Plywood is used in all sorts of building projects; used in rough carpentry for sheathing, sub floors and other building projects. It is also a critical component to cabinet making; a plywood veneer gives you large sections of the material in which you are working with.
Fine vs. Rough
Plywood is a critical component to fine carpentry and cabinetmaking as it provides solid strength in larger pieces than you would find in solid wood material. The application of a veneer to plywood adds about 1/8” of wood to the face of the plywood, this makes it stainable and paintable which is great for making cabinets.
Plywood is used in rough carpentry for sheathingexterior walls, roofs, and sub floors; it is a critical component of the home. SPF is a common plywood used in building projects, made from solid spruce,pine and fir (same as studding material) which are similar in characteristics and provide a good solid material. OSB is also used in building, however the material has poor performance with water and has a very select use.
Veneer Poplar Core
A poplar core is a very solid core for plywood, made up of multiple layers of solid poplar with a veneer of your choice on top. This creates the stability of a solid piece of wood at a much lower and affordable price compared to piece of solid wood of the same size. A poplar core plywood is also more resistant to twisting, swelling, peeling, and cracking versus a particle core.
Veneer Particle Core
A particle core is a much cheaper core then the poplar core and is known for being straight, square and true. This core is made up of multiple wood particles glued together to create a sheet and then a veneer of your choice is added to the face. This core is not nearly as strong as the poplar core and has very little resistance to moisture which will cause swelling and expansion in the core.
Plywood comes in a variety of thickness’, standard plywood ranging from 1/8” to 3/4” gives you the ability to create multiple items. The Thin plywood 1/8”, 1/4” are more used for projects which do not require structure from the plywood but the appearance or the addition of the thickness to an already thick object. Whereas the 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8”, and 3/4” sheets add some more stability to the structure.
Other Plywood Materials
MDF and Particle Board are also available in full 4×8 sheets. MDF is a much more cost effective material to use versus real wood, however finishes are restricted to painting. Particle Board sheets are used more as a substrate where they will not be subject to moisture.