BALTIC BIRCH Plywood – PRO TIPS for WOODWORKERS

BALTIC BIRCH Plywood – PRO TIPS for WOODWORKERS

Hey folks! So what’s Baltic birch? Why would you choose it? What should you know about working with it? What makes it great? What makes it terrible? How is it different from other plywoods? How is it different from Russian birch or USA birch? HERE WE GO!

See our ULTIMATE GUIDE to Baltic Birch on the blog:

Ultimate Guide to Baltic Birch Plywood: Why It’s Better, When to Use It

Chapters:
00:00 Welcome!
00:33 What is Baltic Birch?
01:26 Plywood Basics
02:39 Why Baltic Birch?
03:18 Joinery Options
03:57 Face Veneer Quality
04:50 Apply a Better Veneer
05:07 When to Choose Baltic Birch
05:56 Tips for Working It
07:39 Staining Baltic Birch
08:14 Baltic Birch Size Info
08:37 Dealing with Warped Thin Plywood
09:30 You’re The BEST!

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Sounds
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Sights
Stock Media provided by Woodworkers Source crew
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50 Comments

  1. ALBATROS on January 8, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Be warned ! Cheaply made domestic ,, Baltic Birch " in 4×8 sheets, and it got woids ( Made in USA) also Original European format is 5×10 , split here to double the proffit …. ehhh americans

  2. Roy H. Barrett on January 8, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    Excellent! Thank you.

  3. Lisa Lovely LPA on January 8, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    I been doing wood block printing … using a birch plywood I bought at the box store .. what plywood do you have that might be better for relief carving for wood block printing ?
    I in Vegas area.

  4. Healthy Man on January 8, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    I am trying to decide between birch plywood or oak ply wood. Is there a significant difference? I am using it for a a desk. I bought the standing desk legs so its only for the desktop

  5. Ronnie Fields on January 8, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    So I am going to build my daughter a dresser. The plans say 2 sheets of 4×8 plywood. What type of plywood would you recommend to this build. She wants me to stain Cherry.

  6. Grant on January 8, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    Up voted because you talk metric.

  7. Wayne Springer on January 8, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    Just ordered Baltic Birch packs in 3/4" and 1/2". (today is 11-12-2021) Just no luck finding it in the Space Coast area of Florida. And tired of the junk sold at the Big Box stores. I remember seeing this video and thought what the heck, I’ll give it a shot. Have to wait 2 weeks and the shipping was a bit much but it is what it is.

  8. Philip Ethier on January 8, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    I got an 18mm Baltic Birch panel 30×60. (I would have rather they made it 19mm, as that is spot-on 1/4".) Went to rip a 6" strip full-length. I was surprised that it had a stress in it and closed up on the first foot of the cut. I have never seen plywood do this before. The cheaper oak-veneer plywood I used for a cabinet project and to make my 21" sled certainly did not move during the cuts.

    I HAD intended to use the factory edge to rip this Baltic Birch piece to use for a high fence on my Delta table saw. I wanted to make sure that this fence piece was cut straight and parallel so that I could clamp a safety strip on pieces when grooving vertical. The Baltic Birch that I had ripped now did not have a straight edge on either side.

    I cross-cut the piece to 37" to match the Delta fence. Since I had not yet built an edging-sled this large, I bolted commercial miter rails onto the piece. I didn’t care that it left holes in the piece, and I didn’t need to counterbore the holes. Ran it through the saw to make one good edge, removed the miter strips and ripped the second side. Put in three dovetail grooves for clamps and have a nice safe fence.

    I plan to put a shallow dado in the leftover Baltic Birch, fit it with a long miter guide, and use it full-length as an edging-sled. Several dovetail grooves should allow me to clamp pieces at any angle needed.

  9. bjørn brandt on January 8, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    Man, what a joy to watch your vid. Keep up the good work boss!

