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Sande Plywood from Home Depot

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Sande Plywood from Home Depot
Posted by nealknows on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 9:56 PM

Greetings,

I'm in the process of building another layout, this one in So. Florida. For wahtever reason, 1/2" AC indoor plywood seems to be scarce. Home Depot has 1/2" Sande Plywood, which seems to be a home Depot exclusive. Some further research that I found online suggests it's 7 ply, but is soft and not durable. It's also about 20% cheaper than AC plywood. I've called all over Palm Beach County, Florida trying to locate the AC plywood, with little success. One place had it, but would not rip it in half for me. 

I want to use this as my subroadbed, as I will use cork on top. It's for HO scale, and I won't use foam, and I prefer the wood. The layout will not have any inclines or risers, so this will be on 1"x3" frames. This is not my first layout, and I have used the other plywood with no issues.

Has anyone else used the Sande Plywood from Home Depot? Would appreciate any feedback on it. 

Thanks again to all who reply.

Neal

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Posted by lifeontheranch on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 10:23 PM

Not the 1/2" but have used 3/4"

I used one sheet of Home Depot Sande 3/4" ply during benchwork construction. Did not like it. Veneer is super thin so it chips out easily on cuts. Also did not hold screws as well as other hardwood plys I have used. Also used one sheet of Menard's 3/4" birch face. Very poor quality. Lots of voids, face veneer chipped out horribly. Finally bit the $$ bullet and used Home Depot 3/4" birch face ply. Wonderful stuff. Built all remaining benchwork and all sub-roadbed with it. Joy to work with.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Columbia-Forest-Products-3-4-in-x-4-ft-x-8-ft-PureBond-Birch-Plywood-165921/100077837

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 10:54 PM

"Sande" plywood?

 

WHAT is "Sande"?

 

It sounds like Home Depot thinks they can sell compressed alligator droppings to just about anyone.  Are there NO lumberyards in south Florida?  

 

Ed

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Posted by nealknows on Thursday, March 02, 2017 6:55 AM

From what I've read or found, it's made for Home Depot out of what I don't know. The last words on this product that I found was from 2005 and the comments were not stellar, to say the least. I may siwtch it up to birch for about $10 more... There are lumber yards, just a handful and I found only one that had it, but couldn't rip it for me and my table saw can't handle it. 

Neal

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Posted by peahrens on Thursday, March 02, 2017 8:45 AM

I don't recall all the details but when I researched what was available here (TX) a few years ago I decided on some 5/8" for my cookie cutter layout.  I'm pretty sure it was from HD.  If they have that it might be cheaper, and stronger, than 1/2" birch veneer plywood.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, March 02, 2017 9:41 AM

FWIW.

I have a Skilsaw.  If I need to rip a piece of plywood, I get out my 8' piece of 1/8" x 2" aluminum barstock (from the hardware store) and clamp it to the plywood.  The plywood is held off the "ground" by an assortment of carefully placed 2x4's.

Yes, it takes a long time to do.  So I try to avoid it and have the plywood cut at the yard.  But it DOES work.  And there are occasions where I need to do it.

 

Ed 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, March 02, 2017 10:04 AM

I used 3/4" firply, good one side, for my subroadbed.  Much of the layout is on curves, and I used a jigsaw to cut at least two sheets of it for curves only, starting at 30" and working up in 2" increments on the first sheet.  The second sheet was done mostly as 32" and 34", before making some larger ones.
For straights, I used both 1"x4" clear pine and more 3/4" firply, and, like Ed, ripped it as needed using a worm-drive Skilsaw.
With the appropriate guides and clamps, the saw can be used to do pretty-much anything a tablesaw can do, but it takes up a lot less room to store it. Smile, Wink & Grin
I used 5/8" t&g sheathing plywood for the upper level of the layout, which works well enough, but it's in a table-top style.  I doubt that it would be suitable for cut-out roadbed, though.
I buy lumber and plywood from a lumberyard, not a big box store. 

Wayne

 

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Posted by NittanyLion on Thursday, March 02, 2017 1:56 PM

7j43k

"Sande" plywood?

 

WHAT is "Sande"?

 

It sounds like Home Depot thinks they can sell compressed alligator droppings to just about anyone.  Are there NO lumberyards in south Florida?  

 

Ed

 

 

It's mulberry. 

 

Really. Mulberry wood. 

