Both professional carpenters and do-it-yourselfers find many uses for pine plywood. This wood product comes in many thicknesses and grades, which gives you even more ways to use it. Structural plywood is often more stable than a piece of lumber cut from a tree because of its layered construction. Plywood sheets are readily available at almost any lumberyard or home supply store.
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Manufacturers of plywood slice thin cuts of Douglas fir or other soft pine wood. They then stack these thin veneers, or plies, so that the wood grain of each ply is at a right angle to the one above or below it, which is what gives plywood sheets their strength. A layer of glue between each veneer is typically a phenol-formaldehyde resin. This glue works for both interior and exterior plywood. Speciality hardwoods have a top veneer made from a hardwood, which gives the appearance of hardwood lumber at a fraction of the cost.
A standard sheet of pine plywood is 4 x 8 feet. The sheets are available in thicknesses that range from 1/4 inch to 1 1/8 inches. The actual thickness may vary slightly due to different manufacturing processes. As you design a project using pine plywood, know the weight of the wood. A 4 x 8 sheet of 1/4-inch plywood typically weighs 9.98kg. A 1 1/8 sheet weighs 38.3kg.
Buy plywood sheets based on grade and the way you intend to use it. Good two sides, or G2S, has a sanded finish on the front and back, which is useful in furniture and cabinet making. Good one side, or G1S, also has a sanded finish, but just on one side. It's also useful on furniture and cabinet making where the inside appearance isn't quite as important. Select tight face, or SEL TF, has unsanded sides, but has very few blemishes. With light sanding, it's also useful in furniture and cabinetry. Select grade works as underlayment, subflooring and sheathing in home construction. Sheathing, or SHG, has small knots and defects, but it's still acceptable for building roofs and wall sheathing in home construction.
Various grades of glue are also available for pine plywood. Type A bond contains a permanent glue made of phenol formaldehyde suited for exterior use. It is heat and cold resistant and doesn't deteriorate in wet conditions. Type B glue is melamine-fortified urea formaldehyde resin and is also acceptable for outdoor use. Type C and D bonds utilise urea formaldehyde resin and are for indoor use only. Even though formaldehyde is present in these glues, it is well below governmental safety standards.
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