Plywood @ Amazon

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TopRamen

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Amazon has Baltic Birch Plywood in the sizes we commonly use for Rockets.
Thanks to their "Buy Now With 1 Click", the Convenience of it all was too much to resist. I ordered some 1/8"x12"x30" and some 3mmx12"x48".
The price was like $5 per sheet+Shipping.
I'll let you all know about the quality when it gets here.
I'm not trying to say this is the best deal out there, but it keeps me from having to enter any Personal Info or CC Info on any new Sites, and thanks to the one Click thing, it only took under a minute to have both sheets on their way.
It's by far the most "Convenient" Transaction I've ever conducted to aquire a Rocketry Related Item.
Just wanted to share.:D
 

conman13

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I ordered from them as well and mine was all warped. However they replaced it for no fee.


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TopRamen

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I ordered from them as well and mine was all warped. However they replaced it for no fee.


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That's good to know. Thanks.
I currently have enough for my current Build Schedule, so I'll be ok if it is warped and they replace it.
 

georgegassaway

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I rarely buy wood by mail order. Normally it's balsa I want. And too often it is either heavier than advertised ("light" balsa that is medium, when you are paying extra $ for "light"), or warped. Or both. Even Sig screwed me once with an order for light balsa that was more "heavy" than medium, I never ordered balsa from Sig again (Ironically they have had great light balsa.... but they somehow didn't put any of it in my order)

This is why whenever I find good light balsa in a hobby shop, I buy it to stock up on good balsa (Which often has been Sig, until my local hobby shop stopped carrying Sig and replaced it with the horrible Midwest wood).

There was one balsa dealer that i was very happy with. Around 1986-87, "Hobbywoods". A one man in a garage operation. The guy had a contact for getting good quality balsa logs, including light stuff. He cut the sheets himself. Beautiful quality sheets, smooth, the correct thickness, no warps, and the light balsa was indeed light balsa. Most consistent light balsa I ever got. Sadly the guy developed cancer, and died. Someone took over but after another year the business folded.

As for plywood, I usually go to Michaels when they run a 40 or 50% off coupon, and buy a 12 x 24" sheet if they have some that's not warped. If warped, I'll wait for another time, and perhaps try a different Michaels when I'm driving near another one.

- George Gassaway
 

TopRamen

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I rarely buy wood by mail order. Normally it's balsa I want. And too often it is either heavier than advertised ("light" balsa that is medium, when you are paying extra $ for "light"), or warped. Or both. Even Sig screwed me once with an order for light balsa that was more "heavy" than medium, I never ordered balsa from Sig again (Ironically they have had great light balsa.... but they somehow didn't put any of it in my order)

This is why whenever I find good light balsa in a hobby shop, I buy it to stock up on good balsa (Which often has been Sig, until my local hobby shop stopped carrying Sig and replaced it with the horrible Midwest wood).

There was one balsa dealer that i was very happy with. Around 1986-87, "Hobbywoods". A one man in a garage operation. The guy had a contact for getting good quality balsa logs, including light stuff. He cut the sheets himself. Beautiful quality sheets, smooth, the correct thickness, no warps, and the light balsa was indeed light balsa. Most consistent light balsa I ever got. Sadly the guy developed cancer, and died. Someone took over but after another year the business folded.

As for plywood, I usually go to Michaels when they run a 40 or 50% off coupon, and buy a 12 x 24" sheet if they have some that's not warped. If warped, I'll wait for another time, and perhaps try a different Michaels when I'm driving near another one.

- George Gassaway

The stuff I have currently is a mix from LOC and the Hobby Store a couple Towns away (SIG).
I agree, it's nice to be able to see it before you buy it. Even the Hobby Shop has warped stuff, but atleast you can look through it and be Picky/Choosy.:)
As stated earlier, it can be exchanged/replaced, so it's worth taking a chance.
 

TopRamen

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I'm extra satisfied with my first Order of Plywood!!!! Not only is it not warped, but to protect it during Shipment, it was packed with a much larger piece of Plywood!!!!
How great is that?! It's like a Freebie! The larger Piece has the slightest warp to it, but would suffice for Centering Rings, and would make decent Fins if you are picky about which area you get the Wood from.
I'm definitly going to order more from the same place! This is a lot of Wood for the money.





Sometimes I do get lucky afterall.
 

cwbullet

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You can also get some great deals on eBay. I bought 48 pieces of 12" x 12" x 1/8" Baltic birch for $44.95 with free shipping.
 

