Cabinet grade pine for cab material? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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bass addict's Avatar bass addict
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I've been using BB in the past for my cabs but I just noticed that my local HD carries cabinet grade pine. I don't care about the material but this stuff appears pretty void free, and is 11 layers as opposed to the 6 or so that the BB has. It's also only 34.00 a sheet.

Is there any reason I should avoid this for cab material?
dwightp's Avatar dwightp
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Baltic birch plywood in a 3/4" thickness should have 15 plies, including the veneer on the front and back. You can get 3/4" plywood with birch veneer on the front and back, but if it has only 6 plies it is not baltic birch plywood.

The stuff with 11 plies would probably be a better bet for speaker cabinets than the 6-ply stuff, though. I would not worry about the species of wood used for the face veneers. It's more important that it not have a bunch of voids in the inner plies, and the 11-ply stuff will probably have fewer voids than the 6-ply stuff.
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar Bill Fitzmaurice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

Is there any reason I should avoid this for cab material?
Is it Chinese? If so it probably uses inferior glue. Also avoid wood that has a thin outer veneer; equal thickness plies all the way through are what you want, and is what BB and Arauco have.
brian6751's Avatar brian6751
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All the 3/4 Baltic birch I have used is either the cheaper 11 ply(not as good but not terrible) or 13 ply (best).
brian6751's Avatar brian6751
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Isn't pine kinda soft?
bass addict's Avatar bass addict
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post

Isn't pine kinda soft?

That's what I would think. Living in a small town, good material is tough to come by. I thought a 12 or 13 ply pine might be better than my 6 or 7 ply BB.
brian6751's Avatar brian6751
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I ordered my Baltic birch through Lowes last time. $67 for a 4x8 sheet. Always have to order it from somewhere.
bass addict's Avatar bass addict
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post

I ordered my Baltic birch through Lowes last time. $67 for a 4x8 sheet. Always have to order it from somewhere.

I'll swing by there as well and see if they carry it by chance.

I have a local shop that carries it, but I really like snagging it from Lowes/HD as I can have them cut it length wise before taking it home. That makes my job a ton easier getting it on the TS. I could cut it at home with my circular saw, but manhandling it by myself sucks.

I have designed my cab to be 251/2" wide so a full sheet cut in half will already be the right measurements. All I have to do at that point is cut the height which is no biggie.
brian6751's Avatar brian6751
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Mine didnt carry it but they special ordered it for me.
bass addict's Avatar bass addict
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Everyone mentions arauco as a great one to use and it's only 7 ply pine.
brian6751's Avatar brian6751
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I don't think Gorilla used Baltic birch. Not sure what he used. Might have been 3/4 arauco. BB may be overkill but it's really nice to work with and it's extremely strong.
bass addict's Avatar bass addict
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post

I don't think Gorilla used Baltic birch. Not sure what he used. Might have been 3/4 arauco. BB may be overkill but it's really nice to work with and it's extremely strong.

Well it's either this or MDF. I'm not a huge fan of that heavy stuff, but if it's superior to 7 ply arauco or BB, I'll go that route instead.

Looking at Rillas pics, he used 7 ply. No offense to him but just because that's what he used doesn't mean it's the best option.
brian6751's Avatar brian6751
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i dont know any plywood that is better than real Baltic Birch.
Sibuna's Avatar Sibuna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post

I don't think Gorilla used Baltic birch. Not sure what he used. Might have been 3/4 arauco. BB may be overkill but it's really nice to work with and it's extremely strong.

he used "cabinet grade" whatever that actually is depends on a lot of things
fperra's Avatar fperra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post

i dont know any plywood that is better than real Baltic Birch.

Appleply is at least as good if not better than BB. And you can get it in 1" thickness.
brian6751's Avatar brian6751
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Originally Posted by fperra View Post

Appleply is at least as good if not better than BB. And you can get it in 1" thickness.

forgot about that stuff. i have never used it. is the price similar to Baltic? is it easier to find?
fperra's Avatar fperra
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Unfortunately, its more expensive than baltic birtch. I recently picked up two sheets (4X8) of it in 1" thickness and it was $148 per sheet. You won't find it at HD or Lowes, but they might order it for you.
antisuck's Avatar antisuck
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Since we got all the plywood geeks in here - anybody got a recommendation for plywood with a furniture grade veneer on one or both sides? I'm looking at an entertainment center project real soon.
brian6751's Avatar brian6751
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fperra View Post

Unfortunately, its more expensive than baltic birtch. I recently picked up two sheets (4X8) of it in 1" thickness and it was $148 per sheet. You won't find it at HD or Lowes, but they might order it for you.

then i personally wouldnt bother with it for subs when BB is more than sufficient and is much cheaper. seems like nice stuff though. guess it depends on your build. Im sure it has a different veneer? isnt it maple?
fperra's Avatar fperra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post

then i personally wouldnt bother with it for subs when BB is more than sufficient and is much cheaper. seems like nice stuff though. guess it depends on your build. Im sure it has a different veneer? isnt it maple?

