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Thread: Locally made (including grown) high quality plywood - North America??

  1. #1

    Locally made (including grown) high quality plywood - North America??

    I've been using various grades (and sources) of baltic birch plywood for many years and it's one of my favorite materials for a lot of applications. I've heard of Apple Ply many times and understood that it was a domestic source of product that is very similar to baltic birch plywood. I recently visited the States Industries website and was surprised to find that their birch wood inner plies are actually imported from the other side of the globe. They simply do the assembly in Oregon.

    I'm thinking more about the environmental and financial costs of shipping and am curious about what products might be available for some of my purposes that won't require shipping around the planet. Does anyone have any leads on high quality, thin ply, wood composites that are produced in North America (and preferably the mid-west)?

    BTW, I've used some Advantech (Huber wood) sheathing for a few projects and am impressed with it. It's obviously very different from baltic birch plywood but machines nicely with a CNC and has great moisture resistance. I believe that the wood in it is grown in the US but would love to know for sure.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Regarding "great moisture resistance"...

    From "AdvanTech-Sheathing-InstallationGuide-2013-10"

    Exposure
    AdvanTech panels should not be used in applications that will expose the panels to weather permanently. AdvanTech panels are not approved or certified for exterior exposure. Classified as Exposure 1 under PS-2,AdvanTech panels are intended to resist the effects of moisture due to construction delays or other conditions of similar severity, but are not suitable for permanent exposure."

    - Andy - Arlington TX

  3. #3
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    You might look at Columbia Forest Products Purebond. I just can't find the source of the veneer.

  4. #4
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    Thin ply? Like how thin? You also donít say how big your panels should be.

    If you have a vacuum press, you can make your own. Buy sliced veneer from species which grow in the US, like maple. It grows so well here that the veneer is quite likely from the US or Canada. Then lay it up in your press. You get wood which grew in North America, and laid up locally too.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy D Jones View Post
    Regarding "great moisture resistance"...

    From "AdvanTech-Sheathing-InstallationGuide-2013-10"

    Exposure
    AdvanTech panels should not be used in applications that will expose the panels to weather permanently. AdvanTech panels are not approved or certified for exterior exposure. Classified as Exposure 1 under PS-2,AdvanTech panels are intended to resist the effects of moisture due to construction delays or other conditions of similar severity, but are not suitable for permanent exposure."

    - Andy - Arlington TX
    But they are still far more moisture resistant than regular plywood. I believe they are rated to withstand weather exposure for several months.

  6. #6
    Thin ply no chance. Rockshield or columbia purebond. Get off the baltic bich thin ply horse crap. Everyone is calling anything birch baltic birch. Unless you need the exposed finished edge look of true baltic birch any good wuality ply will suit your needs. We buy only domestic core so feel your pain.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Gandy View Post
    BTW, I've used some Advantech (Huber wood) sheathing for a few projects and am impressed with it. It's obviously very different from baltic birch plywood but machines nicely with a CNC and has great moisture resistance. I believe that the wood in it is grown in the US but would love to know for sure.
    Advantech is made in Georgia (and other places?) with local wood. There was a video on Youtube about it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    Thin ply? Like how thin? You also don’t say how big your panels should be.

    If you have a vacuum press, you can make your own. Buy sliced veneer from species which grow in the US, like maple. It grows so well here that the veneer is quite likely from the US or Canada. Then lay it up in your press. You get wood which grew in North America, and laid up locally too.
    That sounds like fun but it's going to be quite a while before I'm looking at buying or building a press for this kind of thing. *

    As far as complete sheet thickness, I've used 6mm, 9mm (might be my favorite), 12mm, 15mm and 18mm. When I talk about thin ply I mean that the plies in the plywood are thinner than general plywood plies.

    * I've been curious about the possibility of hemp based panels in the future now that the legal restrictions have been eased. Much research is needed and certainly techniques and machinery will also need to be developed. But I think it holds a lot of promise both as a product that doesn't require cutting mature trees AND for a product that might perform better than a lot products we currently use. I wish I had the time, money and space to grow some and set up a press to experiment.
    Last edited by Warren Gandy; 09-24-2021 at 8:32 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    Thin ply no chance. Rockshield or columbia purebond. Get off the baltic bich thin ply horse crap. Everyone is calling anything birch baltic birch. Unless you need the exposed finished edge look of true baltic birch any good wuality ply will suit your needs. We buy only domestic core so feel your pain.
    I won't go into what I'm making but most of it is not cabinet backs that are hidden for their entire lives or other general wood working. Stability, strength, machinability and indeed even exposed edge look go into it.
    I've not used Rockshield or Purebond but I'll look them up.

  10. #10
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    I can't see domestic plywood happening, the American lumber industry is under constant assault from domestic sources. A pretty large local mill just shut down here because the USDA just randomly canceled their leases. It'll never come back, the auction of the equipment is happening soon. Every time this happens, and it is all over this country, we get further away from domestic plywood.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    I was surprised the small lumber mill in a small oregon town only peeled sheets to be trucked to a plywood mill somewhere. I had always thought it was a one shop process. Seems shipping wet veneers would be prone to damage with all that loading and unloading.
    Bill D

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