Plywood

AnotherJim

Jim
Corporate Member
I'd like to buy some sheets of good quality hardwood and softwood plywood. If I look at the Lumber/Kiln listings all I see are lumber and slabs. Googling lumber yards doesn't show anything, either, mostly building supply stores and some hardwood lumber. Lowe's and Home depot show plywood, but if I read the reviews, people complain that the (apparently) imported plywood is poor quality, with voids, thin lamina, and a tendency to delaminate when painted. I'm in the Pinehurst/Fayetteville neighborhood. Can anyone suggest any well-stocked source of domestic, good quality plywood?
 

Canuck

Wayne
Corporate Member
I'd like to buy some sheets of good quality hardwood and softwood plywood. If I look at the Lumber/Kiln listings all I see are lumber and slabs. Googling lumber yards doesn't show anything, either, mostly building supply stores and some hardwood lumber. Lowe's and Home depot show plywood, but if I read the reviews, people complain that the (apparently) imported plywood is poor quality, with voids, thin lamina, and a tendency to delaminate when painted. I'm in the Pinehurst/Fayetteville neighborhood. Can anyone suggest any well-stocked source of domestic, good quality plywood?
I have always had good luck with Pure bond plywood from Columbia Forest products. (From Western NC) I generally purchase red oak or birch at Home Depot.


Since the pandemic supplies seem to be low and go fast. Looking at the HD in Fayetteville they I have 10 sheets of 3/4" birch in stock.

In my experience the veneer can be thin although I have never had any significant voids or delamination issues. (Unlike the imported Chinese stuff!)

Wayne
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
The Home Depot and Lowe's stuff does have a thin veneer. So, knowing that, finish with finesse is the best advice.
Also, being in Hawaii, the big box store ply is more susceptible to humidity. Keep that in mind as well.
Finally, there has been some Vietnam Plywood that has been coming in lately that other vendors have been selling. This stuff is junk. The internal ply's are wavy and so is the surface of the wood. Make sure to look at the edge carefully.
 

cyclopentadiene

Update your profile with your name
User
Hardwood store in Gibsonville hasgood quality if you want cabinet grade of a specific species. The pricing for harwood ply has not increased as rapidly as the prices of Lowes/HD quality material so Walnut or Cherry ply is only a 25% premium right now!
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I have used the oak veneer plywood from Home Depot or Lowes. The internal plys vary. Sometimes it is poplar, sometimes softwood. I prefer the poplar. The veneer is rotary cut so it does not really look like a board. It is also thin. But for some projects it works. I have also ordered small, 2x4, pieces of cherry veneer "plywood" from Home Depot. It has had a mdf, not plywood core. But it had straight cut, not rotary cut, face veneer. This works better for "nicer" projects.

For shop plywood for utility cabinet and shot stuff I like "Radianta" pine plywood from Chile. I normally buy it at Home Depot and I think I've paid as little as $30/sheet for 3/4. But it was $60/sheet last time I bought some. At that price, I've delayed projects waiting for it to come down. The voids are not bad in this plywood, one face will be knot free and the other face is normally sound. The face veneers are also fairly thick.

I've used baltic birch before too including for drawers of cabinets. But I don't have a good source for it right now. I can get it at a local place but it is really expensive. Last time I needed wood for drawers I used cypress from my solid wood supplier. It worked well.
 

Berta

Berta
Corporate Member
You might want to call the Hardwood store beforehand to be sure they have what you want. The last time I went for 1/8” Baltic birch they were out. The trip is worth it if they have what you need. (I always find something I want).
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
You might want to call the Hardwood store beforehand to be sure they have what you want. The last time I went for 1/8” Baltic birch they were out. The trip is worth it if they have what you need. (I always find something I want).
Berta I have a few extra full sheets (5x5) on 1/8th BB on hand. Sell you one for what I paid (less than $20). The catch is you would have to come get it.
 

