I have been looking at which ply to use for the internal cladding. Now you would think like I did to start with this would be a simple trip to the builders merchants......... No.
As the ply will take the decorative paint finish for the contemporary design we are going for it was important to me to get the 30 sheets of ply as near perfect as possible. For me this was, excellent surface finish, consistent grain structure, no filler, no plugs, no telegraphing (lines where under laminates show through).
Initially I thought this would be long grain Birch ply. But I couldn't source a supply that would let me hand pick 30 sheets and I was told under British Standards even BB grade Birch ply could still have filler and plugs and at £26 a sheet I thought that sucked. So much for customer service!
After a bit of Yell.com I took myself off to reasonably a local wholesale timber merchants that have HUGE stocks of all sorts of sheet materials as well as timber. Their stores are aircraft hangers. I told the sales desk what I was after and they directed me to a pile of ply from Malaysia. It was perfect it met all my requirements and they were happy for me to hand pick the sheets, even providing me with help. I found the 30 sheets I wanted out of a first batch of 52. Best of all it was only £14.45 a sheet. The surface laminate is quite thin, but will take a light sanding ready for the paint.
I also got a sheet of crown cut oak faced ply to play with surface finishes. I am thinking Briwax. Thats the sheet over the left.