Specialty plywood is a rather broad classification of panels manufactured with sliced veneers. In this category, we have the standard varieties of hardwood species, the exotic import species, and a number of the better-known softwood species. The diversity of figure, color and style is almost infinite being as veneer is a natural wood product where no two panels are ever exactly the same.
Hardwood Plywood is one of our key product lines and often complements the lumber we sell. Though proprietary grades and exclusive distribution, we have the opportunity to distinguish ourselves. There are many variables in plywood: thickness, face veneer, back options, core options, dimensions, cut, lay-up, construction, etc., and it is therefore important to understand key information about each component.
Plywood consists of real wood veneer pressed onto a specified core to produce large panels to be used as components in the construction of various wood products such as cabinets, furniture, or paneling
Plywood is a product manufactured from an odd number of very thin wood sheets which are joined together by means of adhesive. The grain direction of each layer or “ply” is ordinarily at right angles to the grain of its adjoining plies. The resulting product is, pound for pound, stronger than steel and is less expensive than solid wood.
There are certain applications where plywood is a better choice than solid wood, both because of its lower cost, and also its larger size. In addition, plywood is available in specialty matched veneers which give added beauty to finer projects.
Practically all stock hardwood plywood is for interior use only. Do not attempt to order waterproof hardwood plywood without first establishing its availability from the supplier.
The length of a plywood panel is usually the dimension parallel to the direction of the grain in the face. Example: Vertical plywood wall panels are 48” wide by 96” long.
- Available cores: VC, PB, MDF, LDF, HDF, and Combi-Cores
- Properties available: Class A or 1 FR and MR
- Finish: Raw or Prefinished 1 or 2 sides
- Certifications: CARB 2, FSC
- Resin Types: ULEF, NAUF, NAF, Phenolic, Soy
- Thickness Range: ⅛” to 1-½”
- Panels size Range: 5’ x 5’ to 5’ x 12’
Due to the variety of cores possible in hardwood, first be certain your dealer stocks the core best suited to your needs. Then, specifying correctly simply becomes a matter of including all necessary information.
It is customary to write plywood specifications in the following order:
- Number of pieces – order by pieces, not square feet.
- Thickness – net after sanding
- Width – across face grain of veneer.
- Length – always parallel to grain of face veneer.
- Kind of wood on face or faces.
- Type of construction if other than veneer core.
- Grade – A–1, A–4, etc.
There are two types of Combination Core construction. The first type consists of a center veneer core and a crossband veneer on both sides of the center with a layer of MDF, particleboard, or hardboard under the face and back veneer. The second type consists of an oriented strand board or wafer board center with a veneer crossband on both sides, under the face and back veneer. Combination Core can be used when the project calls for consistent flatness and good screw-hold ability, without the weight of a MDF or particleboard core.
Lumber edge glued into a solid slab is considered Lumber Core. Lumber Core plywood is most often found in the construction of import panels, usually only 18mm thickness panels. Lumber Core plywood consists of a face & back veneer, then a layer of crossband veneer, with the edge glued lumber in the center. Lumber Core plywood should be used for the bending strength and screw-hold ability. The ability of Lumber Core plywood to bounce back makes it an excellent choice when constructing long or wide shelves in cabinets or closets.
Medium Density Fiberboard Core has the most uniform thickness and consistency of any panel core. The face and back veneer are glued directly to the MDF Core without the need for a crossband veneer. The consistency in thickness and flatness makes MDF Core panels the preferred choice for 32mm construction.
Particleboard Core panels are constructed similar to MDF Core panels, with the face & back veneers glued directly to the core. Particleboard Core lays flat like MDF, but does not have the screw-hold strength of other cores. Particleboard Core is the least expensive of all core types.
Veneer Core plywood consists of a center veneer and crossband veneers alternately layered on both sides of the center to the desired thickness producing an odd number of veneers for the core. The weight-bearing strength of Veneer Core plywood is excellent along with its bending strength and screw-hold ability. Veneer core panels are lighter in weight than any other core type.