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Prefinished ply: import vs. domestic?5/11
I've been using prefinished import ply for several years with pretty good results. Every once in a while I'll run on to some that will de-laminate, here lately I've run on to some that the veneer is just not glued well. My sales rep sent me a sheet today of domestic, Columbia I think. Judging from the one sheet it looks like the finish is some better, it's maple instead of birch, 3 larger core sheets instead of several thinner sheets. Looks like the 1/2" runs about $15 more and about $20 more for the 3/4". Question is, is the domestic worth the extra money? How consistent is the quality? Any other pros and cons that I'm not thinking of?
I have found that not having to check every sheet for a delamination or garbage finish is worth the extra money. Not to mention my main supplier doesn't even carry the import stuff. To many rejects when they did. My 2 cents.
I agree with Dustin. It's bad enough dealing with sorting sheets that are bad, but even worse is when you use one that looks OK, then after the cabinet is built it starts to delaminate. Not worth the small savings, at least for me, as most jobs are higher end.
I won't use the import stuff, heard too many complaints over the years. Also hard to justify to my client they spend more money for custom built cabinetry and then go and buy the cheapest stuff available to build it.
I did recently try a less expensive version of domestic, (supposedly), pre-finished maple from one supplier who couldn't tell me why it was cheaper. They insisted it looked the same and a lot of shops were using it. Didn't look the same to me and won't be using that again either.
I got the actual prices today.
I second JeffD with the less expensive domestic stuff. I tried a dozen or so sheets and it did not look consistent like I'm used too.
Keep shopping around Mike, I pay $58-$61 for 3/4, $44-$46 for 1/2. One side finished
My local supplier has import maple i really like it alot over birch most of our suppliers carry fir core over popular core in there domestic ply
I would look at Garnica Spanish company it weights 30 less than domestic poplar cores. Their poplar cores are plantation grown no dark mineral streak telegraphing thru veneers there is little to no voids and I find this plywood very stable and the thickness consistency is is about a B+ they only down side I found but over cam was screws stripping out easier so we drill 4mm holes for hardware screws problem solved.
I was a big Columbia product guy are years had all kinds of issues the new MPX cores to inconsistent is thickness for CNC. They finally have a seamless outer band of poplar before they fixed that I can't count how many ends I replaced I was using there Kcore calibration on that was about a B I had my fair share of delamination problems as well
I used States plywood for a short time there fir core doesn't work up here in New England but I have to say the calibration is a A+
In my area all the suppliers want to carry Garnica that says something about the product. I hope some day soon Columbia listens to all the cries for better cabiration and telegraphing problems I still like the company but losing faith that they will come up with something soon
I too dropped Columbia for Garnica and have never been happier.
It's a great product and I highly recommend it.
I too hope Columbia wakes up and gets their act together. There should be no need to have a better made plywood shipped from Spain to here at a lower cost.