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Papa Red
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Discussion Starter #1
It’s been a long time since I had to order birch plywood to build kitchen cabinets. What grade of plywood do most of you order for cabinets? I’m also looking at unfinished verses prefinished depending on cost. But right now it’s the grade I don’t know about. I was thinking of birch A-2 veneer core rotary cut whole piece face. Is that good or can I go a lesser grade? Any help is very much appreciated. I’m looking at 21+ sheets of ¾" and 7+ sheets of ¼" . The kitchen is for myself. Thanks.


Red
 

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I normally use A-2 7 ply American made plywood for 3/4". I suspended using Chinese made plywood in 2009 because it was bad to delaminate. I tend to go cheap so I normally use Purebond plywood which is risky. They tend to veneer over knot holes which leave hollow spots under the veneer. Sometimes you can't see it until you start finishing it and the veneer wrinkles up.
 

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Old School
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The box store hardwood plywood is likely the least expensive as you'll find. Their stock is usually one piece faces (rotary cut), which can give you that wild swirly grain pattern. If you go to a good plywood distributor, you could find in ¾" A-2 plain slice, and A-4 P/S ¼". The box stores don't use the same grading schedule I don't think. That cut will cost more, but will look entirely different.

If you do shop at the box store, look the sheets over VERY carefully.





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I generally use A-1 or A-2 depending on what I can get and how it looks. In the past, I have found shop grade that was as good as any A-1 in the stack. I usually buy domestic if I can get it, but I've also bought some Canadian made ply which was decent. I avoid Chinese ply if at all possible.

If your 1/4" is for door panels, go with the better grade. If it's for cabinet backs that won't be seen, a G1S (good 1 side) shop grade is often good for that and can be $15-$20 less per sheet. But then, I have no idea what you have available in NC.

My personal preference in Birch ply is rotary cut, single piece face, at least, compared to what else is available here.
 

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Papa Red
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the response. I'm not buying from the big box store. I'm going to the Wurth Wood Group in Charlotte or someone similar. An A-2 grade is probably what I'll be getting. The 1/4" is for backs and drawer bottoms, not door panels.

Red
 

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I don't know how it is now but Worth was so expensive, it was like double the box store or more. I started going to the box store and looking when I didn't need it. If they had good stuff I'd buy and stock. I've gotten some very good birch from the box store but it is hit or miss.
 
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