  10. dc ocz on January 8, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    The baltic birch comes in different grades which are to a european system. normally one side is better than the other and it is most common in b/bb with b the front face. The entire grading system is only on the front and back faces, the interior isn’t included nor considered by grading, except there maybe mention of voids or not. In the UK I like RIGAPLY and I personally like the finish, it comes in s/bb and available up to 5’x10′ sheets. The thinner the plywood, the more application specific they come and for these birch boards normally they have better grades. For example the 6mm ply in the same family is also known as aircraft plywood with a/b or a/a face. Also generally each ply are 1.4mm thick, when you see them at 1mm its because of the sanding finish. The glues for interior can changes but I found this more to do with supplier, where they are made in the world and their climate, at least that is what I was told. You can get specific thickness but you have to buy a complete lorry load

  11. Jesse on January 8, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    I love Baltic birch. Absolutely worth the higher price. Way less tear out and the lack of voids is fantastic

  12. Michael Richard on January 8, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    can you do box joints on 18mm baltic with a Leigh Dovetail Jig? I am reading lots of tear out. Trying to decide if that jig is something I might want to get.

  13. Steve Gladfelter on January 8, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    I’d like to use baltic birch for some drawer interiors and would like to use a clear satin finish. Are there any that won’t result in a blotchy finish?

  14. Jonathan S on January 8, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    I think it looks great. Definitely doesn’t need veneer

  15. TC Merrill on January 8, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    Adding hardwood veneer to Baltic Birch is a good way to get the strength and appearance of hardwood without as much of the cost. But given this video is about Baltic Birch, it would’ve been helpful if you had used Baltic Birch in that portion of the video.

  16. bob burke on January 8, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    Where’s the wood?…

  17. bgm1911 on January 8, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    Great content on this subject, but I’m not getting what you meant at 6:00 that a 5×5 sheet is harder to handle – a 4×8 is way more difficult.

  18. TC Merrill on January 8, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    I’ve been a long-time fan of Baltic Birch. When other variation I recall seeing was plywood with Apple at least on the final veneer

  19. kluno1966 on January 8, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    Great information!

  20. Zach Voyles on January 8, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    Can it be used out door

  21. Justin Gillette on January 8, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    Baltic birch, the rich mans plywood! I buy 15/32" 5ply Douglas Fir Plywood from Lowes because it it $28 a sheet where BB would be like $80 a sheet. my projects suffer as a result, the finish is poor, the panels bow and twist like crazy, but its more affordable!

  22. AUTHOR Alma Pagan on January 8, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    How will it handle warping & mildew inside a ford transit van conversion?

  23. Edmund Martinez on January 8, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    Thank you

  24. Jeffrey Andrus on January 8, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    Woodworkers Source is one of my favorite stores. The top of the line Blum undermount drawer glides specify 1/2 inch to 5/8 inch thickness for their standard drawer glides. I have some larger drawer boxes to build and thought about using 5/8’s sides with a 3/8 drawer bottom or even 1/2 inch. But you guys don’t stock 5/8?

  25. David Lawrence on January 8, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    For holding down the 1/8” stock in my laser cutter I use the little round button magnets as the bed is metal. You can also stack them for a better magnetic hold.

    Love your videos!

  26. Chicago Peddler Project on January 8, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    Wish I could find 5’x10’ sheets.

  27. Sincerely Yours on January 8, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    Baltic Birch plywood has one very serious problem from my perspective. It’s unobtanium in the part of central Japan where I live. Due to the Wood-Shock the country is experiencing all I can get here is lauan plywood (Philippine mahogany), and most of that only in construction grades. It’s horrible stuff – if the warps don’t get you the splinters definitely will. I’ve sent emails to several US based Baltic Birch plywood sellers asking if they’ll ship overseas but none have responded. If anyone out there can ship to my door the same kind of high grade Baltic Birch plywood as seen in the video I would love to hear from you. I’ll pay the shipping charges, of course, just tell me what they are first. Thanks!

  28. ANRI UZNALI on January 8, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    Maybe you know where to get nice plywood with already applied good veneer patterns? (for van furniture) Maybe something modern

  29. Thomas Bridges on January 8, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    Love Baltic Butch. But not from your company. Yours is way to expensive and the shipping charges are nuts

  30. John Beeck on January 8, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    Congrats on the 100K Subs!

  31. petrokemikal on January 8, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    Some places in Europe sell a beech version also, Its even better than the Birch ply but very expensive..
    A 4mm sheet 19in by 29 inch could be 100 dollars or more !! Its got If I remember correctly 7 layers in just 4mm…. Nicest ply I’ve ever seen but might as well be gold lol…

  32. Jackie Hung on January 8, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    is 3/4" strong enough for a dining table top 2×4?

