*Hardwood Plywood Core Types

People have cherished the warmth and beauty of wood throughout the ages. Today, a variety of hardwood plywood products are available to meet your needs. Although most people think only of a veneer core product when hardwood plywood is mentioned, hardwood plywood actually refers to any panel product in which the face of the panel is made of hardwood veneer.

The hardwood plywood family of products includes panel products constructed with core material made from: veneer (softwood or hardwood, which may be of a different species than the panel face), multi core Russian birch, mdf ultra veneer combi core, poplar, aspen, fir, medium density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard and other composite panels with other combinations of these core materials. Panels made with the various core types may differ from one another with respect to certain properties such as flatness, dimensional stability, screw holding ability, bending strength, and visual edge quality. The relative importance of specific properties in a particular application of the product help determine the appropriate core type that should be used.

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Multi-Layered Panels

This is a specialty all hardwood “European style,” high ply-count birch veneer core blank. This core is often used for decorative applications where the panel edge is revealed. Applications include drawer sides, children’s furniture, fixture components, and other exposed core profile applications. Many of the multilayer panels on the market today have added urea formaldehyde.

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MDF Ultra Combi Veneer Core

Constructed of veneer core inner plies with MDF crossbands. Offers similar strength and stability to veneer core but has the void-free surface quality of  MDF. Excellent substrate for thin sliced woods and rotary woods, reducing the potential for core transfer. MDF Ultra Combi Veneer core panels tend to offer more consistent tolerances than standard veneer cores.

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General Veneer Core Attributes

Made with alternating veneer inner plies. In North America, the innerply species are usually softwood (fir or pine) on the west coast and poplar or aspen on the east coast. Veneer core panels are relatively lighter in comparison with composite panels, typically weighing about 70 lbs. per 3/4” panel. Veneer core offers great strength and stability with better spanning properties than either PBC or MDF. Veneer core does have a wider variance in thickness in comparison with highly engineered PBC or MDF. Additionally, this core is not as forgiving with today’s thinner face veneers; varying degrees of core transfer is possible depending on the surface veneer or core construction specified. For high-end, plain sliced woods, standard or premium two- step constructions are recommended to alleviate core telegraphing.

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Standard One-Step

Comprised of 100% regional species core* (aspen, poplar or fir, depending on your region) in a line-by-line construction. This traditional veneer core construction is predominantly used for commodity rotary panels and is suitable for use with faces of dark colored commodity sliced woods such as red oak or cherry.

Premium One-Step

Combination of regional species core* with smooth ANSI-HP-1 J-grade outer crossbands selected for uniform color and surface smoothness next to the face and back, assembled in a line-by-line construction. Recommended for value-priced UV panels, and suitable for use with faces of lighter-colored sliced woods, sap birch and sap rotary maple unfinished panels. Available at additional up charge.

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Standard Two-Step

Platforms comprised of 100% regional species core* are sanded before they are assembled with the face and back. Pre-sanding gives two-step panels a tighter thickness tolerance than one-step. Suitable for use with faces of darker premium sliced woods where color variation from outer crossbands is not a concern, such as cherry, alder, red oak, walnut and hickory. Works well for high-grade rotary UV panels and dark sliced UV panels.

Premium Two-Step

Platforms comprised of the regional species core* with J-grade outer crossbands are selected for uniform color and surface smoothness and then sanded before they are assembled with the face and back. Pre-sanding gives two step panels a tighter thickness tolerance than one-step, outperforming HPVA industry standards. Suitable for use with faces of lighter-colored premium sliced woods such as high-end maple, anigre, bamboo, sycamore and sap birch. The uniformity of these premium panels ensures better fitting components and even finish applications.

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Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

MDF is made in a production process similar to PBC except that all of wood particles are small and uniform like sawdust. MDF offers great stability and is the least likely to react when subjected to a measurable change in temperature or humidity. It offers a very smooth, void-free surface for veneer faces.  MDF has greater strength and screw holding properties than particleboard and weighs around 100 lbs. MDF is used in cabinets, furniture, fixtures and molding. MDF is highly recommended for thin panel applications such as door inserts for cabinets and paneling.  MDF products are most often manufactured with urea-formaldehyde resins. GREEN & NAF (No Added  Formaldehyde) MDF products are sold at a premium.

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Particleboard (PBC)

Raw PBC is composed of wood particles which vary in size bonded together with urea formaldehyde or, by special order, no-added urea formaldehyde systems. PBC is the least expensive core option for hardwood plywood, offering a smooth, void-free surface for veneer faces. PBC is very uniform in thickness and density.  PBC is one of the heaviest core options for hardwood plywood construction, weighing as much as 100 lbs per 3/4” panel. PBC has the least amount of structural (spanning) strength compared to the other core options and is subject to the greatest amount of expansion if exposed to moisture. PBC is a preferred core for fixture and low-end furniture applications including Ready-To-Assemble furniture. It is also used in selected kitchen cabinet components. GREEN & NAF(No Added  Formaldehyde) particleboard products are sold at a premium.

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Talk with a sales representative from 8am to 5pm eastern standard time or email anytime to sales@packardforestproducts.com.  Please include quantity, thickness and contact information, including company name and address.  Thank You.