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Arauco Ply / HD 'Cabinet Grade' Ply

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
I've seen quite a few builds using this material.

Can anyone attest to the quality of this ply for speaker builds?

I've only used true 5' x 5' BB in the past for my builds. But the BB is always a little hard to get, and of course a tad more expensive.
Edited by smokarz - 10/20/12 at 10:01am
post #2 of 66
I use it when I can get it. Works better than about anything else outside of true Baltic or European Birch.

Arauco is very soft, but it is flat, relatively void-free, and works well. No complaints from me at all. Gonna buy another pile here shortly.
post #3 of 66
Thread Starter 
thanks mike, good to hear.

i am not sure it's Arauco, but I am referring to the $30 4x8 3/4 sheet from Home Depot. I hope we're talking about the same thing.
post #4 of 66
In my area at least, Home Depot doesn't carry Arauco ply, but Lowes does. I used it for a pair of THT LPs and a pair of TLAHs, and it worked quite well. Baltic Birch is a bit nicer, but the Arauco works well and is cheaper.
post #5 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

thanks mike, good to hear.
i am not sure it's Arauco, but I am referring to the $30 4x8 3/4 sheet from Home Depot. I hope we're talking about the same thing.

I think you may be looking at "cabinet grade" based on your $30 price (it just went to $36 here in RI). I have used this for various things (some shelves and a translam mini-monitor that is under construction) and it is very void free. HD here in RI does have what I assume is similar to "Arauco ply"...they call it "sandeply" or something and i think it is 9 layer in 3/4".
post #6 of 66
The cabinet grade ply was $35 here a few weeks ago. That's what I used in my builds and it worked fine. I noticed very few voids, and those voids were very small.

Nothing here was labeled Arauco. Didn't their plant burn down? The 9-layer ply was around $50 iirc.

Tim
post #7 of 66
If it's Arauco, it will say so. It is softwood pine plywood from farm raised Radiata pines that are pruned to minimize branches, and thus knotholes. I used it for my Table Tuba. The 1/2" thick that I used did warp, but easily pulled straight for nailing. My local Menards has it.
post #8 of 66
Smoke,

Why are you going ply vs mdf for your SEOS build. If you are looking for a flat black finish, I'm thinking mdf is the way to go.

My noob understanding is ply is desired for a stained finish and/or lighter weight. Since this is for mains, not a mondo sub, weight isn't that bad.

Just my 2 cents...

Java
post #9 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenCrank View Post

I think you may be looking at "cabinet grade" based on your $30 price (it just went to $36 here in RI). I have used this for various things (some shelves and a translam mini-monitor that is under construction) and it is very void free. HD here in RI does have what I assume is similar to "Arauco ply"...they call it "sandeply" or something and i think it is 9 layer in 3/4".


That's exactly what I had in mind. I think they are now $32 in my area, still very cheap.

I had used them before for shelving in the basement and garage. They seem to look recent, but not sure they are 'speaker' grade.
post #10 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Java View Post

Smoke,
Why are you going ply vs mdf for your SEOS build. If you are looking for a flat black finish, I'm thinking mdf is the way to go.
My noob understanding is ply is desired for a stained finish and/or lighter weight. Since this is for mains, not a mondo sub, weight isn't that bad.
Just my 2 cents...
Java


I just hate cutting MDF, and they are easily dented while building or moving them around.

I agree, Erich's MDF flatbacks look very nice and better quality than the MDF at local hardware stores.

If I hadn't invested so much $$$$ in tools, I would definitely get the flat packs. I feel really guilty doing so while the tools are lying around unused.

I am looking at the HD ply, because I'll probably end up painting them. If I desire a stain finish, I would go with the BB as I did in the past.
post #11 of 66
I've seen Arauco once at Home Depot and keep asking for it. I've always been told they've never had it and can't order it.

Then I finally realized that they call it "sanded pine", and even though it has the Arauco name stamped all over it, Home Depot employees don't recognize the name.

Once I finally figured this out and asked about availability, I was told they only get a single order once a year in November. (?!?) Oh well, it's almost November.

I've used 3/8 and 5/8. No complaints with 5/8 but the 3/8 warped terribly and due to the narrow panels I was using it was very difficult to pull back into shape during building. If I use 3/8 again I won't cut it until I'm ready to glue everything together, and do it quickly. Other than that it's lovely stuff, very light, but soft. You can dent it with a fingernail.

If anyone knows of a more consistent supplier in southwestern Ontario, let me know.
post #12 of 66
This is 1/2 inch Arauco.



