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Plywood is made from very thin sheets of peeled wood grain known as veneers. It is layered together with each layer's grain perpendicular to the surrounding two layers. The outside layers always have vertical or lengthwise grain, and plywood panels always have an odd number of "plies." The even-numbered layers run width wise, or horizontally through the sheet. Each layer is sprayed with glue, which is formulated differently depending on usage.

There are two main differences between interior and exterior solid wood plywood. The first is in the materials used. Interior plywood is made from a range of veneers, from very fine quality hardwoods to rough, patched pine or "whitewood." Exterior plywood is typically sound for finishing only on one face and is not made from softer grains or fine hardwoods in most cases. The second main difference is in the glue. Interior plywood is rugged and lasts well, unless subjected to extreme humidity or water, which causes delamination. Exterior plywood has a waterproof adhesive, which makes the seams between veneer impervious to water. The glue will last as long as the wood.



The A in ACX represents the front face and indicates a veneer that is high quality with good grain. This side of the panel is designed for display, or installation facing out. The C in ACX represents the back face, which may be considerably rougher with visible seams, patches and voids. The X in ACX represents the exterior rating, which indicates the use of exterior rated waterproof adhesives in the manufacture of the plywood. ACX is a designation given to a traditional wood exterior plywood panel with one sanded face and one rough face. It can be used in a wide variety of outdoor projects.


Plywood commonly comes in plies of three, five, seven and nine with the lowest numbers representing the highest class plywood. CDX plywood is made from pressing more of these plies together. This creates a much denser and thicker piece of wood. CDX stands for class C to D exposed plywood. CDX plywood is the lowest class of plywood and is often used in the construction industry as a base for other materials. The wood is extremely durable, which makes it ideal as a material in a roofing base. However, it cannot stand prolonged periods of exposure to water so it must be covered by another material. CDX plywood can also be used in many different craft projects. The surface of CDX plywood can be sanded easily, which will prepare it for a coat of primer and paint.


Oriented strand board (OSB), is an engineered wood particle board formed by layering strands (flakes) of wood in specific orientations. In appearance, it may have a rough and variegated surface with the individual strips of around 2.5 x 15 cm (1" x 6"), lying unevenly across each other. The layers are created by shredding the wood into strips, which are sifted and then oriented on a belt or wire cauls. The mat is made in a forming line. Wood strips on the external layers are aligned to the panel's strength axis, while internal layers are perpendicular. The number of layers placed is determined partly by the thickness of the panel. Individual layers can also vary in thickness to give different finished panel thicknesses (typically, a 15 cm layer will produce a 15 mm panel thickness). The mat is placed in a thermal press to compress the flakes and bond them by heat activation and curing of the resin that has been coated on the flakes. Individual panels are then cut from the mats into finished sizes. OSB is a material with high mechanical properties that makes it particularly suitable for load-bearing applications in construction.[1] The most common uses are as sheathing in walls, flooring, and roof decking. OSB also sees some use in furniture production. OSB has greater load bearing capacity, is uniform and less expensive than ACX or CDX.


Marine plywood is manufactured from durable face and core veneers, with few defects so it performs longer in humid and wet conditions and resists delaminating and fungal attack. Its construction is such that it can be used in environments where it is exposed to moisture for long periods. Each wood veneer will be from tropical hardwoods, have negligible core gap, limiting the chance of trapping water in the plywood and hence providing a solid and stable glue bond. It uses exterior Water and Boil Proof (WBP) glue similar to most exterior plywood’s.


Known for its high-quality faces and stable composed-core construction, exterior-grade AraucoPly is available in A-grade and B-grades. Made from Radiata pine pruned logs for fewer knots, AraucoPly panels are laid up on composed cores using exterior PF resin. AraucoPly sanded panels are manufactured in accordance with the US PS1-09 product standard. AraucoPly ACX and BCX panels are PSI-compliant, and are edge-stamped as such by TECO and Pittsburgh Testing.


A manufactured wood panel made from thin sheets of lauan wood veneer. This wood is flexible, workable, re-usable and inexpensive. Lauan plywood is not shown to react well to moisture exposure. This is a great material for subflooring but do not use it as underlayment for tile.

Veneer Plywood


In woodworking, veneer refers to thin slices of wood, usually thinner than 3 mm (1/8 inch), that typically are glued onto core panels (typically, wood, particle board or medium-density fiberboard) to produce flat panels such as doors, tops and panels for cabinets, parquet floors and parts of furniture. Veneer is obtained either by "peeling" the trunk of a tree or by slicing large rectangular blocks of wood known as flitches. The appearance of the grain and figure in wood comes from slicing through the growth rings of a tree and depends upon the angle at which the wood is sliced. Nielsen Building Materials sells a variety of wood veneer plywood, including: Russian birch, birch, oak, pine, agathis, and mahogany.


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