Why it pays to buy good plywood
13 Ply vs. 7 Ply
Although the 13-ply construction of the previous slide sample is more forgiving of the overlapping core layers and voids than standard 7-ply sheets, shown here, the defects in this sheet are severe enough to telegraph as an undulating face, especially with a glossy finish. The superthin face veneers, around 1/50", would make sand-through difficult to avoid, and cross-cut splintering a near certainty. In comparison, we'd have no such reservations with the second sheet.
One alternative to traditional veneer-core plywood, combination-core plywood, eliminates worries about inconsistency and flatness by retaining the three center veneer plies and replacing the outer plies with medium density fiberboard (MDF). The MDF provides a smooth and flat surface immediately below the veneer faces.
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