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What is plywood?

Plywood - it's constructed from thin layers of cross-laminated timber – the direction of the grain alternates with each one – that are compression - moulded together with an adhesive to form a single sheet. That sheet can be anything from 0.4 to 50 millimeters thick and any wood can be used, from spruce to eucalyptus. The most common, and one of the strongest, is birch.

What's so great about it? "Strength and stability are the benefits of plywood," says craftsman Ed Shaw-Stephens. "It is hard to snap because the grain of each layer goes in opposite directions." Even before sealing, plywood is water resistant and, due to the sizeable sheets (2.4 x 1.2 meters) that it comes in, it's economical. "It's also very versatile," says Chris Sutton, managing director of James Latham. "It can be machined, drilled, screwed and finished in anything from paint to lacquer."

What is plywood?

Does it look good in its raw state?
"The beauty of plywood is the end grain, which exposes how it was made," says architect Simon Astridge. The surface has natural timber markings and is, in a sense, a "ready-made" material; other than a lick of clear lacquer to seal it, plywood does not need further enhancement. It looks effortlessly contemporary.

What is plywood?

How can I use it? Low-grade plywood is traditionally used as a structural material to box in areas around pipework or level floors for underlay. Now, however, better-quality versions are used for aesthetic purposes, such as to clad walls and ceilings, or build cabinets for kitchens. The key to undertaking any large plywood project is using a skilled joiner but, once the sheets have been cut to fit by a carpenter, smaller jobs are not beyond the capabilities of someone with basic woodworking skills.

Is it durable enough for floors? Yes, as long as it is sealed correctly – you'll need to apply more coats of lacquer than the tin recommends. A plywood floor can reduce labour and expense, as you can fix whole sheets rather than individual floorboards.

9-01-2016, 13:42
Autor: kastiel
Views: 1 329

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