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Best Birch Plywood – ARTnews.com


Birch plywood is a popular choice for hobbyists, artists, and crafters when something sturdier than balsa wood is needed. It is strong, durable, and fine grained, yet more affordable than many other wood options. Sold in precut sizes small enough for easy handling, birch plywood sheets for crafting can be sliced with a range of tools, from professional laser cutters to hobbyist machines such as Cricuts. Whether you’re planning to build a scale model, make a desk set, or paint a tondo, this user-friendly wood is a (literally) solid choice. Ahead, find our top picks of birch plywood materials.

1. Midwest Products Craft Plywood

Started by model airplane enthusiasts in 1952, Midwest supplies kits and materials to model builders of all stripes. Their 1/4-inch plywood with birch veneer is too heavy for model planes, but it is ideal for projects requiring something heavier that will still cut easily. As one would expect from a company specializing in art and craft materials, Midwest’s plywood sheets are tightly laminated and have a smooth surface, though note that they may be as much as 1/8 inch smaller than advertised. They are sold individually and available in 4-by-12-inch, 6-by-12-inch, and 12-inch-square sizes. 

Best Birch Plywood

2. Anderson Baltic Birch Plywood

If you’re looking for thinner pieces of wood, consider these panels, which measure about 3 millimeters in thickness and are available in five sizes. Pieces will probably be slightly off from their stated size due to the company’s cutting process, but if you plan to trim them anyway, that won’t pose a problem. The sheets are B/BB grade Baltic birch, which means they have a finished top side and a bottom side that may have matched plugs. Appearance-wise, these have pleasing grain patterns and are a nice, uniform light color. Baltic birch panels are popular with woodworkers and crafters as the plies alternate in grain direction, making a sheet that will resist warping. This pack of six 12-by-24-inch sheets is ideal for midsized projects.

3. Woodcrafter Baltic Birch Plywood Circle

If you need a round piece of wood and don’t want to go through the hassle of measuring and cutting it yourself, this is the option for you. Made of 1/2-inch-thick Baltic birch plywood, it can be purchased in diameters as small as 6 inches and as large as 22 inches, and in 2-inch increments in between. The wood is cut by a computer-controlled machine to ensure a precise outline. However, the cut is not as clean as one made by a laser cutter, so a light sanding of the edge is recommended before use.

4. Woodpeckers Baltic Birch Plywood

Available in numerous square and rectangular shapes, this 1/8-inch-thick B/BB-grade plywood is perfect for artists who are seeking materials in specific dimensions. It is available in nine sizes, from 5 by 7 inches to 24 by 24 inches. It is also ideal for classrooms and other group settings because the sheets are available in large, economical packs of 50, 100, 250, and even 500. These pieces do show more inconsistencies than products from other brands; expect, for instance, a few knots, some surface patchiness, and minor variations in density. But the boards will still run quite smoothly through saws and laser cutters, making them a great inexpensive option.

5. Woodnshop Baltic Birch Plywood

If you need birch plywood for larger-scale work, look no further than this five-ply option. Each piece measures 24 by 30 inches (give or take a hair) and has a thickness of about 6 millimeters so it won’t bend or flop around as you move it. The wood features neat edges, is splinter-free, and is grade B/BB.

Best Birch Plywood

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