While fairly new to the hardwood plywood market, J. Gibson McIlvain has a long and rich history of providing high-quality lumber and lumber products. We’re certainly not about to compromise our well-earned reputation when it comes to plywood! As we’ve explored the varieties of plywood on the market, we’ve carefully surveyed our customers and trusted manufacturers regarding the best cores available.
The two types of cores we offer are veneer and MDF. Veneer is, by far, the most common type of plywood core. Solid wood veneers that vary in thickness from 2 to 6.5mm are stacked in alternating grain patterns, in order to create a stable substrate. Both gaps between layers and the species used for veneers affect the quality of the sheet. Veneer core plywood has great screw-holding capacity.
MDF-core plywood is comprised of wood particles glued together to make a stable product that is much heavier than veneer-core alternatives. The millable substrate of MDF-core plywood offers strong edges. The traditional negativity regarding screw-holding abilities has been all-but eliminated by changes in fastener design. With the use of wider thread screws, MDF-core plywood can hold screws just as well as veneer-core options.
While we have many species available for veneer core, we receive the most orders for Birch and Fir. Birch is very similar to Maple, and plywood with cores made from either species is considered a high-end product. As such, Birch or Maple core plywood contains a higher number of thin plys than does Fir. Since both of these species are harder, using thinner and more abundant layers helps create a highly stable, void-free product. The resulting strong edges are both attractive and unlikely to split; as a result, these species are preferred whenever the edges of the finished product will be visible. Also known as Apple Ply, Maple cores are considered the top of the line, when it comes to veneer core plywood. As you might expect, they are also the most expensive options.
Fir cores are often found in plywood that comes from the Western US. Both weather resistant and exceptionally stable, Fir core plywood boasts fabulous screw-holding qualities. The relative softness of the layers contributes to the evening out of any inconsistencies during the compression involved in the manufacturing process.
Because the HPVA (Hardwood Plywood Veneer Association) grading system gives an alphanumeric designation that reflects only the quality of the front and back face of a sheet of plywood, the all-important core needs to be determined in other ways. This industry-wide dilemma accounts for the vast pricing discrepancies among plywood with identical grading.
At J. Gibson McIlvain, we have dedicated plywood experts that can help you determine the plywood core that best suits your particular application, always providing the same kind of quality our customers have trusted us to offer in solid wood and millwork throughout centuries.
For more information, visit our website at mcilvain.com or call us today at (800) 638-9100.