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'Baltic' Birch Basics [member edit]



Direct video link - https://youtu.be/44PpWE7iRUE


In this video I take a closer look at the benefits of Birch Plywood, sometimes called ‘Baltic’ Birch. For clarity, I’m British and the Birch plywood available here is generally what our American cousins would refer to as Baltic Birch i.e. thin plywood layers with thicker face veneers, all in Birch throughout. In the UK boards that have only the face veneers in Birch are described as such e.g. ‘Birch-faced Poplar’ or ‘Birch veneered’ plywood.


Most Birch ply sold here is exterior grade 8’ x 4’ sheets, and while interior grade 5’ x 5’ sheets are available they’re typically a special order, and I’ve never actually seen any in 20-odd years in the business.


Further reading:-


Plywood: A Material Story - https://amzn.to/3Z6gvfO (US; nope, sorry)


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Other videos of interest:-


Oops! Veneer sanding - https://youtu.be/ojFmNfjaMCA


Cheap or Cheat? I make a cabinet for less cash - https://youtu.be/5oJshwlDVKo


All my ‘Basics’ videos in a playlist here - https://bit.ly/woodworkbasics


Dowel Jig Basics - https://youtu.be/zTj_hiEVfvw


Loose Tenon Basics - https://youtu.be/t86QGUn7dAI


Cabinetry Basics P1 - https://youtu.be/3N_T-YpkBCg


Money, Mouth, Mirka - https://youtu.be/5XDUWQ_Jodo


Ikea Curtain track DIY MFT - https://youtu.be/223QALIbnRc


Workshop cabinets and shelves - https://youtu.be/iaB_CL5md8U


Basic plywood boxes - https://youtu.be/li5AIXw3XPE


New to track saws? Tracksaw workshop & all tracksaw-related videos in a playlist here - http://bit.ly/TracksawWorkshop





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7 Comments


Derek Caldwell
Derek Caldwell
Feb 25, 2023

Great video hopefully they are alternatives soon I got 8 sheets of 12mm birch last week but the quality isn’t as good as it was there was quite a few patches on the face wouldn’t have been able to use it for furniture it was suitable for what I needed it for but it’s a premium price and not really getting the premium product will post some pictures of my birch project when it is finished hopefully this week

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Derek Caldwell
Derek Caldwell
Feb 25, 2023
Replying to

That is it exactly the demand is so high hopefully there’s an alternative soon or the quality goes back to normal looking forward to the video on the alternatives 😀

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I love the idea of Birch Ply, however in New Zealand it is only available from specialist dealers for an exorbitant price. We tend to use marine ply (Meranti) which is much more accessible. Birch ply here is $NZ295 for 18mm. Meranti is $NZ209. Either way a substantial investment.

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petermillard
petermillard
Feb 25, 2023
Replying to

$NZ295 is about £152, so pretty much what I was paying before supplies dried up Don. £210 I’ve been quoted is over $NZ 400! 😯 Haven’t come across Meranti ply that wasn’t a lower grade board, but I think we’ll be seeing some proper alternatives before too long! 👍

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Paul
Paul
Feb 24, 2023

Great explanation of everything birch ply. I particularly like that you said it's older than most people think. I know that during WW1 the Germans built many of their fighter aircraft fuselage's out of plywood, the Albatros D5a and Pfalz D3 are good examples.

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petermillard
petermillard
Feb 25, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Paul! Actually dates back to the late 1800s, according to the book! 😯

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