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Posted by Renegade1c on Thursday, March 02, 2017 3:01 PM

you may have better luck trying to find 15/32" AC plywood. true 1/2" plywood is extremely hard to find these days. It similar to what they did with 2x4 and 1x4 where the true dimensions are no longer valid. A 2x4 is actually 1.5x 3.5 inches because they can make more of them cheaper. Plywood is the same way. they save money by not having to 1/32" per sheet. 15/32" is much more common these days. 15/32" plywood acts just the same (as far as i can tell) as true 1/2" ply. 

 

I know I haven't commented on what you originally asked but i figured I could give you an alternative in case you don't like what you have found so far. 

Colorado Front Range Railroad: 
http://www.coloradofrontrangerr.com/

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Posted by nealknows on Thursday, March 02, 2017 3:10 PM

Hi Renegade,

Yes, I know that 1/2" plywood is really 15/32", thank you. I've used it here in NJ on the layout here, but trying to find it in So. Florida is a challenge, to say the least. I don't mind spending the money on it, as long as I can find it and have someone rip them for me. If I could ship it on a plane in cargo from NJ, trust me I would do it, as I have a great source for it. Just price prohibitive to do that. My layout here in NJ was built with 1x3 and 1x4 and the 1/2" AC ply and very happy with it. I may try to look in Broward County, Florida, as well. I must have called a half dozen lumber yards in Palm Beach county, only one had it and would not rip it for me. 

I'll keep looking..

Neal

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Posted by maxman on Thursday, March 02, 2017 3:23 PM

Where in South Florida are you?  I internet searched a Home Depot store in Tampa and they seemed to have B/C 1/2 inch plywood in stock.  If you are going to cover the plywood with some sort of roadbed I'm not sure that A/C is necessary.

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Posted by nealknows on Thursday, March 02, 2017 3:29 PM

Hi Max,

I'm on the east coast of Florida. Have you seen the 1/2" BC plywood at HD? The knots in them are rampant and in areas that won't have cork I want that smoother finish. Most of the lumber yards I've contacted concentrate on exterior plywood and marine plywood. I'll keep searching. Thanks for your help in looking as well!

Neal

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Posted by lifeontheranch on Thursday, March 02, 2017 3:30 PM

Plywood has been made in metric thickness since 1978. The imperial inch measurements we know and love are just the closest approximation.

You are spot on about 2x4s, at least in the US. Greed started it. The advent of planed lumber accelerated it. Mills finally adopted the NIST and American Lumber Standard Committee's sizing recommendations to put a stop to ever shrinking finished lumber. Prior to this it must have driven designers and builders nuts.

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Thursday, March 02, 2017 4:12 PM

nealknows
Most of the lumber yards I've contacted concentrate on exterior plywood and marine plywood.

This may have something to do with living nearly at sea level or in some places below.  Also something to do with being slapped by hurricanes every year.....

How do you plan to travel to the Florida?  If you are driving, pre-rip a quantity of lumber in NJ and vehicle it down there? 

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Thursday, March 02, 2017 4:32 PM

Once you lay down roadbed, road, ground clumps, flock etc, you won't notice it.

And besides, the earth isn't perfectly flat either.

But if it bothers you that much, you can get 1/2" B/C common and glue/laminate a 1/4" A grade veneer to it.  But use a fine tooth blade when cutting.

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

 

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Posted by nealknows on Thursday, March 02, 2017 4:37 PM

I usually do minimal scenery, more about the switching and operations. According to a friend in So. Florida, there's only one place that carries what I want. I'm down there the end of April, so that will be my first stop. Once I get it, I'll let it sit and cure. The room is climate controlled, so no big heat fluctuation.

Neal

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, March 02, 2017 7:28 PM

I've worked most of my life in construction.  Most of that in remodel.  Many of the houses go back to, oh, about 1906 or so (SF Bay Area).  

In old house framing, most load bearing walls have studs that measure 2" x 3 1/2".  And also 2" x 2 1/2" for interior non-load bearing walls.  Those studs are usually rough cut.

You can buy today rough cut 2x4's.  They ARE 2" x 4".  Well, more or less.  But I'll tell you, so were the old studs I run into--more or less.  Full 2x4's are pretty useless in construction; I can't recall the last time I saw any.  The standard 2x4 is 1 1/2" x 3 1/2".  And has been that for a long time, at least 60 years.

Current 2x4's are indeed planed.  But note that the 3 1/2" dimension stays the same as it has for over 100 years.

So.  Old 2x4's weren't 2" x 4" either.

It IS interesting that the construction industry went from rough cut studs to planed. As someone who has occasion to touch studs, I'll say I prefer planed.  Splinters.

