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Plywood for boxes2/14
What is everyone using for 3/4 Maple ply?
We have been using a Columbia product. I think it is called purebond and have noticed in the last year the quality has been going down. I have to pick through everything before it is cut because of the waviness and voids that often don't show up until after paint. We use it for face frame cabinets that get painted on the outside and Lacquered on the inside.
We purchase most of our Maple plywood from Birchwood Best. They do a very good job and are price competitive.
I think veneer core plywood - for building cabinetry- is more common in the USA than Canada (or so it seems), but I think particle core material is far better IMO for paint grade work.
I use both depending upon my customer's preference, and prefer PC due to the fact the thickness is very consistant, the face veneers are very smooth and flat, and the board has less tendency to move/twist/curl.
The only disadvantage to PC material IMO is weight. It machines better (we do rabbets and grooves for assembly) and holds screws better on edge.
It also takes abuse better, as the face of the particle board is case hardened from pressing and backs up the face veneer better than a ply core, which up here is usually poplar or fir, and somewhat soft.
Columbia pure bond has been shit every now and again for the past 6 or so years. I've ripped 3/4 sheets and have ended up with two 3/8 sheets a few times...not to mention voids, waviness, bows, discoloration in prefin sheets (usually at the ends)
We have had many rippling problems with plywood. Probably a couple of years now. I have also had the sheets split in two when you rip them. The bad thing is you walk into a house, and the first thing a customer say is " I don't want any of that particle board crap". So you deal with it, fight with it, and keep going until it looks good on the exterior. BTW, after a job has been in for awhile, anyone ever have a plywood shelf twist so bad it looks like you drilled the shelf holes wrong. All or paint jobs, we use MDF core with a maple veneer, It cost more, but it gives you the painted wood look in the finish. Yes it weights more, but when you do a 10' high fridge panel in one piece, it really sets your jobs apart from the box stores who do an 84" with a piece of scribe over the seam. I know I rambled a bit, but not a big fan of the plywood now. Thanks MIKE
I have had many of my customers tell me they dont want particle board.
I bring them into the shop, and physically show them the various materials - and how, in my opinion building cabinets for 25 years, that I would use PC material for my own, versus ply core. Once I show them, explain the reasons, etc - and also explain that the same grade of face veneers is less money with PC versus ply, they usually dont mind any more.
If they insist on veneer, thats fine too. But then you have to be prepared for a bit of waviness.
I also use MDF core veneers, but mainly for 1/4" stock for my doors that are not solid panel. I get veneers custom pressed to a true 1/4", my choice of face veneers on MDF.
Most people dislike particle board since they are used to seeing the garbage stuff you can pull apart with your hands. I show them a quality cabinet grade of PB, and they see the difference.