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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Default Beech plywood

For a while now I was sure that what was sold here as 'bukva' ply, was Birch ply. I just assumed because in most wood shops it's the only option other than pine and the bukva is very good quality. Turns out that it is actually Beech ply.
Today i went to a place I hade not been to before and they have a good range of different plys, one of which was called 'breza'. I looked it up when I got home and discovered it is in fact Birch, and cheaper than the Bukva which I had preciously thought to be Birch.
I guess my question is, does anyone out there use Beech ply, and what do people think of it's quality compared to Birch ?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 09:13 AM
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Hi Gavin,

The overall quality of the ply would probably be a better indication of how good it is. Beech is a good hardwood, but I would be looking at how many layers are in the ply and looking for voids around the edges. I would think Beech veneers for the top layer would be more expensive than Birch, though I wouldn't venture to say better. Baltic Birch is a very good quality ply, but there are probably cheap Birch plys on the market too.

I'm sure there are others on the forum who are more knowledgeable on this subject than me, and you will probably get more precise info from them.

Mike, an American living in Norway

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 01:36 PM
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I hope that some one does explain more. I am almost a total newbie when it comes to buying plywood. Before all I used to care was it could support the weight of what ever it was going to be on top of it as it was either covered up with durarock or wonderboard and tiles or just ended up being tossed across some 2x4 shelving and screwed down to hold boxes.

Now that I am trying to make things that actually look good, sort of don't know what to do. I am buying at Home Depot, don't know of any actual lumber yards in the area, both I used to use have disappeared in the last 16 years Along with the SUPER good hardware store

I used to be able to make it from the truck to inside the store. Would just sit on the bags of fertilizer or cement and the guys/gals working there would help me out, get the stuff, make suggestions, tell me that would or wouldn't work. They knew I was willing to just sit there and wait until they had time to help me.

Now if I could even walk far enough to get to the only hardware store left in town, no where to sit, aisles super crowded, employees either too busy or don't know enough to help....guess I better stop ranting. My Wife says I turned into an old fart when I hit about 30.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2010, 05:01 PM
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Birch plywood is a good, inexpensive solution for most general woodworking projects.

The quality of woods and plywoods are determined by grading systems.

Wood

Rough Sawn - Sawn on a bandmill or circular saw to approximate dimensions
Prepared - Planed in a sawmill
Surfaced - Only small areas of a board are planed to give the buyer an idea of the color or grain figure of the timber.
Nominal Size - The original size of the stock before cutting.
Finished Size - The true size of prepared stock after cutting.
Air Dried
Kiln Dried
Through and through - Boards converted by T&T cutting will be plain sawn.
One square edge - Boards will have one square edge and one Waney edge.
Waney edge - Board with the sapwood and uneven edge still present, although the bark will have been removed.
Unsorted - This describes the best grade for joinery quality softwoods. Also called clears or clear and better.
4ths and 5ths - Lower grade softwood stock
First and Seconds - The best grade to look for in hardwoods graded for good quality work. At least 83% of each board will yield clear, defect free usable timber in large areas.
Commons - Second grade hardwood, yielding between 67 and 83% clear timber in smaller lengths. Acceptable for cabinet making and small projects.


Plywood

The normal grading system uses the letters A, B, C & D, where A is the best quality, with virtually no blemishes and very well sanded. Grade D typically contains up to the maximum number of blemishes allowed.
The letter grades typically come in pairs, where one letter refers to the "better" side, called the face, and the other letter to the back side, opposite the face. As such, a sheet of A-C plywood will be very well finished on the face with a relatively unfinished back. Conversely, construction grade plywood would be C-D (commonly referred to as CDX plywood), which is great for structural use but not suited to be finish material.

Maybe someone should make a sticky out of this one. Seems to be a standard question in this section.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2010, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Good info above.
Just to clarify, the beech ply I get is good quality, hard and heavy.
Do you have beech ply in North America ?
I guess my question should have been, is beech harder wood than birch ?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2010, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gav View Post
Good info above.
Just to clarify, the beech ply I get is good quality, hard and heavy.
Do you have beech ply in North America ?
I guess my question should have been, is beech harder wood than birch ?
Both are temperate hardwoods and are about equal in density. Birch is less durable than, lets say, Oak or Cedar. Beech is low in strength and durability but works very well when carved or cut.

Beech originates in Europe and Asia but we can get it.


Just remember what my father always said, " Half the people in this world are below average!", and everything in life will make a hellova lot more sense.

Last edited by timbertailor; 03-13-2010 at 08:24 PM.
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