It goes by a number of different names such as Russian Plywood or Baltic Birch Plywood. It comes in a variety of thicknesses and sheet sizes. What makes it special is the quality of the manufacturing process to produce a super high quality product. If you want perfectly flat, really strong composite wood that is far superior to your standard construction grade plywood look no further. Baltic Birch Plywood is for you.
My first experience with this material came when I purchased 24 one foot square sheets a little thinner than 1/4″. I used them as backer boards for framing my photographs. I would normally use foam board but the plywood adds a great mounting surface for spray adhesive. I can slide the mounted photograph right into a 1/4″ slot in my picture frame moulding and it’s done.
Next I started using those same 12″x12″x1/4″ sheets as inserts for my power tools. I mounted a router to one and recessed it into a Melamine sheet for a super router table. The same applied to my circular saw and jigsaw.
Now I’m building a classic Japanese style toolbox. My wood of choice is 1/2″ sheet of Baltic Birch plywood I bought from Rockler Woodworking online. They had a sale on for Father’s Day, selling me 4 24″x30″x1/2″ sheets for just under $40, a bargain at twice the price.
There are no gaps or voids in Russian plywood. In just a 1/2″ thick sheet there are 9 separate layers of laminated wood alternating its grain direction. It’s strong, lightweight and beautiful when a gel stain is used in combination with a polyurethane final finish coat. I’ll be sure to post a photo of the finished toolbox where I used baltic birch and a darker red oak for accent pieces.