplier is as don't think I am far away from you. I just paid £46 + vat from Arnold Laver for some which is not great quality but luckily it's only for painted units.
Fall Timber

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Bodgers

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whatknot":lgheip3v said:
Crikey, you ask what you think is a fairly simple question ...... ;-)

So starting again :)

I use plywood mostly for scroll sawing, until now when I can't get recycled plywood from crates, furniture, pallets, or offcuts from builders, I have bought from a few diy type places, until now I have not been disappointed, I have never had voids in that I have purchased until recently, when the reddish faced (I did say its not labelled as any particular wood but is a similar colour as birth ply sold online) plywood I was buying has been changed to the much lighter, courser grained stuff I mentioned previously, which is much inferior and has voids (something I haven't had in the past despite suggestion you can't get it unless you buy baltic birch)

I put a piece of the old against the new to show the difference I mean
They are completely different types of plywood.

One looks like a generic Meranti faced far Eastern plywood.

That's not the kind of thing you want to be using if you aren't painting it.

If you are scroll sawing it and using a clear finish on it, you want Birch plywood.



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whatknot

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Which is the Meranti ? the light or the darker in my photo?

They are both from the same supplier, but other suppliers around here are selling the same light type of plywood where it used to be the darker

I have been scrolling for quite some time, and never had a problem with the bog standard plywood sold at various outlets, none of it titled birch, no voids, face a decent colour, this is a very recent problem, hence the question

I rarely paint my stuff, usually its lacquered or varnished

Although it would be nice to have, I have never had the need, nor can I afford baltic birch plywood even if I could get it

I had a quick ring round just out of curiosity, first timber merchant do not stock it at all, birch faced yes, but not baltic birch (quoted 31.95+vat 9mm sheet)

2nd supplier said it was all baltic birch plywood (quoted 38.96+vat per sheet)

But I don't usually buy in sheets anyway
 

Bodgers

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whatknot":a41fg3cb said:
Which is the Meranti ? the light or the darker in my photo?

They are both from the same supplier, but other suppliers around here are selling the same light type of plywood where it used to be the darker

I have been scrolling for quite some time, and never had a problem with the bog standard plywood sold at various outlets, none of it titled birch, no voids, face a decent colour, this is a very recent problem, hence the question

I rarely paint my stuff, usually its lacquered or varnished

Although it would be nice to have, I have never had the need, nor can I afford baltic birch plywood even if I could get it

I had a quick ring round just out of curiosity, first timber merchant do not stock it at all, birch faced yes, but not baltic birch (quoted 31.95+vat 9mm sheet)

2nd supplier said it was all baltic birch plywood (quoted 38.96+vat per sheet)

But I don't usually buy in sheets anyway
Darker.

You keep saying things like 'standard' and 'bog standard', but if you want a specific thing and not just accept anything that passes as a paint grade interior plywood you need to be asking for specific products otherwise you are going to end up in this situation.



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LancsRick

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The lighter colour face you posted a picture of actually looks good to me, but if you're saying the overall ply is poor quality then it's probably sheathing plywood.
 

whatknot

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I call it standard, or bog standard, as that is what it is

In the vast majority of outlets, if not all, the plywood is not labelled as any particular wood , hence bog standard, or standard (as found in any outlet round here far and wide)

I don't want a specific thing, I want something that is reasonable to look at and has no voids, previously that was no problem, now alas it is

My original question which has yet to get an answer, is why has the plywood changed (it seems at various outlets not just one) to this very light stuff with voids



You keep saying things like 'standard' and 'bog standard', but if you want a specific thing and not just accept anything that passes as a paint grade interior plywood you need to be asking for specific products otherwise you are going to end up in this situation.



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whatknot

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I guess it depends on what you prefer, to me its terrible, both in looks and manufacture, with loads of voids
 

Sam R

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whatknot":15jovaut said:
I call it standard, or bog standard, as that is what it is
Jesus wept!

Look here petal, I know this is the internet but when asking for advice it is normal to engage with those who try to help you.
 

whatknot

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I am, I still haven't had an answer

I have no idea why people are taking umbrage to a simple question, this forum was once a friendly place where a question could be asked without all this

I didn't ask where or what to buy, I only asked what this recent light rubbishy plywood was, thats all

No idea why some feel the need to wade in "petal"
 

Bodgers

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I think you've had answer, you just didn't like it :)

Buy high grade Birch Plywood to guarantee good quality plywood with no voids and and even layers.

Going to a standard DIY store or Jewson/MKM etc. and buying "Bog Standard" plywood guarantees nothing.

It is a simple answer at least...
 
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