Plywood problems

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007fa3636a94c0> #<Tag:0x00007fa3636a90d8> #<Tag:0x00007fa3636a8de0>

Hi all, I’m having laser-ply woes:

I’ve used apparently respected supplies like Hobarts and Hindleys many times, but I’m often disappointed in one way or another with the product I receive. I’ll typically order mid-sized sheets of 4mm laser ply in packs of ten or twenty, sometimes more. Every time, there’s always a significant portion of them that are warped near or to the point of uselessness. Sometimes it’s fully half of the batch!

I’ve tried a few tricks to flatten them again but I’ve yet to arrive at a successful solution.

The second problem is consistency: I just bought a pack of 5mm ply from Hindleys, and I received pieces ranging from 4.7 to 5.5mm in thickness. This again makes these pieces useless for my purpose, as you can’t very well design tab slots with a precise fit if there’s almost a millimetre thickness variance across your materials. And that’s even before the problem of cutting them cleanly with the laser.

My questions to the community are thus:

  1. Does anyone have a trusted vendor they can recommend, or is warped and/or variably thick laser plywood an industry standard? I understand there’s no such thing as perfectly flat or exact tolerances, but I feel I can expect a little better…
  2. Does anyone have any proven tips for flattening warped birch plywood?
  3. Does anyone have any ideas for making this over-thick ply useable without modifying my design for each piece? Would the planer thicknesser be of any use? Is that an utterly stupid idea? I know nothing about planer thicknessers.

Thanks for your attention!

Hi Dan,
Slec uk hav been alright, occasionally they send one or two pieces warped but never too many. They seem to be always what they say to be in terms of the thickness.

Ive once lasercut clips that clipped onto the honeycomb and kept the warped sheet flat. Simple U design.

1 Like

That’s pretty clever! I’ll give both a try :+1: