Sheet Goods Selector
Sheet Goods Selector 3
HARDWOOD PLYWOOD Description: Veneers (softwood or hardwood) glued in layers with alternating grain, and covered with hardwood veneer. Uses: The traditional sheet good of choice for everything from furniture and cabinets to wall paneling and boxes. Available Sizes: 1/4", 1/2", and 3/4" are most common. Occasionally, you'll find 1/8", 3/8", and 5/8" in some species. Common Grades: Face: AA, A, B, C/D/E, Special. Back: 1, 2, 3, 4. Core: J, K, L, M. Panel types: Technical type, Type I, Type II (Type II most common for interior use.) Pros: More stable and less expensive than solid wood, widely available, made in a variety of species, and with many choices for veneer matching on faces. Cons: Thick sheets are heavy, exposed ply edges may mean you'll have to band with solid wood, thin face veneers (1/32") are easy to sand through and damage. Where to find it: Home centers carry a few species, such as oak, birch, maple. Turn to building suppliers and hardwood retailers for other species. Price (3/4"x4x8', sheet unless noted): $35 to $100+. Prices vary greatly due to species, face and back grades, ply count, and cut of veneer. A/2 or B/2 is reasonably priced and suitable for furniture.
BALTIC AND FINNISH BIRCH Description: Made from ultra-thin (1/16"), void-free birch veneers. Finnish birch is like Baltic, but is made with exterior adhesive for outdoor use. Uses: Use to create shop jigs and fixtures, cabinets, drawer sides, furniture, and as a substrate. Available Sizes: In millimeters: 4 (1/8"), 6.5 (1/4"), 9 (3/8"), 12 (1/2"), 15 (5/8"), and 18 (3/4") in 60x60" sheets. Common Grades: No standardized grades, but manufactured with void-free plies and face veneers carrying a grade of B or better. Pros: Stiff, stable, consistent thickness, no voids, nice-looking edge, holds screws. Cons: Hard to find, costly, odd (60x60") size sheet, available only with birch face. Where to find it: Woodworking-supply stores, hardwood retailers, mail-order catalogs (small sizes). Price (3/4"x4x8', sheet unless noted): $45+ for standard-size 60x60" sheets.
APPLEPLY Description: American version of Baltic birch with alder and birch core plies and quality veneer faces. Birch face is standard, other woods available. Uses: Same uses as Baltic above, plus applications where a fine-hardwood face veneer is needed. Available Sizes: Available in 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", 1", and 1-1/4" thicknesses, in 4x8' sheets. Common Grades: No standardized grades, but manufactured with void-free plies and face veneers carrying a grade of B or better. Pros: Stiff, stable, void-free, nice-looking edge, holds screws, offers a variety of face veneers. Cons: Difficult to find, costly, requires large order to get optional veneers. Where to find it: You'll find distributor information at www.statesind.com. Price (3/4"x4x8', sheet unless noted): $50+.
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