Architectural Woodworking

You are not logged in. [ Login ] Why log in
(NOTE: Login is not required to post)

Plywood quality

Mark Lackley Member


I'm at my wits end trying to find decent plywood. Among the plywood issues I've found over the last few years: telegraphing through of machine marks from core to face veneer, delamination of face veneer, delamination of core veneer layers, glue showing in seams of face veneer, core voids directly under face veneer, holes in face veneer caused by some conveyer machine at the distributor or manufacturer and others. Would you wise and wonderful woodworkers please give me your opinion about what manufacturer consistently has the best veneer-core plywood right now. I would especially like to hear about any business that specializes in custom fabrication of hardwood veneers on a calibrated veneer core. Thanks.

2/12/20       #2: Plywood quality ...
Leo G Member

I would say none.

Over the decades I've noticed the quality go to crap. The core is the basis of a high quality sheet. Now cores seem to be secondary to the veneer. And we all know that the veneers while looking good are incredibly thin. Most that I see are about 0.017" thick which is close to the transparency thickness of about 0.013"

When I started 3 decades ago the veneers were put on at 1/16" and sanded to about 3/64" The plywood was flat and stiff. The top sheet of the pile didn't potato chip because one side is exposed, it stayed flat.

You could use plywood for a door and it would stay true and flat. I'd have to think hard about doing that today.

Crap cores make crap plywood that is unstable because of ultra thin veneers. And it's 2.5x the cost.

2/13/20       #3: Plywood quality ...
james e mcgrew  Member


With corporate America Now considered a person and running rampantly non reponsible Who at that level cares. the plywood assc hopefully have some pull on this but the race is for profit, not quality

2/13/20       #4: Plywood quality ...
Tom Gafgen  Member


As far as core quality I find Garnica plywood to be great .It's a poplar veneer core, 99 percent void free,always 3/4 " thick and usually very flat . I use the pre finished 2 side birch for my frame less boxes and have used it for doors on occasion for office and utility cabinets .

2/13/20       #5: Plywood quality ...
Jon Dieterlen Member

Pretty sad when you have to switch to an import for better quality.

2/13/20       #7: Plywood quality ...
Tom Gafgen

What I suspect is that the garnica factory was recently built and is using state-of-the-art technology and the domestic manufacturers Are using older equipment and technology that just isn't capable of producing these results

2/13/20       #8: Plywood quality ...
Mark B Member

While its not high end custom layed up sheets Ive always had good luck with Columbia Purebond. Quality is always good, veneers are most definitely very thin.

We have only brought in import a couple times when a salesman offered us a small job to try at unit pricing and everything we got was trash. So bad that the vac on the CNC had zero chance of pulling down many sheets not to mention the smell in the shop. Not my cup of tea. But if it were nice material I'd probably deal with the stink.

2/14/20       #9: Plywood quality ...
Hen Bob Member

We have gotten a couple units of import lately that have been pretty good. It's been flat, good color, etc. Only seen 1 or to sheets out of 3 units were the very edge delamed. I believe its coming out of Vietnam...

2/16/20       #10: Plywood quality ...
Steve Juhasz  Member


If I may ask, why do you want plywood core stuff? I personally used to believe that it was necessary to build decent boxes, but it is not. Now I confidently build the "good" boxes out of high grade MDF (or ParticleBoard) laid up with nice veneers.

But also, if you are really unwilling to accept that certain old-fashioned materials such as high grade plywood are functionally extinct, then perhaps use some of the baltic plywood and have that laid up with your veneers of choice. Of course, using reputable press operator and not contact adhesive. I find that the 3/4" baltic birch plywood is very consistent in thickness and has uniform veneers throughout as cutting reveals.

2/17/20       #11: Plywood quality ...
Mark Member

Thank you all for your replies.

2/17/20       #12: Plywood quality ...
Kyle Priest

I chased Columbia Pure Bond from vendor to vendor for over a decade. Then I was introduced to Garnia. Been using it for the last 4 years. Best on the market, in my opinion. Not perfect but best I can find.

2/21/20       #13: Plywood quality ...
GuntherB Member

I find that imports are of better quality for years now, which is truly sad. It's like the American industry is going down the drain from this point of view.

  • Post a Response to this thread
  • notify me of responses to this topic
  • To receive email notification of additions to this forum thread,
    enter your name and email address, and then click the
    "Keep Me Posted" button below.

    Please Note: If you have posted a message or response,
    do not submit this request ... you are already signed up
    to receive notification!

    Your Name:
    E-Mail Address:
    Enter the correct numbers into the field below:

    Date of your Birth:

    Return to top of page

    Buy & Sell Exchanges | Forums | Galleries | Site Map

    FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards (return to top)

  • WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
  • Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
  • A valid email return address must be included with each message.
  • Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
  • Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
  • "Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
  • Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
  • Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
  • Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
  • Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
  • Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
  • Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
  • Comments, questions, or criticisms regarding Forum policies should be directed to WOODWEB's Systems Administrator
    (return to top).

    Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.

    You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.

    WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.

    Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).

    Libel:   Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.

    Improper Decorum:   Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).

    Advertising:   The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).

    Repeated Forum Abuse: Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.

    There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).

    The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)

  • Forum Posting Help
    Your Name The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
    Your Website Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    E-Mail Address Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
    Subject Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
    Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    Thread Related File Uploads Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .MP4 (Image Upload Tips)   If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)