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"Baltic?" Birch at Menards

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  • "Baltic?" Birch at Menards

    I was in the local Menards (midwest US building supply chain) and noticed they had something they labeled "Baltic Birch". Had the thin plys, right color and all, but it came in 4'x8' sheets instead of 5'x5'. Didn't have any other info like country-of-origin, nor was it labeled "applewood" or whatever that American made similar plywood is called. Couldn't tell about the quality as it was a bit over my head.

    Does anybody know if this is real Baltic birch, or just some cheap chinese knock-off? Lowes has a similar product with the thin plys, but the outside plys are very-very thin and flake off easily. And they don't claim it's Baltic Birch either.


    David Griffin
    Tuliptree Craft

  • #2
    Sounds like regular Birch Plywood. Baltic birch is a much higher quality and only comes in 5x5 sheets. Most time special order from the big box stores.
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    • #3
      I do not believe that is BB as Pete said it only comes in 5 x 5 sheets.
      "Still Montana Mike"

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      • #4
        I have only seen it in 5x5 sheets, but who knows.

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        • #5
          Thanks, y'all. Pretty sure it's not regular birch plywood (has the thin plys all the same thickness, and they also had some plywood labeled just "Birch"), though I'm not convinced the birch trees came from Finland/Russia. Might take a $25 risk and see how it works some day when I'm getting adventuresome


          David Griffin
          Tuliptree Craft


          • #6
            Bought a sheet of that a couple of years ago. It is indeed baltic birch plywood. It is used as an underlayment for flooring. It is a little rougher than the baltic birch birch used for cabinets but with a little additional sanding it works fine. I did have one small piece of one of the plys break out where there was a knot in one of the inner plys, but for the most part it was void free. It has 5 plys of equal thickness.

            "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. ...[They] justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."
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            • #7
              I have used some of the birch plywood for making cabinets. It was actually called "paint grade" plywood and came in 4x8 sheets. The outside veneers are very thin, less than 1/32" so I had to be careful when sanding it.

              I also get Baltic Birch ply from the same supplier and it is in 5x5 sheets.

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              • #8
                I looked at some so called Baltic Birch at my local Menards and it was of very poor quality. I think about the only thing I would use it for is underlayment. I wouldn't waste my time trying to use it as project material. Just my two cents worth.
                Stoney aka Al

                This gettin old stuff ain't for sissies!


                • #9
                  I have bought some 1/4" in my area in 4' x 8' sheets that was labeled as
                  Baltic Birch OR Oak finish in the same bins. This did work fine for over-lays,
                  backers, and I did cut some portraits in it that turned out fine. The back did
                  splinter more than high quality Finnish birch but, it wasn't too excessive and
                  the back wasn't nearly as critical.
                  Just recently I was on the quest to find some 1/8" at Lowes or Menards hoping
                  to find it cheaper than on-line (with the added shipping costs) or Craft stores
                  with their unduly price mark-up and have had no success in that search.


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