Making 1 Inch Europly from 12mm Baltic Birch

Posted by Maker Stock on

Have you ever seen that cool thick plywood used in modern furniture and fixtures? It's often at least 1 inch baltic birch plywood (25mm).  

1 in baltic birch made from glued up 12mm plywood

 Here's an example of thick plywood from a table at the Richard Serra exhibit in the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, Spain.

Richard Serra Exhibit Table Bilboa 25mm Russian Birch Plywood


Some distributors sell 25mm and thicker Europly, but it's expensive, takes a long time to order, and requires a truck. You can make your own thick baltic birch plywood pretty easily.

Here's how to make 25mm baltic birch plywood:

Your basic strategy is going to be to glue up two 12mm sheets of baltic birch. 

gluing up two 12mm pieces of baltic birch plywood to make 1in baltic birch

MakerStock provides cut-to-size baltic birch plywood, so you don't need to haul full sheets from the distributor. (We also have pre-cut sizes up to about 30in x 60in.)

Simply glue two sheets together. We like TItebond glue, but pretty much any wood glue is fine. Use clamps and/or weights to ensure uniform pressure on the panel.

You'll probably want to trim to size to get a nice edge.

Two important points:

1. The resulting plywood will actually be 24mm thick. This is 1.4mm (about 1/16") shy of 1in thick. Of course you can use two sheets of 18mm to get 36mm plywood, or a sheet of 12mm and 18mm to get 30mm. You get the idea. 


2. Baltic birch plywood uses somewhat thinner veneers for the outer layers. So, your plywood will have a band in the middle comprised of two thinner layers (the former outer layers of the starting material). No one but the most finicky observer will notice.

1in Europly is a really nice thing to have around. For example, here's a crazy project our co-founder Karl did. He wanted to have a big TV in his loft, but didn't want it around most of the time. So, he used a pulley system and a counter weight (a 50 lb York barbell weight) to suspend the TV from the ceiling. He used 1 inch baltic birch plywood for the back panel to which he mounted the TV with four screws. 


Hanging TV bracket from 1inch baltic birch plywood

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