  33. Emma Rogers on January 8, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    As a new woodworker myself, I find this video helpful. Going into the store to shop for wood can be intimidating, especially when staff start calling out the inches and u have a blank stare. I have to look at the wood first. Thank you

  34. Kalea Canizares on January 8, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    furniture plan x 4 for woodworking project woodworker .

  35. Michael Van Dyke on January 8, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    Is threr a difference between birch and baltic birch plywood

  36. Justas Andriuska on January 8, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    Hmz i wonder if it’s something to do with a location where the trees are from. Cuz i was born in a Baltic country near the Baltic sea. ☺️😀

  37. william green on January 8, 2022 at 9:36 pm

    Awesome info , thank you .

  38. Chris on January 8, 2022 at 9:36 pm

    Where can you buy 3mm 4×8 sheets? I can not any locally or anywhere?

  39. TC Merrill on January 8, 2022 at 9:36 pm

    How is 1/8 inch Baltic Birch any different from standard 1/8 inch plywood?

  40. Howard Bolden on January 8, 2022 at 9:37 pm

    What about sanding?. Especially the edges.

  41. William Stebe on January 8, 2022 at 9:37 pm

    I’m a fine art painter. I have, or had an idea of making some picture frames for my plein aire paintings that are about 11 in by 14 in. Now I know that birch doesn’t stain very well I might have to move to something else.
    What I was going to do is mount the painting to the birch plywood with Velcro or double sided tape after I cut the plywood a few inches larger than my painting. I was looking for a way to clean up the edges. Maybe you have some better ideas? I do like the idea of laminating another kind of wood on top.

  42. Roy H. Barrett on January 8, 2022 at 9:37 pm

    I like the way BB looks.. for its purpose, it may not be figured and whatnot but… I like the utilitarian look in the shop

  43. Andrew Bennett on January 8, 2022 at 9:40 pm

    You do a great job of giving accurate useful information. I know that you are also trying to promote your business, but the content always comes out without any kind of commercial bias. If I lived near your stores, or if I didn’t love my local hardwood store so much, I’d be bringing my little bit of business to you. Thanks for great videos!

  44. Dont Pass Craps on January 8, 2022 at 9:40 pm

    What type of plywood would you use to kerf around a 12" 3/4 radius? I am building a craps table

  45. andrejs gēliņš on January 8, 2022 at 9:40 pm

    One really cool feature of birch in general – soft feel to touch. Makes for ”comfy” feeling drawer dandles, stools etc.

  46. CHfan 21 on January 8, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    If you have carbide knives in your jointer or planer I understand the damage is less a concern. I’ve used carbide router bits on the material and have had no issues. I have wrecked a couple sets of HSS jointer knives on this stuff before I realized what was happening. Make yourself a tapering/jointing sled for your table saw if you need to get dead flat edges for jigs or assembly table tops. As a newer woodworker you may not think you want to start out with this stuff but trust me and go with it, the quality and stability of this product is second to none, if it warps on you then you must really have mishandled it, you almost have to try. If cutting dados, check between different sheets, I have seen up to a mm in variation of thickness between two different sheet, so always check your router dado jig or dado stack set up between sheets. Leaving the edge exposed actually looks great on bookcases, embrace the look of the edge and even get creative with it.

  47. Jack Hershaw on January 8, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    I used the 1/8 plywood birch to make my interior walls of my super tiny off road camper. I used them because I wanted a "seamless look" and the 4×8 foot sheets gave me the option to do just that. My next question is: "what type of varnish, NOT stain, do you suggest to use"?

  48. mfiera28 on January 8, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    Thank you so much I been trying to find out the name of this type of plywood

  49. LordPadriac on January 8, 2022 at 9:44 pm

    I’ve literally never heard it referred to as Russian Birch before. Not even once. I’ve also NEVER seen this fantasy birch plywood that seems to be the favorite of YouTubers with the silly numbers of layers. I think the Woodcraft a couple cities over from me has some small sections of it for sale that cost almost twice as much as a full sheet of birch plywood from the BORG.

  50. Garviel Loken on January 8, 2022 at 9:44 pm

    Fantastic – no BS, down to business

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