Author Topic: Opinions on cabinet plywood grades/quality  (Read 4404 times)

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Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 461
Re: Opinions on cabinet plywood grades/quality
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2021, 12:25 AM »
Hi Rick, I'm wondering how that worked out for you - are you happy with the plywood you received?

@AlexGn I am just finishing up the last of 3 projects with this plywood.  It took a week longer than expected to get it because my sales rep at HD was on vacation.

I got the 7 sheets of 3/4 BB grade Maple (both sides prefinished) for $115 per.  Four sheets of 1/4" C3 grade Maple (one side finished) for $56 per.  I figured at this grade and price I could just grab a sheet and begin but it wasn't the case.  I had multiple sheets with big scratches in the middle.  I had about a dozen places where it appeared to be bubbling, like it had gotten wet at some point.  Some of those I could actually feel but others it still seemed smooth.  I had a couple of places where I could see ghosting of what looked like a 'banding or strapping' mark.  Even though both sides were BB grade, one side would be much darker than the other.

I am almost done with my three projects and my wife likes them a lot.  I got to use every Festool piece I have purchased in 2020 so that was cool.

The Columbia reps were good people and appeared to be concerned over the lack of quality control at the mill.  They offered me a $150 gift card, which I took.  Looking back, I don't think it was enough.  There is a skill in going through a sheet and working around defects and I need to get better at that.

All in all I am happy with my results but I don't think I will use that supplier again unless I can physically go pick out each sheet myself and I don't think thats an option.

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Offline AlexGn

  • Posts: 5
Re: Opinions on cabinet plywood grades/quality
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2021, 10:57 PM »
@Rick Herrick Thank you, I'm glad your project is working out well but it's disappointing that even higher grade plywood came with that many issues. My local wood store recently got acquired by a larger chain and I'm trying to figure out my backup plan in case they decide to stop selling to retail customers like me.

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 418
Re: Opinions on cabinet plywood grades/quality
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2021, 08:18 AM »
My experience has been that buying plywood from a dedicated supplier rather than a big box store solves most of these issues.  The supplier I use primarily services cabinet shops and in addition to Garnica and Columbia sheet goods they carry cabinet related hardware like hinges and drawer slides.  I have never had a sheet pulled from their racks with significant defects, so it seems that one thing you get for their slightly higher prices is that they have culled any dodgy material they receive from the manufacturers.  My experience at Home Depot is that it can be difficult to get in store help.  Since I have a basement shop with a two turn staircase there is no way a 4'x8' sheet goes down whole so I take a cut sheet and each piece gets one cut.  My supplier does this quickly and accurately and helps me load up after the purchase.  HD is fine for buying commodity items and supplies but for lumber and sheet goods their material is dodgy and overpriced for what you get.

Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 625
Re: Opinions on cabinet plywood grades/quality
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2021, 01:04 PM »
Maybe use-full. Was for me




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Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 474
Re: Opinions on cabinet plywood grades/quality
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2021, 01:24 PM »
My experience has been that buying plywood from a dedicated supplier rather than a big box store solves most of these issues.  The supplier I use primarily services cabinet shops and in addition to Garnica and Columbia sheet goods they carry cabinet related hardware like hinges and drawer slides.  I have never had a sheet pulled from their racks with significant defects, so it seems that one thing you get for their slightly higher prices is that they have culled any dodgy material they receive from the manufacturers.  My experience at Home Depot is that it can be difficult to get in store help.  Since I have a basement shop with a two turn staircase there is no way a 4'x8' sheet goes down whole so I take a cut sheet and each piece gets one cut.  My supplier does this quickly and accurately and helps me load up after the purchase.  HD is fine for buying commodity items and supplies but for lumber and sheet goods their material is dodgy and overpriced for what you get.
Home Depot marketing strategy is give away the tools as a loss leader. They markup hardware, lumber, paint, building materials, cabinets. Etc. Their lumber leaves something to be desired. It’s ok for 2x4s and fence pickets if you can cherry pick the heap. Now a days construction lumber is expensive. I always go to a specialty lumber store/yard to get Baltic Birch 🌳 or any finish quality sheet good.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 01:28 PM by mkasdin »

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 461
Re: Opinions on cabinet plywood grades/quality
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2021, 11:45 PM »
Maybe use-full. Was for me



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That was pretty useful, thanks for the link.

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 461
Re: Opinions on cabinet plywood grades/quality
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2021, 11:46 PM »
I had to use Home Depot but the product was ordered and fulfilled by Columbia Forest Products.

Offline Wood_Slice

  • Posts: 74
Re: Opinions on cabinet plywood grades/quality
« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2021, 03:17 PM »
I have used independent Lumber stores as well as HD's Columbia Birch and Maple plywoods. In all honestly there is nothing better than actually inspecting every piece yourself as it will save you a ton of headache during the build. The HD's Columbia plywood is good but you need to sort trough the entire stack to find good or passable for work ones. For example I have to look through about 15 sheets or so to find 3-5 good ones. I always have another person with me sorting through the sheets and rent a HD truck and get about 10 sheets of 3/4" for carcass construction, about 4-5 sheets of 1/2" for drawers and such and about 4 sheets of 5mm underlayment plywood. The key in cost saving is with the 5mm underlayment ply, pick to find good enough looking face, less than half the cost of a 1/4" columbia birch/maple ply.

Independent lumber store near me had great white birch ply, B2 and it was back in the day about a 1-2 years ago was $50 a 3/4" 4x8 sheet. However, the outer veneer was extremely thin compared to the Columbia outer veneer a good thickness and was less than 23/32, felt like 21/32
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