Mostly Heartwood

Tedswoodworking Plans

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MIDDLE-GRADE birch plywood sold at home centers offers lots of creative possibilities.The veneers may show attractive figure patterns, occasional spectacular curly figure, rich colors, and any combination of sap- and heartwood, including all of one or the other. Saining will minimize contrasting colors, but the only way to make these sheets white is to paint them!

It's smart to shop for birch plywood at a home center. They typically stock a mid-level grade, similar to the paint grade at the hardwood lumberyard, but at home center prices. This plywood will vary widely in appearance from sheet to sheet, and will contain minor natural defects, varying amounts of heartwood and slightly less uniform core material, but you'll save up to 50 percent, compared to the top white grades at the hardwood lumberyard. You'll also be able to look through the stack for the best-looking sheets. Take a friend along to help you look, be careful, and leave the stack neat for the next customer.

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