Our first article in this series offered you a quick introduction to plywood. We mentioned the advantages of stability and strength that this manufactured product made from many different thin boards glued together has to offer. As long as you choose quality products, there really are plenty of reasons to consider using plywood in plenty of your upcoming projects. In this article, we’ll turn our attention to some of the different varieties of plywood that are currently available.
Veneer Core Plywood
Veneer core plywood is an extremely popular variety for good reason. The veneers in this type of plywood core are quite thin. They measure anywhere from a maximum thickness of 6.5 mm down to a minimum thickness of just 2 mm. Those with the thinnest - and therefore the most - veneers tend to be the most stable of this variety of plywood that is prized for its stability. The number and size of the veneers will distinguish a higher grade veneer core plywood sheet from a lower grade sheet.
Veneer core plywood is ideal for firmly holding screws in place. When people think of plywood, veneer core plywood is often what most readily comes to mind. It comes in a variety of different species, most of which are plentiful and easy to access. The species the veneer comes from can have a definite impact on the overall stability and performance of the plywood. Different mills typically manufacture their plywood from the veneer species that is most readily available in their local area. If you’re seeking a specific veneer species in order to achieve a certain performance result, it would behoove you to ask plenty of questions to find a mill that offers the species that would work best for the application you have in mind.
Next, we’ll turn our attention to some of the most common species used for constructing veneer core plywood.
Fir Core – On the West coast, manufacturers are likely to use fir for constructing their veneer plywood cores. This species offers plenty of advantages. It is both impressively stable and weather resistant. Due to the soft nature of fir, any gaps between the veneers that could lead to problems are typically eliminated as the plywood undergoes the compression process. Fir is also exceptional wood when it comes to its capability of holding a screw.
Poplar Core – Poplar is a more common species if you’re dealing with veneer core plywood manufactured on the East Coast of the United States. While not as soft or light as fir, poplar is still a good quality choice for veneer core plywood. Poplar core’s hard, heavy nature makes it extremely stable. Where it tends to be an inferior choice is for use with exterior projects. Its hardness makes it more difficult to compress, leading to potential problems if exposed to the outdoor elements. Remaining gaps and knots can end up negatively impacting the plywood’s veneer surface. If Poplar core plywood is not properly dried, it can end up delaminating. This delamination can result whether the core is dried too little or too much.
In our next article, we’ll look at a few more of the species that are typically used by U.S. manufacturers who construct veneer core plywood. Then we’ll consider some of the other types of plywood core products on the market.