 

 

Ed

 

 

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Posted by hornblower on Friday, March 03, 2017 2:34 PM

The main problems with the "Sande" plywood available at Home Depot is the very poor consistency of the wood itself, open voids between layers and/or voids filled with a filler made of very fine sawdust and some type of binder.  Not only will such voids not help to hold screws, they cause unwanted kinks in roadbed grade transitions.  Some of the product reviews for this plywood even report a different number of plies from one end of a sheet to the other!  

Finding quality lumber at an affordable price is also a problem here in Southern California.  Home Depot (and Lowes) used to carry a product called 1/2" Hardwood Plywood which was almost as good as Baltic Birch plywood.  Seven plies, no voids and sanded on both sides.  I built most of my layout using this product with excellent results.  However, by the time I got around to building the final section of my layout, this product had been replaced by the awful "Sande" plywood.  I had to go to a traditional lumber yard to buy a sheet of 1/2" Baltic Birch plywood (at three times the price) just to finish the last section of benchwork.

If you can't find a decent plywood product at a resonable price, I would take a serious look at building spline roadbed using Masonite strips.  Then you would fill in the spaces between the roadbed using extruded foam insulation board, assuming that is available in Florida (it is special order only in S. California).  If not, good old hardshell scenery would work.

Hornblower

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Saturday, March 04, 2017 7:00 AM

LION did not use plywood at all for most of the layout of him.

Him made table with 1/2" Celotex panels. Him used 10 of them. Similar to Homosote, but much lighter, more rigid, and easier to cut. Him laid tracks of him directly on the Celotex with no roadbed at all.

Of course these Celotex boards are no longer available. They disappeared with the advent of fire codes, but we salvaged them from previous buildings that we have torn down.

Other wise, LION just use what ever scrap wood or other materials that Him could finde. OSB board from an old packing crate, foam, 2" fibergalss roofing insulation, you know, any sort of stuff that I did not have to pay for.

Hey... The railroad runs. If you got lots of money and want to actually pay for stuff, that is your look out, eh?

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, March 04, 2017 7:31 AM

7j43k

I've worked most of my life in construction.  Most of that in remodel.  Many of the houses go back to, oh, about 1906 or so (SF Bay Area).  

In old house framing, most load bearing walls have studs that measure 2" x 3 1/2".  And also 2" x 2 1/2" for interior non-load bearing walls.  Those studs are usually rough cut.

You can buy today rough cut 2x4's.  They ARE 2" x 4".  Well, more or less.  But I'll tell you, so were the old studs I run into--more or less.  Full 2x4's are pretty useless in construction; I can't recall the last time I saw any.  The standard 2x4 is 1 1/2" x 3 1/2".  And has been that for a long time, at least 60 years.

Current 2x4's are indeed planed.  But note that the 3 1/2" dimension stays the same as it has for over 100 years.

So.  Old 2x4's weren't 2" x 4" either.

It IS interesting that the construction industry went from rough cut studs to planed. As someone who has occasion to touch studs, I'll say I prefer planed.  Splinters.

 

 

Ed

 

 

 

Ed, and everyone regarding demensional lumber.

First, back in the day, 100 years ago or more, building practices and materials varyed by region. What was being done is the west is nothing like what was being done back east.

I too am in construction, I am a historic restoration designer/consultant, as well as an experianced old house carpenter.

My latest project:

My own home:

My home, built in 1901, in Forest Hill, Maryland, is framed with rough cut Oak, Chestnut and Hickory - 2x4's are 2x4 +/- about 3/16"

Most pre WW1 homes here in the mid Atlantic are balloon framed with rough cut lumber.

Because interior walls were plastered, it was easy for framers to flush up exterior walls for sheathing and siding, leaving the plasterer to "true up" interior walls with his plaster work.

Eventualy when planed lumber was adopted, mills were already setup to make rough cut sizes, so they planed it to to a smaller size. That evolved to the 1.5 x 3.5 "2x4". Not sure "greed" had anything to do with it.

As a side note, back then, S4S trim lumber, like a "1x4", was not 3/4" x 3-1/2" like it is today. The standard widths of S4S trim were the same as today, but 1" nominal planed trim grade lumber was 7/8" thick, not 3/4".

As for benchwork, I use Poplar lumber and Birch plywood.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, March 04, 2017 9:23 AM

7j43k

I've worked most of my life in construction.  Most of that in remodel.  Many of the houses go back to, oh, about 1906 or so (SF Bay Area).  

In old house framing, most load bearing walls have studs that measure 2" x 3 1/2".  And also 2" x 2 1/2" for interior non-load bearing walls.  Those studs are usually rough cut.