Winston

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Amazon has Baltic Birch Plywood in the sizes we commonly use for Rockets.
Thanks to their "Buy Now With 1 Click", the Convenience of it all was too much to resist. I ordered some 1/8"x12"x30" and some 3mmx12"x48".
The price was like $5 per sheet+Shipping.
I'll let you all know about the quality when it gets here.
I'm not trying to say this is the best deal out there, but it keeps me from having to enter any Personal Info or CC Info on any new Sites, and thanks to the one Click thing, it only took under a minute to have both sheets on their way.
It's by far the most "Convenient" Transaction I've ever conducted to aquire a Rocketry Related Item.
Just wanted to share.:D
Anything even remotely that thin and that large is going to come with nasty warps. Going from one humidity climate to another will warp them even if they were stored properly prior to shipment to deter warping which most of them aren't.

I always buy shrink-wrapped stacks of six birch 6"x12" in 1/8, 3/16, and 1/4" (or the metric equivalents in mm). The thick stack prevents bad warps. The Revell-Monogram brand is the cheapest and, actually from my experience, the best from Hobbylinc.

I did a comparison of the two brands by buying the same type in the Revell-Monogram and more expensive Midwest brand and weighed both stacks. Same weight for both. However, even though the Midwest birch plywood was listed as such on Hobbylinc's web page and NOT listed as the inferior "craft" plywood, the label on the Midwest plywood stack itself clearly marked it as birch plywood, it also called it "craft" plywood with the warning "Not for aircraft use" or something like that. I returned it for a refund and kept the cheaper Revell-Monogram stuff.
 

Winston

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I'm extra satisfied with my first Order of Plywood!!!! Not only is it not warped, but to protect it during Shipment, it was packed with a much larger piece of Plywood!!!!
How great is that?! It's like a Freebie! The larger Piece has the slightest warp to it, but would suffice for Centering Rings, and would make decent Fins if you are picky about which area you get the Wood from.
I'm definitly going to order more from the same place! This is a lot of Wood for the money.

Sometimes I do get lucky afterall.
Yes, you were lucky. They shipped it right and, apparently, stored it correctly before they shipped it. Please provide a link to your Amazon source.
 

TopRamen

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Yes, you were lucky. They shipped it right and, apparently, stored it correctly before they shipped it. Please provide a link to your Amazon source.
The Seller is "Woodcraft Workshop" http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_hi?ie=UTF8&field-brandtextbin=Woodcraft+Woodshop&node=228013


Thanks for your Tips about the Wood. You're definitely right about Humidity and other Factors being important, and the Odds are good that I did just get Lucky this Time.
I'll go check out that Revell stuff on Hobbylinc.
 

JP Morgan

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All the Plywood I got form Hobbylinc was 1/8" short from being true dimensions, length and width.
Hard to deal with when you need true 12"!
They refused to address my concerns and questions but I'll still use them for other stuff.

JP
 

JPVegh

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I've had very good luck buying plywood online, no warped pieces yet and from several different sources. I've also bought the nicest balsa wood and basswood online. I don't have a lot of choice, it's an 80 mile drive to the nearest supplier of hobby wood and that one is often so picked through that I can't find what I want. Thank goodness for the internet and PayPal.
 

TopRamen

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I've had very good luck buying plywood online, no warped pieces yet and from several different sources. I've also bought the nicest balsa wood and basswood online. I don't have a lot of choice, it's an 80 mile drive to the nearest supplier of hobby wood and that one is often so picked through that I can't find what I want. Thank goodness for the internet and PayPal.
I hear that. We only have one Hobby Store in Vermont. While they usually have decent Plywood and Balsa, the selection is far from Ideal.
Thus, I'll be getting the majority of my Woods through Online Purchases.
 

tmacklin

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All the Plywood I got form Hobbylinc was 1/8" short from being true dimensions, length and width.
Hard to deal with when you need true 12"!
They refused to address my concerns and questions but I'll still use them for other stuff.

JP

All plywood leaves the factory as sheet goods, typically 48" x 96" for domestic plywood and 60" x 60" for Baltic Birch. Each time these sheets are ripped into smaller pieces by a or for a retailer there is a loss of material due to the saw kerf (width of the blade). Assuming a kerf of 1/8", five rippings of of 11 7/8" inches are possible and the remainder is sawdust. If the parent material were ripped into exact 12" widths, you could only obtain four pieces 12" wide and somebody else would get stuck with one at 11 1/2".
 

jadebox

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All plywood leaves the factory as sheet goods, typically 48" x 96" for domestic plywood and 60" x 60" for Baltic Birch. Each time these sheets are ripped into smaller pieces by a or for a retailer there is a loss of material due to the saw kerf (width of the blade). Assuming a kerf of 1/8", five rippings of of 11 7/8" inches are possible and the remainder is sawdust. If the parent material were ripped into exact 12" widths, you could only obtain four pieces 12" wide and somebody else would get stuck with one at 11 1/2".
And, it's not just plywood, most cut wood is slightly smaller than the given dimensions. A "2x4" is actually 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" in size.

