Author Topic: 1/2" Ply Choices  (Read 7092 times)

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Offline JimTerry

  • Posts: 4
1/2" Ply Choices
« on: December 05, 2014, 02:33 PM »
   I am getting ready to assemble a paulk workbench that I have been planning on doing for quite some time.  I set about getting some AC ply at the big box store that rhymes with "knows" and they only had BC and it looked terrible.  For a few dollars more, they had a hardwood ply called "blond wood".  It doesn't behave like a hardwood that I can tell because the veneer on the finish side chips very easily (see pic).  Does anyone know if I should instead keep looking before I break it down.  I was thinking I got a good deal, but am now second guessing.  I know its just a portable bench, but I would like it to last.  I have no problem taking these sheets back -I need a fifth anyway. 
   I purchased all of Ron Paulk's plans and struggled on whether to first build his total station, or the workbench two and have decided to first start with the workbench II and follow up with the total station.  My wife just bought me a TS55, RO150, and CT36.  I am excited to finally have a bench(s) instead of working on the floor, or on quickly assembled benches on horses.  I am mildly embarrassed about my makeshift shop ideas out of my two car garage when I see some of the FOG setups, but hey we all have to start somewhere right?  Anyway if anyone has any advice or suggestions on wood to use it would be greatly appreciated!  Love this group btw.  I have learned loads just lurking.

jt


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Offline polarsea1

  • Posts: 288
Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2014, 09:22 PM »
It may be time to get acquainted with a local hardwood/sheetgoods supplier. I can get good quality USA made plywood at prices that are competitive with the big box stores. Shop grade domestic plywood is what I would look for. 

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2014, 09:29 PM »
Find a Columbia Plywood dealer.

Tom

Offline wow

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Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2014, 12:48 AM »
You said you'd like it to look nice and last?

If you can find it locally and stomach the cost, I'd consider ApplePly. Our own Rick Christopherson posted this back in 2007 on another forum:

"ApplePly is basically the equivalent of BB. Even though both products are high density veneer core plywood, ApplePly is a noticeably superior grade than Baltic Birch. The face veneer is maple versus birch, and the core is alder. The edge of ApplyPly machines better than Baltic Birch with less fraying of the cross-grain core laminations, but this is applicable only if you were going to route the edge. Both products cut fine with a saw.

As for the choice between ApplyPly and standard maple plywoods, I generally use standard plywood for cabinet construction, mainly due to cost. Also, depending on the quality of the maple plywood you have at your disposal, the face veneer is typically better than the high density veneer, but this may not be true when all you have access to is big-box plywood."


Couldn't have said it better myself - so I didn't!

 [big grin]
Trying to be one of the most helpful members on the FOG.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2014, 02:32 AM »
2007? So exactly how long have you been stalking me?  [scared]

I spoke with the vice president of States Industries a couple of weeks ago for a project I was drafting specification drawings for. They haven't been using Alder for the core for over a decade, even though it had still been listed in the marketing information for a while. Nevertheless, the core is still of the high quality I wrote about previously. I had them send me some current samples just so I could confirm that it still remains the same as it was.

It costs more than baltic birch, but I can spot the difference from across the room.

Offline wow

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Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2014, 02:39 AM »
2007? So exactly how long have you been stalking me?

I just have good google-foo at times...and don't you know that stuff on the internet lives forever?

 [wink]

Trying to be one of the most helpful members on the FOG.

Offline w802h

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Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2014, 08:16 AM »
I find that Advantech products are flatter than some plywoods and offer some weather resistance against the inevitable.  They are inexpensive, particularly the scraps off framing jobs.  Depending on your design, they may work fine for a simple bench.  I wouldn't use the 7/16" Zip, however, that's still cheap chipboard.

Offline festooltim

  • Posts: 332
Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2014, 08:35 AM »
I use the MDO in 3/4" for my MFT tops and it holds up well and not very heavy. I have used the 1/2" also and I think it is a good product for the price. It has a real smooth surface and is a exterior product so holds up well. I get it at the big box store that rhymes  with benards.
Quantity is no substitute for Quality

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Offline JimTerry

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1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2014, 12:25 PM »
Thanks for all the replays.  This helped me to commit to what I've known I need to do. Take this crap wood back!   I'm going to look elsewhere. If I am going to spend the time to build this I need to start with even medium grade material. This stuff may look nice at first, but it is terrible.

Offline wow

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Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2014, 01:11 PM »
BTW, [welcome] to the FOG!

I was so busy answering your question I didn't notice that you were new here. Sorry about that!
Trying to be one of the most helpful members on the FOG.

Offline JimTerry

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Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2014, 03:04 PM »
Thanks wow!

Offline Tom in SoCal

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Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2014, 01:02 AM »
Post lots of pics as you built your bench...  I'm (hopefully) not too far behind you...

Offline JimTerry

  • Posts: 4
1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2014, 01:35 AM »
Will do Tom.  I took the blondewood "hardwood" ply back and am looking for a good source. I have some things to do this week, but u should start soon.  I'll start a thread as I have decided to build the larger workbench II first and modify the height so I can fit larger tools in the cubbies while working.

Edit: Meant to type- but "I" start start soon.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 02:37 PM by JimTerry »

Offline thecrow

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Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2014, 03:41 PM »
I have been using BB for most of my finish ply projects.  We usually buy it buy the skid and I get a 4x8 3/4" thick sheet for about $60.  My local Apple Ply dealer wants $165 for the same sheet.  They say the difference is because apply ply is fsc.  I'm curious how they compare, but cant stomach the difference in price to find out.

Offline doug H

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Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2014, 04:57 PM »
I built the same workbench a couple months ago. (Photos in earlier post here) I used birch ply from HD. I think it was Columbia and it was pretty good quality. I thought about MDO too but HD was more convenient. Good luck.

Offline cfullen

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Re: 1/2" Ply Choices
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2014, 08:28 AM »
First off, your wife is amazing for getting you those tools! 

But I have used that plywood from the box store for projects when I was in a pinch.  It performed just fine. I wouldn't introduce water to it by any means, but it would work for  what you want.