You can buy today rough cut 2x4's.  They ARE 2" x 4".  Well, more or less.  But I'll tell you, so were the old studs I run into--more or less.  Full 2x4's are pretty useless in construction; I can't recall the last time I saw any.  The standard 2x4 is 1 1/2" x 3 1/2".  And has been that for a long time, at least 60 years.

Current 2x4's are indeed planed.  But note that the 3 1/2" dimension stays the same as it has for over 100 years.

So.  Old 2x4's weren't 2" x 4" either.

It IS interesting that the construction industry went from rough cut studs to planed. As someone who has occasion to touch studs, I'll say I prefer planed.  Splinters.

 

 

Ed

 

 

 

Funny I worked in the same general area and my house has real 2x4's and was built in 1905. But I have been in the trades and studied history long enough to know that each saw mill back in the day has their own standards. Your wood may have been shipped in, proubly from up north a bit as mine was local.

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, March 04, 2017 9:59 AM

rrebell
 

Funny I worked in the same general area and my house has real 2x4's and was built in 1905. 

 

So now we have the date for the great 2x4 "big lumber" conspiracy!  I've never worked on a pre-quake house.  Clearly, "big lumber" took advantage of the situation.

 

Sheldon.  Oak 2x4's??  How d'ya get a 16d through THAT!  I'm thinking one ginormous nail gun.  BAM!  IN!

 

 

 

Ed

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, March 04, 2017 10:13 AM

7j43k

 

 
rrebell
 

Funny I worked in the same general area and my house has real 2x4's and was built in 1905. 

 

 

 

So now we have the date for the great 2x4 "big lumber" conspiracy!  I've never worked on a pre-quake house.  Clearly, "big lumber" took advantage of the situation.

 

Sheldon.  Oak 2x4's??  How d'ya get a 16d through THAT!  I'm thinking one ginormous nail gun.  BAM!  IN!

 

 

 

Ed

 

All hand nails, it was 1901. But they used larger nails than we use today for similar lumber sizes.

Actually, most of it is American Chestnut, but there is a fair amout of Oak and Hickory.

The trim and floors on the other hand are mostly Eastern Yellow Pine, except for some bright work, which is Chestnut.

The interior of the house was built in a simplified Colonial Revival style, so most of the trim was painted from day one.

We restored the house beginning in 1995, having it largely complete in 1998.

The other house pictured, my latest client project, is about 15 miles from me, and was built aprox. 1906. It's construction is very similar to mine. We worked on that house from June 2015 until October of 2016, and still have a few small projects pending there.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Saturday, March 04, 2017 4:10 PM

7j43k
Current 2x4's are indeed planed. But note that the 3 1/2" dimension stays the same as it has for over 100 years. So. Old 2x4's weren't 2" x 4" either.

2 x 4 is the size as cut from the log by the saw mill. It looses more when it is worked into lumber.

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by Redore on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 6:35 PM

So, what's wrong with exterior or marine grade plywood?  As glue technology has improved interior grade plywood is becoming very rare.  The main difference between interior and exterior is whether or not the glue used will stand up to water exposure.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:01 PM

Redore

So, what's wrong with exterior or marine grade plywood?  As glue technology has improved interior grade plywood is becoming very rare.  The main difference between interior and exterior is whether or not the glue used will stand up to water exposure.

 

Most grades of exterior sheathing plywood are not deminsionally stable in the flat plane. That is they naturally buckle or cup until nailed to framing members. 

This is not good or helpful in building model railroad benchwork where precisson makes for proper grades and smooth trackwork.

Additionally, the surfaces of exterior plywood is typically, C/D, not very smooth, subject to knots and surface voids.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by nealknows on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 8:40 PM

Guys,

Thanks to everyone who replied. I reached out some builders down in the Palm Beach County area, and one of them found me 1/2" AC Interior plywood, EXACTLY what I was looking for. I called the place, and not only do they stock it year round, they agreed to make the necessary rips that I will need. 

Once I bring them to the house, they will sit in the room to get acclimated. This will include the 1" x3" pieces of wood I'll need for the frames. After all the wood gets acclimated, all of the wood will be painted to prevent any warpage. The bottom of the 1/2" plywood will be painted white to make it a little easier to see when running wires and adding switch machines. 

Thanks to everyone who has replied. My next trip to Florida is the end of April, then again in June, and August. The goal is to have all the wood in the room on the April trip, paint the wood in June, and start assembling frames durin the June visit. If I can get all the frames assembled in June, I can attach them to the wall supports. August timeframe would be to add the plywood, since it's all one level. The last piece of this layout is the removable section by the door. That will go in last.

I'll work on posting pics after the initial visit. Thanks again guys!

Neal

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