Plywood is a product manufactured from an odd number of very thin wood sheets which are joined together by means of adhesive. The grain direction of each layer or “ply” is ordinarily at right angles to the grain of its adjoining plies. The resulting product is, pound for pound, stronger than steel and is less expensive than solid wood.
There are certain applications where plywood is a better choice than solid wood, both because of its lower cost, and also its larger size. In addition, plywood is available in specialty matched veneers which give added beauty to finer projects.
Practically all stock hardwood plywood is for interior use only. Do not attempt to order waterproof hardwood plywood without first establishing its availability from the supplier.
The length of a plywood panel is usually the dimension parallel to the direction of the grain in the face. Example: Vertical plywood wall panels are 48” wide by 96” long.
Due to the variety of cores possible in hardwood, first be certain your dealer stocks the core best suited to your needs. Then, specifying correctly simply becomes a matter of including all necessary information.
It is customary to write plywood specifications in the following order:
- Number of pieces – order by pieces, not square feet.
- Thickness – net after sanding
- Width – across face grain of veneer.
- Length – always parallel to grain of face veneer.
- Kind of wood on face or faces.
- Type of construction if other than veneer core.
- Grade – A–1, A–4, etc.