Looking for fine plywood

I’m looking for high quality plywood for making stock boxes with sliding lids for my chisels etc.
Probably 6 or 9mm would do fine with no voids.
Does anyone know of a good supplier in the Northeast?

I don’t know of a supplier but I would use good quality birch plywood. I can’t remember the grading system but it should be available without voids. You need to consider the finish you require some grades have filled knots on one or both faces. Birch Plywood with both sides with no filled defects is the most expensive. If you are only making small boxes you may be able to cut the parts you require between the filled defects though you will end up with more scrap.

Thanks John, yes it’s birch I want, grade B/BB is about the best you can get without paying silly money.
It’s just finding a timber merchant that knows what they’re doing and what they’re selling.

If you’re only after small sizes for chisels etc, why not make your own? Buy some reasonably priced veneer and laminate it together with Titebond 2 or 3 under cauls with a few clamps to squish it all together. For small stuff I’ve often made my own ply and you end up with a super dense material.

Not able to offer any answer to the best supplier in your area, but being relative new comer to the forum and a novice woodworker I find the hardest thing with my hobby is knowing where to go to purchase the raw material I need.
I’m fairly mature but still find going into wood suppliers daunting and intimidating. I feel Axminster have missed a great opportunity here to team up with suppliers who they would recommend to their customers as being willing to go the extra mile in ensuring that people like myself get good advice and are not seen as either time wasters or cash cows!

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I haven’t used them (yet) but Latham Timber seems to know all about plywood - I’ve had some samples and useful technical info.

There is a branch at Gateshead if that helps?
James Latham Gateshead

Nest Road

Felling Road Industrial Estate


Tyne and Wear

NE10 0LU



T0191 469 4211

F0191 469 2615

Thanks for your suggestions lads.
Boxes will be about 14" square and upwards, so me making my own ply is a bit ambitious.
I’ll speak to Latham as long as they are not expecting an order for 10 sheets of 8x4 at £ 50 a go.
If Axminster follow the forum I hope they do talk to other businesses, it’s in all their best interests.
If there are any other suppliers, let me know.
I’ve just seen that the Harrogate show is cancelled!

Just on the subject of suppliers this is a Bristol based company. Have not purchased from them but have spoken to them plenty of times at the Southampton Boat Show. They always seem to be very friendly and helpful. Plenty of plywood options also on their web site. Their “bendy” ply is interesting…

Have you thought of using door skins. They are available in many places and are of excellent quality in door/easy to manage sizes.

My nearest Axminster store (Warrington) does have a variable stock of raw timber - of course I haven’t been since lockdown so not sure what they have when they reopened but I’ve got some nice pieces of elm, ash and alder from them.

Not answering your question about plywood of course but I do recommend a phone call to your nearest Axminster store if you are looking for good pieces of hardwood at reasonable prices and are prepared to buy what they have to offer and keep for future use.

I buy 18 mm birth ply from Travis perkins and carve rocking horses the quality is excellent and it’s cheaper than most places I pay £60 to £70 for a full sheet. Not sure if they sell smaller thicknesses.

Hi Martin… If it’s good quality birch ply you’re after, without any voids , and smooth unplugged surface veneers, then you’re best bet might be one of the small suppliers on Ebay. I bought some in the past, specifically recommended for scroll-saw work, which proved to be excellent.Some of the suppliers offer various qualities with those having A in the grading being the best.
If it’s voids that are the main problem, then they can be successfully disguised with dark=oak filler - though it;s best to mask all the adjacent end grain before you fill, to stop the final result looking smeared… Good luck with your search

Hi and thanks for your time and suggestions.
There’s a couple of merchants nearby who appear to do good quality Birch ply, the
only problem at the moment is you can’t just go and say ‘That’s the sheet I want
and have it cut up like this’.
It’s just delivered and it’s pot luck and at £50 a 6mm 8x4 sheet I’m going to wait till I can go in
and say ‘This is the one I want’

The trouble is that looking at the faces does not show if there are any voids - these are quite common in the ‘cheap’ hardwood plywoods on sale.

In terms of suppliers I use Champion Timber but they only exist in the SE of England. SL Hardwoods (https://www.slhardwoods.co.uk/) have a good reputation though I have not used them for several years as they moved following a fire in their yard. Only thing to be aware of their boards are 'commercial quality and do not have saw edges. They will cut the timber but charge though this might be counterbalanced by a reduced shipping charge.

Also it is quite possible for shippers to damage the face or edges of a sheet. Smaller pieces should reduce the risk of this.