Appleply can be had with a number of different hardwood verniers. The stuff I got was just birch since I'm painting it with Duratex.
bass addict's Avatar bass addict
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OK, so the consensus is that BB is better than Arauco all things being equal (thickness and plies)?
mobeer4don's Avatar mobeer4don
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antisuck View Post

Since we got all the plywood geeks in here - anybody got a recommendation for plywood with a furniture grade veneer on one or both sides? I'm looking at an entertainment center project real soon.

Call your local cabinet builders for tips on who has hardwood veneer plywood locally in stock or will order it (if google doesn't work). Don't waste your time with the big box stores if you are looking for walnut, cherry, mahogany and other traditional higher-end woods. They will also have the edge band veneer to match. Expect to pay 3x (or more) what oak or birch will cost you.

Red oak is a nice budget compromise if you like the open grain look and sometimes you will find nice red oak plywood at the big box store before the customers (or staff) destroy it. rolleyes.gif
brian6751's Avatar brian6751
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Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

OK, so the consensus is that BB is better than Arauco all things being equal (thickness and plies)?

Yes but it won't be equal. BB will have more plies. 3/4 will have 13 plies. The arauco may have 7
bass addict's Avatar bass addict
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post

Yes but it won't be equal. BB will have more plies. 3/4 will have 13 plies. The arauco may have 7

Not necessarily. I have 6 sheets of BB sitting in my garage right now that is all 7 ply. Same stuff Rilla used on his build.
antisuck's Avatar antisuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobeer4don View Post

Call your local cabinet builders for tips on who has hardwood veneer plywood locally in stock or will order it (if google doesn't work). Don't waste your time with the big box stores if you are looking for walnut, cherry, mahogany and other traditional higher-end woods. They will also have the edge band veneer to match. Expect to pay 3x (or more) what oak or birch will cost you.
Red oak is a nice budget compromise if you like the open grain look and sometimes you will find nice red oak plywood at the big box store before the customers (or staff) destroy it. rolleyes.gif
Good info, thanks.
Gorilla83's Avatar Gorilla83
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Originally Posted by Sibuna View Post

he used "cabinet grade" whatever that actually is depends on a lot of things

Guys - I used 'cabinet' grade 3/4 ply from Chile. It's around 6-7 layers if I recall correctly and mostly free of voids. I've used over 20 sheets of this building random stuff and it's been pretty solid along the way. You do have to be selective when picking through the stack though since many of the boards I see have been jacked up. It's around 32.00 a sheet here and it's almost triple that for BB in my area. Since I'm covered in Duratex, it seems like a big waste to spend so much on BB, especially considering it's special order, etc. I've also stained this stuff and it looks pretty nice as well.

You guys are free of course to use whatever you want, but it's your money. smile.gif
brian6751's Avatar brian6751
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

Not necessarily. I have 6 sheets of BB sitting in my garage right now that is all 7 ply. Same stuff Rilla used on his build.
If its 7 ply its not Baltic birch. I agree with Gorilla, If your going to put Duratex over it, BB is a waste of money.
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar Bill Fitzmaurice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorilla83 View Post

Since I'm covered in Duratex, it seems like a big waste to spend so much on BB
+1. I went to Arauco because it has a smooth grain like BB so it finishes well, it has equal thickness plies, and it's lighter than BB. I only use BB now with 1/8" and 1/4" constructions, for the additional stiffness. With 1/2" the added stiffness of BB isn't required.
Quote:
If its 7 ply its not Baltic birch
It is if that's 3/8". Otherwise, no, it's faux birch, probably Chinese. If it's not from Russia or Finland it's not BB.
http://alliedveneer.com/what-is-baltic-birch.html
madlim's Avatar madlim
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Funny thing about BB plywood is that there is no specific species named Baltic birch, BB is often made either Siberian birch, Silver birch or White birch, or a mix of them. Next funny thing is that neither Russia nor Finland belong to the Baltics.
brian6751's Avatar brian6751
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The problem I have had is that lumber yards don't usually deal with it so you have to be VERY specific with them when ordering. If its 3/4" it needs to have 13 plies. Not 11. Not 7.

I've learned that the hard way.

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