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theksmith

don't buy plywood from Home Depot or Lowe's

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when it comes to DIY drawers or other storage in your rig, here's another tip from a beginner woodworker... don't buy finish-grade plywood from Home Depot or Lowe's! it's just not on par with what you can get from a dedicated woodworking or lumber supply store, and the price difference is negligible.

 

i bought a 60" x 60" sheet of 1/2" Baltic Birch for about $35 from Woodworker's Source here in Phoenix and the quality difference between it and the best stuff i could find at the home improvement stores is dramatic. even the hardwood versions at Lowe's and Home Depot have less plys, are thinner, more warped, and full of voids.

 

i always hated working with plywood before, but didn't realize that was because i was buying crap material!

 

here's a very typical fresh cut edge on the "real" half-inch Baltic Birch i bought:

 

uRa-BSRcudJvSFNBPVkWTrMJcRhu_utIjKV732nJ

 

i also have to give props to the staff at the Woodworker's Source near I-17 & Bell - everyone was helpful and super friendly. quite the opposite of Rockler (the only woodworking store i had ever visited previously).

 

 

Edited by theksmith
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I almost mentioned using Woodworkers Source  in your post about pocket screws.

Glad you found them.  Class outfit.

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I had no idea the difference. Thanks for sharing!

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It does help to have quality plywood. I tried to make my daughter a Lectern using Home Depot plywood, unfortunately, the veneer is micro thin and chips/spits easily.   I don't have any other choice of wood in the area. I've been to woodworkers supply. Good place.

 

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Just a sign of inflation - I recently visited Woodworkers Source (an amazing place) and paid $116 out the door for a single sheet of 1/2 60x60” Baltic Birch. 🤢 

 

But considering the lower quality 1/2 ply from the big box stores is about $85, it puts it into a bit of perspective.

 

Looking forward to working with some much nicer quality wood for some upcoming projects!

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Part of the problem is that true Baltic birch plywood comes from Russia.  The war is driving up the prices. 

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3 hours ago, 4x4tographer said:

Just a sign of inflation - I recently visited Woodworkers Source (an amazing place) and paid $116 out the door for a single sheet of 1/2 60x60” Baltic Birch. 🤢 

 

But considering the lower quality 1/2 ply from the big box stores is about $85, it puts it into a bit of perspective.

 

Looking forward to working with some much nicer quality wood for some upcoming projects!

Did you join their Rosewood Club?  
$20 fee,  lifetime membership.  10% off lumber and plywood anytime.  Sometimes 20% of plywood during a sale.

 

Ive been a member for the last 8 years and it’s been very worth it to me.

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18 hours ago, jgaz said:

Did you join their Rosewood Club?  
$20 fee,  lifetime membership.  10% off lumber and plywood anytime.  Sometimes 20% of plywood during a sale.

 

Ive been a member for the last 8 years and it’s been very worth it to me.

 

I did! Was a pretty nice program. I couldn't believe some of the woods they had in there. Unbelievably exotic materials, some nice live edge slabs, and an amazing array of tools I can't afford (or have space for in my garage - I really want a full-size jointer). 😁 I was getting a lot of ideas for some future home furniture projects.

 

 

19 hours ago, Curly said:

Part of the problem is that true Baltic birch plywood comes from Russia.  The war is driving up the prices. 

 

Ain't that the truth!

 

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2 hours ago, 4x4tographer said:

I did! Was a pretty nice program. I couldn't believe some of the woods they had in there. Unbelievably exotic materials, some nice live edge slabs, and an amazing array of tools I can't afford (or have space for in my garage - I really want a full-size jointer). 😁 I was getting a lot of ideas for some future home furniture projects.

 

 

   My FIL was a lifelong woodworker, and  when he passed I got his entire inventory of tools.  In addition to the usual saws and sanders, I have a full sized shaper  and a Jointer that I haven't even tried to plug in.  The shaper has large, exposed cutter that looks way to dangerous for someone w/o experience to use.  Think of a router on steroids.   I don't know how to use the jointer although I have watched plenty of YouTube videos on it.   I keep telling myself that I need to try it.   Right now, both are sitting in an unused corner of the barn. 

This is similar to the Shaper I have. (google image)

shaper.JPG.fd564b6c31299a8f6f27fffefd96b8b6.JPG

 

The cutter heads look like this (about 3 inches in dia).  Not getting my hands or finger near those!

1038645840_shaperblades.thumb.jpg.6470752d1781c3c88a70a4f0c35bd93e.jpg

 

 

 

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Caution:  Thread derail ahead:

 

@4x4tographer  you mention possible furniture projects in your future.
 Don’t be afraid to utilize or at least checkout the lumber machining services offered at Woodworkers Source.

 

In 2016 I built two nightstands and a headboard for our master bedroom.  The nightstands are 3/4” cherry veneered plywood and solid cherry stock.
Back then the plywood was over $90 a sheet.  I’d hate to price it now!   
It cost me $35 to have them break down the sheets into finished size pieces to build the two nightstands.   I provided a cutting diagram using graph paper.

 

I have a pretty decent woodworking shop and a lot of experience but I still struggle handling 4x8 sheets with my table saw and I  don’t have a track saw.
Having the pieces the exact sizes and cut perfectly square was worth every penny.

 

The night stands:

C4C58E36-BD3F-41C6-AC89-07B1208D297B.thumb.jpeg.ab59fe4105d3e69252c8b1f49d5d37e7.jpeg

 

One tip if you go that route:  Show your cut list or diagram to the guys in the back to get your price for the machine work.  
I’ve found it to be cheaper than getting the price from a couple individuals at the checkout desk.

Edited by jgaz
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