The fact that the quoted size of lumber differs from the actual size is something to consider when planning a project that uses wood.

-- Roger
 

georgegassaway

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A 2 x 4 is smaller than true 2 x 4 not due to kerf as much as drying and planing. Also the process is more efficiently done now, less waste, so the same log can produce more 2 x 4's (referring to 1.5 x 3.5 dimensions) than it would 100 or so years ago.

The following part from the wiki link below explains it very well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumber

Lumber's nominal dimensions are larger than the actual standard dimensions of finished lumber. Historically, the nominal dimensions were the size of the green (not dried), rough (unfinished) boards that eventually became smaller finished lumber through drying and planing (to smooth the wood). Today, the standards specify the final finished dimensions and the mill cuts the logs to whatever size it needs to achieve those final dimensions. Typically, that rough cut is smaller than the nominal dimensions because modern technology makes it possible and it uses the logs more efficiently. For example, a "2x4" board historically started out as a green, rough board actually 2 inches by 4 inches. After drying and planing, it would be smaller, by a nonstandard amount. Today, a "2x4" board starts out as something smaller than 2 inches by 4 inches and not specified by standards, and after drying and planing is reliably 1*1⁄2 inches x 3*1⁄2 inches.
They even use scanners and computers to determine how to get the most useful lumber cut from each individual log (and the logs are never perfectly round, not a constant diameter, and not usually very straight either, so several factors for the programming to figure out). That has nothing to do with the above process itself, just even more efficiency added.

- George Gassaway
 
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chris m

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I get my Baltic plywood from menards , furniture grade . But I maybe missing something
 

JP Morgan

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All plywood leaves the factory as sheet goods, typically 48" x 96" for domestic plywood and 60" x 60" for Baltic Birch. Each time these sheets are ripped into smaller pieces by a or for a retailer there is a loss of material due to the saw kerf (width of the blade). Assuming a kerf of 1/8", five rippings of of 11 7/8" inches are possible and the remainder is sawdust. If the parent material were ripped into exact 12" widths, you could only obtain four pieces 12" wide and somebody else would get stuck with one at 11 1/2".
I understand all of that, I used to be in construction. Still, advertised size should be just that! All the other woods I buy
are exact advertised sizes. Having to buy a piece of 14"-16" sheet just to waist 1 1/2" to get a 12" cut is not right. Somebody else should have to eat the waist instead of the end user or start making sheet larger to account for kerf cut loss.
It's False Advertising, plain and simple, a lie if you will. That's why they don't address your questions when you ask them.
OK, I'm done with plywood not being advertised right.

JP
 

TopRamen

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Just ordered some Balsa Sheets from Balsa Machining Services. With a Company Name like that, I hope I can expect a nice Product.:)
 

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I find it fairly rare that a 4x8 sheet of plywood or OSB actually measures 4 feet by 8 feet. It is almost always off by 1/8" or more. OSB tends to be slightly larger than advertised rather than short.

That said, plywood cut down from a larger sheet should be a true dimension. Why should the customer have to get a piece narrower than advertised just so the supplier can get four or five nominally 12" wide sheets from a 48" or 60" wide sheet? The supplier should be making three or four true 12" pieces and then selling the narrower piece as a smaller size.
 

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Plywood that is used as roof or wall sheathing must allow for expansion or contraction caused by fluctuation in moisture content as well as thermal properties. If, for example, joist or rafter spacing is specified as 16" O.C. the sheathing will "grow" as it is laid down. If the plywood comes in exactly 48.000000" x 96.000000" sheets it will need to be trimmed by a small amount where it meets with successive sheets to allow for this expansion/contraction factor, unless one desires a buckled roof deck. Perhaps the brain trust at the APA has taken these factors into consideration when establishing plywood standards.

The best solution, of course, is to go into your local Big Box Retailer on Saturday and raise holy hail with the sales staff and then storm out, vowing never to return. It is what it is.
 

jadebox

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Many things, especially in construction, are sold in nominal sizes for both historic and practical reasons.

As people using them for larger rockets have learned, concrete forms (and other types of tubes) are often sold in nominal sizes. Selling the tubes in various sizes allows them to be nested in shipment, covers differences in manufacturing tolerances, etc.

Not all wood products are smaller than advertised. Some types of sheets of wood are usually larger than the stated size. These are often finished ones intended for use as counter tops or whatever. They are slightly larger for various reasons such as allowing for damage to the edges.

And, for those concerned about the length and width of plywood being less than stated ... please don't measure the thickness. :)

-- Roger
 

LEONARD MUNIAK

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Any of the old hollow core doors people throw out can be easily cut up to salvage the 1/8" plywood.

enter the web site below to watch a short video on 1/8" plywood.


 

rharshberger

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Any of the old hollow core doors people throw out can be easily cut up to salvage the 1/8" plywood.

enter the web site below to watch a short video on 1/8" plywood.


