Plywood Introduction: A Beginner’s Guide

plywood furniture

Plywood definition:

Plywood, also known as thin core board, is a type of engineered wood made by gluing together three or more layers of thin wood veneers or plies. These plies are obtained by rotary cutting wood logs into thin sheets or slicing thin strips from solid wood blocks. The layers are glued together with the adjacent plies’ grain directions perpendicular to each other. Common types of plywood include three-ply and five-ply boards.

In the same sheet of plywood, different wood species and veneer thicknesses can be pressed together. However, the symmetrical layers of veneers must be of the same species and thickness. Therefore, in a plywood sheet, the veneers on either side of the central veneer are uniform in color and thickness.

Plywood definition

Uses of plywood:

Plywood is primarily used in furniture manufacturing, interior decoration, packaging, construction templates, vehicle bodies, ship building, and manufacturing and maintenance. Specifically, it is used as a baseboard for decorative panels, the backboard of panel furniture, and in various wood products and packaging applications

Plywood dimensions:

The typical length and width are 1220×2440mm; The common thicknesses are 3mm, 5mm, 9mm, 12mm, 15mm, and 18mm.

 How is plywood made:

  • Veneer Peeling: First, the logs are peeled into thin veneers.
  • Gluing: Glue is applied to the peeled veneers.
  • Assembly: The glued veneers are assembled together.
  • Cold Pressing: The assembled veneers are cold pressed to form plywood.
  • Hot Pressing: The cold-pressed plywood is then hot pressed.
  • Sanding: After cooling, the edges of the hot-pressed plywood are trimmed, and the surface is sanded.

plywood furniture

Advantages of Plywood:

  1. Efficient Use of Wood: Plywood is made from glued veneers that are arranged in alternating grain directions and pressed together, either with or without heat. This process significantly overcomes wood defects and increases wood utilization, thereby saving wood resources.
  2. Cost-Effective: Plywood is composed of multiple layers, making it much cheaper than solid wood.
  3. The physical and mechanical properties in both the longitudinal and transverse directions are similar in plywood, greatly improving and enhancing the wood’s physical and mechanical performance. Plywood offers good dimensional stability and resistance to warping and cracking.
  4. Plywood retains the natural grain and color of wood. It has a flat, large surface area, providing strong coverage and making it easy to use in construction and applications.

carbide router bits

Tips for Selecting Plywood:

Poor-quality plywood often exhibits significant surface damage. Therefore, when selecting plywood, be cautious of boards with surface damage, dents, or knots, as these indicate poor quality. Additionally, some plywood may have veneers with mismatched grain patterns glued together. Ensure that the joints between veneers are tight and even, without any noticeable height differences or gaps.

1. Check the surface of the plywood for defects such as cracks, wormholes, bubbles, and stains. Plywood typically has a front and a back face, and both should have clear, smooth, and uniform grain patterns. When selecting plywood, ensure that both sides are smooth and even without roughness or irregularities. It is also preferable that there are no knots.

2. Check the plywood for consistent color and grain patterns. Since some plywood is made by gluing layers together, observe whether the color and grain are uniform. Additionally, ensure that the wood’s color matches the furniture’s paint and overall decor. The plywood should blend well with the overall aesthetic of your interior design.

3. Check the craftsmanship of the plywood. When choosing plywood, opt for those that are well-bonded without any signs of delamination. Plywood that is coming apart not only affects construction but also causes pollution. To test this, gently tap the plywood with your hand. A clear, crisp sound indicates good adhesion, while a dull, heavy sound suggests delamination.

 

plywood cutting bits

What router bit to cut out plywood?

Best CNC router bit for plywood is T007 three flutes straight router bit.

  • Featuring three flutes to increase cutting frequency and enhance performance.
  • Designed with horizontal flutes for precise point cutting, reducing noise, improving chip removal, and enhancing heat dissipation to extend tool lifespan.
  • Horizontal cutting edge design minimizes cutting resistance, enabling high-speed operation.
  • Titanium coating reduces resin and glue adhesion, boosting lifespan by over 30%.
  • Made with high-quality tungsten carbide for smooth cuts without burrs or chipping.

straight flute router bit

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