Plywood: Purbond, BB, or cabinet grade maple? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-30-2013, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I am getting ready to start a sub built around the Rythmik 1510. I want to avoid MDF: Want a maple furniture finish and veneering it gets to be more expensive and painful. More importantly it is messy to work with and I am being paranoid about urea formaldehyde glues. So looking into plywood and read quite a bit about it.

1. Purebond plywood from Home Depot (shipped)
+ No urea formaldehyde
+ better quality than the HD maple plywood
+ Can finish my job with around $70 (instead of $40 for regular HD maple)
- Not guaranteed to be void-free
2. Baltic birch
+ Much denser and almost void-free
- not as nice as maple for finishing
- Expensive (around $120 for my job)
3. Cabinet grade maple ply from a local cabinet shop
+ says void-free
- formaldehyde glued
- expensive ($105 for a 4' by 8')
4. Europly from Columbia Forest (maple)
+ Incredibly looking ply
+ no unhealthy glues
+ void free
- hard to find
- really expensive ($140 per sheet)

I would really like (1) to be a good solution and call it a day. But it may not be. This forum has more expertise than has been actually typed out in the threads. Any suggestion will be appreciated.
Many thanks

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post #2 of 7 Old 03-30-2013, 06:15 AM
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Building with pre-veneered plywood is dicey. If you're really good you can do it, but your joints must all be mitered for square corners, and it's not easy to get it right, especially as the outer veneer layer tends to be very thin and easily chipped at the edges. One exception is real BB (not Chinese faux birch), which has an outer ply the same thickness as the inner plies. If you can find maple veneered plywood with a full 1mm or thicker maple layer that's a different story. Or you can use solid wood on the corners, but that also complicates the build.

If you want to veneer over plywood that's OK, but be sure the plywood doesn't have a deep grain, as that will show through the veneer. That rules out North American softwoods. BB is OK, as is Arauco (radiata pine). I don't care for MDF either, but it's probably the best substrate for veneer, having no grain.

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post #3 of 7 Old 03-30-2013, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I will check with the suppliers about the thickness of the outer veneer.

However, I am planning to hide the vertical corner seams by adding solid wood "legs" as four posts around. These will only be decorative.The top seems will be hidden by a solid wood table top.

My only concern is whether the circle cut outs chip. I am thinking of sandwiching the plywood with some scrap thin plywood to avoid that during routing. I know it works on the table saw, but I do not know about the router.

I would like to avoid BB for the reasons I mentioned above.
Does anyone have any experience with PureBond 3/4" ply? Are the voids a concern?

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-30-2013, 06:46 AM
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marine grade okoume plywood

check it out. Like Baltic Birch as voide free only perhaps more void free with Mahogany veneer. Spendy
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-30-2013, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy133 View Post

My only concern is whether the circle cut outs chip. I am thinking of sandwiching the plywood with some scrap thin plywood to avoid that during routing. I know it works on the table saw, but I do not know about the router.

A down cut spiral router bit will help avoid tearing out the veneer. Or you could use an up-cut bit from the "bad" side.

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post #6 of 7 Old 03-30-2013, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantha3 View Post

marine grade okoume plywood

check it out. Like Baltic Birch as voide free only perhaps more void free with Mahogany veneer. Spendy

Looks really good... But so does europly and is less spendy.
Do you know whether its formaldehyde free? Google says not.

Actually natural bamboo ply is amazing too and even more expensive.

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post #7 of 7 Old 03-30-2013, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petew View Post

A down cut spiral router bit will help avoid tearing out the veneer. Or you could use an up-cut bit from the "bad" side.

Thanks for the tip. Great excuse to get one of these spiral bits.

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