You have to watch what plywood the door skin is made of, luan is inferior to birch but it is a very common door skin material, luan is okay for some rocketry applications but I dont trust it for MPR or HPR fins. Baltic Birch is a superior product and aircraft grade even more so, many wood suppliers either carry or can get baltic birch in 5'x5' sheets in 3mm, 6mm, 9mm, 12mm, usually the cost per square foot is reasonable when bought by the sheet. Hobby plywoods like Midwest are more expensive by the square foot and IMO are nit as good as baltic birch as they dont necessarily contain all hardwood plys.
 

Off Grid Gecko

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I'm actually coming to like luan as a building material, but maybe it's just the particular type that I've gotten from the hardware store here locally. There are numerous qualities and types under that label. Three thin (maybe 0.5mm) birch veneers wrapping the two softer wood pieces. I encourage anyone to take a small fin of this stuff, maybe 5-6" and try to break it. Ir's pretty tough stuff. Again, might just be the type that I ended up with. I used it for backing material on a bookshelf that I constructed last weekend. It also cuts and machines much better than the 3-ply bullcrap that I have leftover which is hardly acceptable for centering rings and chips out very easily. I had to cut my L1 rings several times to get a few that weren't chipped out, and those were immediately reinforced with epoxy surfacing to protect against future problems with sanding them down.
Going to be testing my luan (spelled lauan at the store) on an MPR rocket very soon. At 5mm it seems like overkill for the rocket in question, but it's what I have available at the moment.
 

rharshberger

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I'm actually coming to like luan as a building material, but maybe it's just the particular type that I've gotten from the hardware store here locally. There are numerous qualities and types under that label. Three thin (maybe 0.5mm) birch veneers wrapping the two softer wood pieces. I encourage anyone to take a small fin of this stuff, maybe 5-6" and try to break it. Ir's pretty tough stuff. Again, might just be the type that I ended up with. I used it for backing material on a bookshelf that I constructed last weekend. It also cuts and machines much better than the 3-ply bullcrap that I have leftover which is hardly acceptable for centering rings and chips out very easily. I had to cut my L1 rings several times to get a few that weren't chipped out, and those were immediately reinforced with epoxy surfacing to protect against future problems with sanding them down.
Going to be testing my luan (spelled lauan at the store) on an MPR rocket very soon. At 5mm it seems like overkill for the rocket in question, but it's what I have available at the moment.
Watch out for foreign made plywoods such as Apple Ply (chinese but sold as american) and others, especially the ones sold at big box home centers (orange one and blue one) I have used their birch and oak plys over the years and they are full of voids and delaminations and loose knots (they fall out of the interior plys when cut, they also tend to have really thin outer birch/oak skins and non hardwood cores or possibly poplar cores. Baltic Birch (cabinet or aircraft grade) is excellent for building rockets and I use lots of it, typically the good stuff is sold in 5'x5' sheets or occasionally 5'x10' (iirc), and its all birch. The Midwest ply can be all birch or the core can be a softwood (lite ply is the variant I believe).

Luan or Lauan does come in multiple grades usually all the stuff I have found locally is poor, and chips and splinters easily, it also seems to soften with age (moisture absorption?).
 

Off Grid Gecko

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Watch out for foreign made plywoods such as Apple Ply (chinese but sold as american) and others, especially the ones sold at big box home centers (orange one and blue one) I have used their birch and oak plys over the years and they are full of voids and delaminations and loose knots (they fall out of the interior plys when cut, they also tend to have really thin outer birch/oak skins and non hardwood cores or possibly poplar cores. Baltic Birch (cabinet or aircraft grade) is excellent for building rockets and I use lots of it, typically the good stuff is sold in 5'x5' sheets or occasionally 5'x10' (iirc), and its all birch. The Midwest ply can be all birch or the core can be a softwood (lite ply is the variant I believe).

Luan or Lauan does come in multiple grades usually all the stuff I have found locally is poor, and chips and splinters easily, it also seems to soften with age (moisture absorption?).
Right! Definitely buyer beware. I wouldn't try to purchase Lauan online for sure. The outer laminates are very thin and will splinter up a bit, but so far the "meat" hasn't caused me any of the problems that I've had with cheaper thin plywood which likes to rip itself apart, for the reasons you mentioned and others.
Tonight I started wondering about buying some 20mil birch laminate and making my own material with either a wood glue or epoxy binder and curing it between some flat surfaces. Also started wondering if that would be something people might be interested to buy in 12x12 sheets, but I might be dreaming on that front. In either case, stripping out the thicker plys and adding a strong glue that's meant as a stability bond instead of simply "holding it all together" would probably make for a REALLY strong fin. Might be cool also to roll a tube out of it! :p
 
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