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lauan ply

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  • lauan ply

    So I was at Home Depot today and noted some lauan ply. It looked kind of pretty and I thought of a couple of projects I could use in a red color wood. i bought a half sheet. When I did a search here about it I find that it is mostly used as backer or as a scrap wood. I am disappointed in my purchase now. I could take it back but it is a nice color and would like to use it. I see that it needs to be stacked and is splintery too according to past posts.

    So, okay; how do I use it and what blades might be suggested for cutting?


  • #2
    I would use a reverse tooth blade. You didn't say thickness but I would guess it is 1/8". You can use it for almost any portrait type project, you could use it to make names, you will just probably have to and down the edges as it does get splintery and you may encounter some voids.

    Don't be too disappointed, it is all part of the learning process and you will find that sometimes luan will work just fine for a project as it is very pretty wood.
    "Still Montana Mike"

    "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
    Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


    • #3
      I use luan quite often, mostly 1/4". I search through the stack for the red sheets it looks great when finished. Like Mike said it sometimes has a void or some minor issue. I always keep a good supply on hand.
      Google it. It's not really the junk I always thought it was.
      May the wind at you back .....
      Not be from Lunch.

      Don't take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.

      Beauty is in the eye of the BEERHOLDER

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      • #4
        I also sometimes use the 1/4". Stack 3 pieces and wrap with blue painters tape. With the tape on both sides, some of the splintering will be eliminated. There's not much you can do about some of the voids.


        • #5
          Maybe it wasn't such a bad buy after all. I figured that someone must be using it since a "big box" store carried it. I just didn't know what to do with it after seeing the downer posts. I'm going to try using it for some crosses.


          • #6
            Lauan plywood is used mostly for underlayment in my neck of the woods.

            The stuff they sell here is only lauan on one side. I couldn't tell you what

            kind of wood is on the reverse side but it is not attactive. As has been

            previously noted it does tend to have numerous voids. I do not use it

            for fretwork. I don't like the idea of ruining a fretwork project because

            of a defective piece of plywood.
            Stoney aka Al

            This gettin old stuff ain't for sissies!


            • #7
              Luan is used for underlayment on floors and door skins here.
              "Still Montana Mike"

              "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
              Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


              • #8
                One of the reasons luan is generally avoided for scrolling is that it isn't a plywood, in the sense that it isn't made from alternating, thin layers of wood. Rather, it has a solid core with a thin veneer on both sides. This makes it less stable than baltic birch plywood and the solid core can be prone to breakage in fragile fretwork. The face veneer is typically a lower grade mahogany, which as has been mentioned, is more prone to splintering.

                That said, it has it uses, but I would be very careful making anything from it that has a lot of fine/fragile detail.
                Last edited by Bill Wilson; 05-28-2012, 02:23 PM.
                Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


                • #9
                  I sometimes use it as backing boards for portraits. I like wood backers on portraits. I usually stain the backer with a Mahogany red. The Luan comes out real nice with the mahogany stain.
                  Dan in So.Ca.


                  • #10
                    Well, I'll probably use it for some backing then and will take dgman's advice and stain it mahogany. It's pretty but if it's that brittle I really don't want to try what I had in mind. No point in reinventing the wheel. I might get lucky but that isn't the way it usually works out for me.
                    Thanks all for the input and advice.


                    • #11
                      Cpowell, if you have an idea, give it a whirl, you might be surprised. Worse case, you gain some practice, knowledge and some kindling. Best case, well, there is no limit on best case . . .

                      "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"


                      • #12
                        If I get it real cheap I use it for the top layer when I stack fretwork. Either that or cardboard. Then when I have it all cut out, it and the pattern go in the trash. Real easy. :-)
                        Chuck D

                        When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman.
                        Jean De La Bruyere...

                        Hegner 18, Delta p-20, Griz 14 inch Band saw


                        • #13
                          I used it all the time when I first started scrolling. A sheet was fairly inexpensive and great to learn on. Once you have figured out the methods of cuttting with few errors then get into the Baltic Birch.



                          • #14
                            I personally don't care for Home Depots woods, you really have to watch what you buy.Laun is ok for backer board, and the other wood I keep away from is the sande ply. Edward


                            • #15
                              I use it quite a bit but the only way I can get anything close to clean cut is with a reverse tooth blade. I have had to scrap some projects because of the voids you come across but it does work good for the bottom of a simple box or something like that.
                              It's only a mistake if someone saw you do it.

                              It's not about what saw you drive. It's about the skill you drive it with.



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