Using Baltic birch plywood in your projects is a great way to avoid common problems like surface collapse, since this plywood is virtually free of voids on the inner plies. This lack of voids gives Baltic birch tremendous strength, and also presents a very attractive side profile without the gaps and voids common in many other types of plywood. While Baltic birch plywood may be a bit harder to find than other types of plywood, it can be well worth the effort for many different projects. An understanding of plywood grades and composition of this unique type of plywood will show why Baltic birch should be considered amongst the finest types of plywood.
Baltic Birch Veneer
Baltic birch veneer is produced in the United States, but the highest quality veneer for this type of tree is actually produced in Finland and Russia. What sets the veneer from these countries apart is the consistency of surface; Baltic birch veneer from Finland and Russia is virtually free of gaps and voids. This disparity cannot be attributed to quality milling; instead, it reflects the fact that the Baltic birch is indigenous to the northern Baltic regions and is generally healthier in that area. This means that the wood used to create the birch veneer in these countries is less prone to wood bugs and other ailments that can befall Baltic birch trees in more temperate climates.
Different Types And Grades Of Birch Plywood
There are two basic grades of imported plywood made from Baltic birch. Not like mdo plywood, Finland birch plywood is considered the highest quality, because it will have both faces entirely free of patches or plugs. You can also purchase BB/BB grade low grade birch plywood that may have so-called “football” shaped patches on both sides.
Russian Birch Plywood
Russian birch plywood is considered to be just a few steps behind Finland birch in quality, because you will rarely find Russian birch plywood with two perfectly clean faces. Still, Russian birch has layers of veneer that are void-free, which makes it perfect for scroll saw cuts. Once you have cut your pieces, it is easy to cleanly finish the edges to produce a beautiful finished project. Your lumber supplier should be able to point you in the right direction if you decide to use Baltic birch plywood.