My buddy was talking about building a project from something called ApplePly. Is this an actual product, or am I being hoodwinked?
ApplePly is legit. Similar to imported Baltic-birch plywood, ApplePly is a premium plywood made from thin layers of birch and faced with various species of veneers. Made by States Industries in Oregon (thus the play on apple pie), it has few voids between layers and comes in thicknesses from 1/4" to 11/2". Since its debut in 1984, ApplePly has been used mostly for large-scale, high-end professional and industrial purposes (retail displays, architectural interiors, etc.). But in recent years it’s become a popular choice for professional craftsmen and hobbyists making studio and contemporary furniture, often with the edges highlighted, as shown at right, rather than covered with edge banding. Although you can buy 4×8' sheets through distributors around the U.S. (find one at statesind.com), you can also order it in smaller sizes online at buyappleply.com.