3/4 looks the same, just adds 2 plies to the center. I can't get it at Lowes out here, HD used to have it. Now I have to drive up to Compton's in Seattle to get it cheap.
post #13 of 66
I get mine from the local building supply. Haven't checked availability since half the Auraco factory burned down though. Pic is 3/4" sitting on 1/2". The 1/2" is factory edge - 3/4" ripped.. These are both over a year old.

post #14 of 66
Thread Starter 
Went to HD twice this week to look for their $30 'cabinet grade ply', but haven't seen them around.

Anyone know if they still stock them?
post #15 of 66
I was HD here about a week ago and they had the cabinet grade ply.. it's not $30-- I think it was $35 (maybe $39?). They also had "sand-e-ply" (I've forgotten the price) and some sort of oak ply for $50. I could see large voids in the edges of the oak ply.

Tim
post #16 of 66
Thread Starter 
I see the poplar ply, it was either $35 or $36.

I don't think it's the same stuff that I bought before.

It looks different.
post #17 of 66
Bought 3 sheets of 3/4" from the local HD (north Georgia) about 2 weeks ago for $34 per sheet. Display was marked "cabinet grade" but each sheet was labeled Arauco. Cut into about 60 pieces for a large wine rack & found only 1-2 small voids per sheet. I've also used it for several speaker builds & fill the (rare) void with wood glue.
post #18 of 66
Thread Starter 
Guess I'll have to go back in and ask for the cabinet grade ply.
post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

I've seen quite a few builds using this material.
Can anyone attest to the quality of this ply for speaker builds?
I can, as will a few thousand builders of my cab designs.
Quote:
here in RI does have what I assume is similar to "Arauco ply"...they call it "sandeply
Sandeply isn't Arauco. It is poor quality, as is Blondewood. Arauco is the only big box plywood I've found to be usable.
post #20 of 66
This is what I used:

IMG_1416.JPG
post #21 of 66
Mr. Tim, I have run about 100 sheets of exactly what you show in your picture above thru my cnc machine this past year (in the summer of 2011, it was $25 a sheet but has steadily gone up). I have built speakers, large and small, murphy beds, display cabinets, kitchen cabinets, etc. and love the stuff.
post #22 of 66
I recently built a workbench and speaker stands with this stuff. It seems like good material for the price although I hadn't considered it for speaker builds. Good to know, my HD usually has it in stock.
post #23 of 66
Thread Starter 
Found a link for this product on the HD web site. They do call it Arauco ply online.

Unfortunately, all my local HD are Out of Stock.


http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202519005/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=cabinet+grade+ply&storeId=10051
post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

I was HD here about a week ago and they had the cabinet grade ply.. it's not $30-- I think it was $35 (maybe $39?). They also had "sand-e-ply" (I've forgotten the price) and some sort of oak ply for $50. I could see large voids in the edges of the oak ply.
Tim

Dont do it, had a void that ran through the entire sheet of one, didnt find it until I had cut into it. The BB i found looks as if two sheets are perfect, the other two are going back to be exchanged for two more that appear a little better on the edges. Overall I am very impressed with the wood quality tho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

Found a link for this product on the HD web site. They do call it Arauco ply online.
Unfortunately, all my local HD are Out of Stock.
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202519005/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=cabinet+grade+ply&storeId=10051

Don't expect that to change for the better as their main plant in Chile burned down.
post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

Dont do it, had a void that ran through the entire sheet of one, didnt find it until I had cut into it.

Damn, really? I just went through 2 sheets for random stuff I built of this stuff and it was virtually void free. frown.gif I'm getting ready to kick off a subwoofer build and was hoping to pick this stuff up vs. MDF since it's a bit easier to finish. I'll take a hard look at what's in stock, but I can always go back to MDF. Birch plywood is available at my local big box, but Baltic birch is no where to be found in my area. frown.gif
post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

Found a link for this product on the HD web site. They do call it Arauco ply online.
Unfortunately, all my local HD are Out of Stock.
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202519005/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=cabinet+grade+ply&storeId=10051

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/5-8-inch-sanded-pine-plywood-19-32-inchx4x8/967017

Same product (except for thickness), same picture even, but in Canada they call it sanded pine.
post #27 of 66
My local HD's cabinet grade ply is full of voids. The only ply they stock which appears to have a halfway decent cross section has paper thin veneer that's certain to peel.
post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Face2 View Post

My local HD's cabinet grade ply is full of voids. The only ply they stock which appears to have a halfway decent cross section has paper thin veneer that's certain to peel.
Solution: Don't go to HD. Go to a real lumberyard. If you're looking for cabinet grade plywood find a local kitchen cabinet maker in the Yellow Pages, ask him where he gets his wood.
post #29 of 66
The sandeply from home depot looks good to me. The sales a associate told me it was void less. Can anyone confirm? Goes for about $45/sheet
post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 View Post

The sandeply from home depot looks good to me. The sales a associate told me it was void less. Can anyone confirm? Goes for about $45/sheet
Sandeply is sub-standard.
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