Hjanes

Harlan
User
Atlantic Veneer Outlet Store in the town of Beaufort, NC, (not Beaufort County) is associated with the Atlantic Veneer plywood factory there. I haven't been there for some years now but they used to carry high quality plywood stock in several species, radial as well as sliced faces, and priced better then the big box stores. I took a tour of that plant some years ago and at that time they offered small lot custom plywood manufacturing also. The facility is now owned by a German firm and I don't know current policies. The outlet store for individuals can be phoned for information: 252 728-7620. The plywood I purchased at that years-ago time had more plies and few voids. Might be an option.
 

AnotherJim

Jim
Corporate Member
Thanks for all the comments and information. Now, I know I'm diverging from the original question, but: I'm new to this, and stumbled on the 'hooked on wood' site and youtube channel. I decided as a first project to build the 'MFT' workbench, which looks to be a Festool-inspired thing. The author, Dennis, is in the Netherlands, and maybe that dictates his choice of materials and methods. I don't understand why one would find and buy colored MDF for the top (valchromat or forescolor) instead of hardwood plywood. Wouldn't a sheet of maple plywood provide a more durable top than MDF of whatever flavor? And it seems that a good-quality plywood would be just as flat as the MDF -- well almost as flat, equivalent within the error of woodworking measurements. The smooth black top looks nice, but it is just a work table. Any comments or opinions would be appreciated.
 

AnotherJim

Jim
Corporate Member
Atlantic Veneer Outlet Store in the town of Beaufort, NC, (not Beaufort County) is associated with the Atlantic Veneer plywood factory there. I haven't been there for some years now but they used to carry high quality plywood stock in several species, radial as well as sliced faces, and priced better then the big box stores. I took a tour of that plant some years ago and at that time they offered small lot custom plywood manufacturing also. The facility is now owned by a German firm and I don't know current policies. The outlet store for individuals can be phoned for information: 252 728-7620. The plywood I purchased at that years-ago time had more plies and few voids. Might be an option.
I looked them up on google maps, and it looks like they're still there. The street view shows a building with a Mill Outlet sign and three cars and a guy on a cell phone outside. I'll give them a call on Monday. Thanks.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
The top of my Ron Paulk inspired workbench is Radianta plywood from Home depot. The lower top is too. The ribs in between are too. Plywood tends to not be as stable but both need ribs (the mdf needs it for support) and with them, both would be stable. I like plywood a lot better than MDF. It takes fasteners better, it's stronger, and the dust is not so obnoxious. I don't know why many of the you tube woodworkers seem to love MDF. To me, it is nasty stuff.
 

Tarhead

Mark
Corporate Member
Thanks for all the comments and information. Now, I know I'm diverging from the original question, but: I'm new to this, and stumbled on the 'hooked on wood' site and youtube channel. I decided as a first project to build the 'MFT' workbench, which looks to be a Festool-inspired thing. The author, Dennis, is in the Netherlands, and maybe that dictates his choice of materials and methods. I don't understand why one would find and buy colored MDF for the top (valchromat or forescolor) instead of hardwood plywood. Wouldn't a sheet of maple plywood provide a more durable top than MDF of whatever flavor? And it seems that a good-quality plywood would be just as flat as the MDF -- well almost as flat, equivalent within the error of woodworking measurements. The smooth black top looks nice, but it is just a work table. Any comments or opinions would be appreciated.
There was a recent thread that discussed this hybrid MDF here: https://ncwoodworker.net/forums/index.php?threads/double-refined-mdf-source.73705/
 

wsrhue

wyattspeightrhue
User
I looked them up on google maps, and it looks like they're still there. The street view shows a building with a Mill Outlet sign and three cars and a guy on a cell phone outside. I'll give them a call on Monday. Thanks.
They moved to Newport last year. Give them a call and they can give you directions.
 

Craig C

Craig
User
It's not close to you, but I have had excellent luck with the veneer-faced and BB plywood I buy from Wall Lumber in Mayodan.
 

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