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Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

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  • Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

    What's the best value in plywood for shopmade shop furniture? Thinking about cabinet carcasses / drawers / shelving in my workshop

    1. Under rolling workbench
    2. Making a mitre saw station with storage (instead of my Ridgid MSUV stand)

    Everything at HD looks to be about $50/sheet.... going to check out the Building Center at HH St Jacobs....
    Pete C.
    http://blog.pjbj.ca
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  • #2

    Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

    For shop furniture I usually use 3/4" birch from Kent. They regularly put it on sale for around $40 a sheet. It's imported from China, and not the best quality, but its more than sufficient for shop furniture. I don't think there's any Kent's in Ontario. HD has 1/2" and 3/4" pine plywood (locally its kept with the construction plywood, not the oak/maple/birch) for around the same price point.

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    • #3

      Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

      Home Depot sometimes has b grade or paint grade maple ply.
      i like it, it stays flat.

      The veneer is very thin so don't try to sand it much.

      Nathan

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      • #4

        Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

        id use baltic birch more price wise but its stronger

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        • #5

          Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

          I have used a "shop grade" birch ply for cabinets. Typically about $10-15 less than premium.

          Let me speak about Chinese plywood. I just can't find the words to adequately express my distaste for that junk! I will never use it again and I will never buy anything from a retailer who stocks it for sale. Sorry; I feel that strongly about it! It's full of voids, oneralps in the plies, the face ply is tissue thin, it will not tolerate ANY moisture, it splinters and chips when you cut it and it will cause a world of displeasure to your shop. That's just my opinion, others may wish to chime in.
          The difference between a master and a beginner: The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

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          • #6

            Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

            Originally posted by petee_c View Post
            What's the best value in plywood for shopmade shop furniture? Thinking about cabinet carcasses / drawers / shelving in my workshop

            1. Under rolling workbench
            2. Making a mitre saw station with storage (instead of my Ridgid MSUV stand)

            Everything at HD looks to be about $50/sheet.... going to check out the Building Center at HH St Jacobs....
            You might also check out Craftsman Hardwood in Drayton.

            The difference between a master and a beginner: The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

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            • #7

              Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

              I have a few projects lined up for my shop aswell, and im planning on using Baltic birch. I beleive the ones that come in 60”x60” sheets are typically russian? Can someone confirm or correct this? I’ve only heard/read good things.

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              • #8

                Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

                Originally posted by dwight80 View Post
                I have a few projects lined up for my shop aswell, and im planning on using Baltic birch. I beleive the ones that come in 60”x60” sheets are typically russian? Can someone confirm or correct this? I’ve only heard/read good things.
                I believe it is Russian. It is IMO about the best choice for strength and stability in shop fixtures and jigs as well as for general cabinet construction.
                The difference between a master and a beginner: The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

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                • #9

                  Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

                  Originally posted by dwight80 View Post
                  I have a few projects lined up for my shop aswell, and im planning on using Baltic birch. I beleive the ones that come in 60”x60” sheets are typically russian? Can someone confirm or correct this? I’ve only heard/read good things.
                  I use this product and it is great for projects such as yours, a bit more expensive but well worth it in my opinion. I echo Peters' view of Chinese plywood, especially the prefinished version. Such crap. And watch out for Chinese 'Baltic birch' plywood. Looks like the Russian version but again just crapola. Russian product is usually stamped in a corner with country of origin, I recall a round green stamp. Ask your supplier for sure.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

                    Do you think I can get away with 1/2" plywood for smaller drawer sides? say 3" high by 24" wide by 22" deep
                    Pete C.
                    http://blog.pjbj.ca

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                    • #11

                      Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

                      Originally posted by petee_c View Post
                      Do you think I can get away with 1/2" plywood for smaller drawer sides? say 3" high by 24" wide by 22" deep
                      As long as it is decent quality plywood; I would say yes, for sure.
                      The difference between a master and a beginner: The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

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                      • #12

                        Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

                        I go for utility over pretty in shop stuff so I usually end up using construction grade plywood. 1/2" I find is plenty for most tasks.

                        I once bought a sheet of Chinese ply (birch) from RONA, and I echo the sentiments that it is junk. I returned it and got a sheet of Maple faced from Hoffmeyers Mill in Sebringville (just north of Stratford on Hwy 8). There are minor appearance flaws in it (and they pointed that out) but much nicer.
                        More stuff of mine at:
                        http://watertoneworkshop.blogspot.ca/

                        My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5...xPoVDV61AxUdUA

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                        • #13

                          Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

                          Pete,
                          I would highly recommend using 5' by 5' sheets of Baltic Birch plywood for any shop stuff. I get mine from Oliver Lumber in Milton and have found them to be the best price in the area. They are easy to deal with and you can buy as many or as few sheets as you need.

                          I live in Waterloo and you are welcome to drop by to see some 3/8", 1/2" and 3/4" to see if you think it will work for your needs. I can also show you some of the things I have made from BB. PM me if you are interested.

                          David

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                          • #14

                            Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

                            Baltic also comes in 4 x 8's last times I got it was from Commonwealth in Rexdale. Quality is not always exactly the same and price fluctuated as well. but each time I bought it it was decent. Trees that grow where its cold and windy make for stronger material. in the old days it had more plys in it think I have some offcuts from over 35 years ago and it just shows how things change in time not always in our favour.

                            As far as the offshore stuff one dealer told me they bought two lifts once to try and it stunk so bad they left it outside. At some period of time later they decided to cut into some of it, inside one of the sheets they found an underwear band. Thats really pushing the hamburger helper thing. Hopefully it was just filler and there wasnt an employee in there,

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                            • #15

                              Re: Plywood for shop furniture (drawers and shelves) - bang for buck

                              I would second Craftsman Lumber in Drayton. They will sell a lift or a sheet at a time. I am sure they carry a shop grade of ply. They also carry the Baltic Birch. Not an expert on Baltic Birch but it is also available in good one face with no patches. Craftsman carry it. I am not sure you would notice the strength of your cabinets if it was Baltic or domestic plywood.
                              Brian
                              just looked at original op. For drawers I would use Baltic Birch although I find that it gums up dovetail router bits.
                              Last edited by Brian @ Muir; 10-13-2017, 06:20 AM.
                              If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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