All About Baltic Birch Plywood
Baltic birch plywood is a common choice for cabinet and furniture makers. It is naturally tougher and more durable than other varieties of plywood and, depending on the grade, has an appealing, uniform face.
The Baltic name comes from the area where the trees are gathered, which is the Eastern European Baltic Sea region. Baltic birch plywood is made entirely of compressed and bonded birch veneer (thin sheets of birch wood). The thickness of each layer of birch veneer is the same, resulting in a more consistent, void-free, stable, and aesthetically appealing sheet of plywood.
Baltic birch plywood has an appealing stacking line pattern on the edges (achieved by alternating the orientation of each inner ply), making it a popular material to use when an exposed plywood edge is needed. Front and rear veneers on plywood are typically thicker than top level veneers on other types of plywood. This increases the durability of birch 4×8 plywood and makes it less susceptible to chipping or sanding damage.
After bonding, the entire sheet is laminated with exterior grade glue, boosting its strength and stability even further.
Baltic Birch Plywood Grade:
While Baltic birch plywood is more homogeneous and less prone to voids, different grades indicate the amount of perfection. Grade B/BB is the highest level of Baltic Birch.
This is read as Face/Back grade, with each letter designating a different group of faults. The face of B/BB Baltic birch plywood will have a light, consistently uniform colour with no faults, while the back will contain up to six color-matched spots no larger than an egg.
This grade board’s core plies will all be single, solid pieces of birch veneer. This Baltic birch grade is ideal for cabinets or furniture with an exposed finish (for example, pieces that will be stained rather than painted or covered with a finishing veneer).
Lower grades of Baltic birch plywood allow for more faults, such as knots, endless patches, and minor splits.
Our Guide to Baltic Birch Plywood contains more information on the various grades of 4×8 plywood birch. Baltic birch, like most plywood, is used for a variety of purposes.
Baltic birch, on the other hand, is frequently used for structural purposes as well as to manufacture cabinets and furniture due to its endurance and consistency.
It’s especially popular for kitchen and bathroom cabinets since the external grade lamination makes it less prone to water damage. Baltic birch is well-known for its easy machinability and higher screw holding strength when compared to other plywood choices. Baltic birch plywood is ideal for parts that require dovetail or finger joints due to its robustness, consistent plies, and thicker face and backing veneer.
When trying to create finely machined joints, the face veneers of other varieties of plywood frequently chip, fracture, or break off, whereas Baltic birch holds together well.
Baltic birch has several speciality uses beyond from cabinets and furniture. It’s a popular plywood for skateboard cores (due to its strength, durability, and affordability), speaker boxes, and even the shell of bespoke trailers.
Forest Plywood offers Baltic birch plywood in grades ranging from B/BB to C/C. Forest Plywood now sells bigger Shop Grade 6060 Baltic Birch plywood sheets.