Anyone have this 'problem' before (HD Birch Plywood)

New sheet of the birch ply from the Home Depot down the street. I was having a mega problem cutting certain parts, lots of char, no cut through at 50% (100w OMTECH) in certain areas. Others, right through like it was paper. Some areas though…yeah, no.
I was disposing of the scraps, and came across what can only be described as strings within the ply itself. Pretty much the entire sheet is the same. While bending up the pieces of scrap, it actually folded and bent like plastic, and didn’t snap like normal ply did. 2 passes at 15ips and 65% finally did the cut, but the black spray was a real PITA to sand off.
Fortunately, baltic is cheaper in the same thickness than the birch, so we’re off another HD product and back to an 80mi drive to get baltic.

To me, this appears to be a foam-core veneered with a thin skin of Birch. I have seen this stringy material in ‘plys’ like this before. I believe this is added during production of the center, or core, for rigidity and strength. Laser cutting this material does cause it own unique issues. I gave up, but that was more about not wanting to use this material for the task at hand.

With the current sanctions, access to real Baltic Birch Ply is ‘difficult’ to say the least. If one can find, the prices have gone up quite a bit.

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It certainly bends like foam when trying to snap the scraps. When cutting it for flexible joints, it really bends nicely. However, it’s not what I got from the last sheet earlier this year.
Fortunately, Frederick Lumber Company in Frederick, MD always has the real imported Baltic Birch, from 3mm and up. Just sucks that I have to drive 40mi one way to get it. But, 3mm BB is $33 a sheet, and this foamtastic Birch ply is trash now. Guess the drive is now required.

Perhaps this will be less expensive overall:

Yeah, shipping costs, but it might be a wash against two hours of driving.

You just made me feel so much better now. My round trip for supplies is 50 miles. Still takes me two hours. I have battle 200,000 stupid fools in town.

It’s not a big deal,
since a: I used to live in Frederick before the socialism and cost of living got to intolerable levels, and I like to reinforce my decision with a quick trip in/out of there.
and b: I buy enough sheets to last me for a few months when I do. Last trip was 10 sheets, so the cost per works for me.
I’ll find another source eventually, otherwise mail order and cut to someone elses specifications will make that need a want and I’ll find something else to make.

When shipping charges are almost as much as the materials, I’ll never purchase from anyone. Anywhere on the planet, this is not $40 worth of shipped materials. Not when it’s not even a 3hr drive away. Maybe they have a minimum $40 shipping charge, I don’t know, but it will prevent me from ever purchasing anything from them.
I just placed a $450+ order for gold mirrored acrylic sheet from a company in Illinois. Shipping was $11, and their cost was substantially less than these folks.

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Which one?

It’s always a good day when I learn something new!


Have never had a box of anything padded this well. 4 sheets of corrugated on every side, full size as the 24x36 acrylic on the flats, and 4 strips per side on the short edges. Not a single crack, dent or chip on any of the 10 sheets, even with UPS handling it. Can highly recommend, even if it is an IL business :wink: (my wife is from there, so she understands ;-))

Bonus: “Free shipping for orders over $85”.

I like that sound! :grin:

Thanks …