Baltic Birch Supplier in North East

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Baltic Birch Supplier in North East

Post by dfidler » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:30 pm

Hi All,

Disclaimer: I'm new to woodworking, please be gentle. :)

I've made the odd item out of the cheap "external plywood" that you can buy from Maxwell's DIY and I'm astonished by how bad that ply is (impossible to route cleanly, voids every few inches, warps if you breathe on it the wrong way) and I'm looking for something better.

I keep hearing about "baltic birch" and how magical it is but I can't seem to find a local supplier that either knows what it is (which surprised me) or that can tell me if their stock is "baltic" (which, I understand, is significant because the baltic birch's manufacturing process is different from normal ply). A couple of places have told me they have BB/BB birch ply. Neither could tell me if it was baltic birch. One did call their supplier and were told that the birch would be sourced from either Russia, Canada or Finland. But that doesn't really answer my question either. Either way, no one seems to have the 5x5 sheets which I'm reading I should look out for.

Does anyone know where I can source some baltic birch in the North east (Newcastle/Durham area) and what I should expect to pay, per sheet, these days? Note: I've seen it online, delivered, for £130/sheet, which seems pretty high.

Or if baltic birch ply is too hard/expensive to get these days, can anyone recommend an alternative

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Re: Baltic Birch Supplier in North East

Post by promhandicam » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:44 pm

I'm not an expert on ply, but Baltic ply would refer to birch ply coming from the baltic region which would include Finland. On the odd occasions I've wanted decent quality ply I get Latvian birch ply from my supplier Richard Russell Panels, but they are in the South East so not much help to you. You want to get, if you can, b/bb grade or s+/bb grade as one face at least should be free from plugs although if you are lucky the more common bb/bb grade can be acceptable.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Baltic Birch Supplier in North East

Post by thedesignman » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:12 pm

Perhaps a good place to start would be Arnold Laver. I buy from them by the pallet in standard 8 x 4 sheets.

Baltic birch plywood orginates in the Baltic states and right across Russia. Most of what I buy comes from northern Europe and Russia's Baltic region. Occasionally it's originating in the very far east of Russia near Alaska.

It's a superb material to work with especially if you have a CNC machine. Most sheets available are BB/BB as the previous person has said but do expect some plugs on the surface. They are usually very well plugged with only the occasional defect.

The material itself is very well bonded and what I call bomb-proof. It is very unusual to find a void. I have used a simple oil by Osmo just to bring out the natural colour of the wood without any sanding and it's surprising what a great finish can be had with just three coats. I have also tested small samples immersed in water for a couple of days and no sign of delamination whatsoever.

Price wise.......12mm is around £30/35 per sheet and 24mm £60 per sheet ........ all + vat. Those prices are for fairly large quantities.

Hope that helps.......

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Re: Baltic Birch Supplier in North East

Post by mezzoo » Sat May 26, 2018 11:52 am

Hi. The plywood you want is from Latvia (where I live) made by company "Latvijas Finieris". It's best quality plywood in world. It is called Baltic birch plywood and it's so good, because not only top and bottom sheets are from good quality, but every single sheet. If it would be required in bulk, I could import them in UK as my friend owns delivery company in Europe. But to sell only few sheets it would be expensive for you. I can get them in different sizes as well not full size sheets from factories that are making furniture from them and have them in different sizes in sock - friend works there.

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Re: Baltic Birch Supplier in North East

Post by thatsnotafestool » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:16 am

Is there an MKM Building Supplies near you ? I buy 22m sheets from them at under £30 a sheet + VAT - quality is B/BB and bloody good, too.

Or if not, is there an Andersen's nearby? OK...not ply..but if the quality of their ply is anything like the quality of the 2 cu m of unsorted 9 x 2 redwood I just had delivered then you won't be disappointed.

Just for info, I'm a few miles West of you..well, more than a few !! the A69 near Brampton. Those of us in the True North...not like those soft Southern wussies in Yorkshire...need to stick together !
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Baltic Birch Supplier in North East

Post by Mb_carpentryltd » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:02 am

James Latham’s in Gateshead stock birch ply in various grades and finishes hth

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