Softwood ply is often known as shuttering ply, its a rough grade of sheet that is suitable for form work, shuttering and rough carpentry work for example shelves in a garage or a shed to store paint or tools on. You can expect to see knots, dents and filler on the surface, the sheets are quite likely to be warped/wavy. It is not suitable for use in finished joinery like making book cases, desks or any item where the finish is needed to be smooth and presentable, for this we recommend birch ply.
We offer a variety of types of plywood for any application which can be cut to any size or shape using our CNC router for precision and easy duplication. We can cut any shape you need – just send us your drawings, in either CAD or a sketch format, and we’ll create it to your exact specifications. As well as cutting any shape or curve, our CNC router can be used for rebating, pocketing and hole cutting on plywood sheets, in addition to most other sheet materials. We provide laser cutting, CNC engraving for additional customisation too.
If you are looking to print onto plywood sheets, birch plywood is an excellent choice as it provides a great surface for a consistent and professional finish. Using state-of-the-art UV printers, we have the capability to print full sheets of plywood in one go, providing a consistent and professional finish at a much faster rate than painting. We currently only list 8 x 4 sheets (2440 x 1220mm) but we’re able to purchase and cut sheets of up to 2000 x 3000mm, so get in touch with our team today to discuss your project requirements. We offer optional next day delivery and for larger orders, we have our own transport service which operates throughout most of the UK. Have a larger ongoing project taking place? Contact us to discuss bulk discounts and regular supply orders.
Typically made from spruce, pine or cedar, 18mm softwood plywood sheets are incredibly popular within the construction industry and for home projects as it is a versatile and cost-effective material. Softwood plywood at this thickness delivers excellent stability and rigidity, even in larger sheets, so it’s ideal for walls or flooring as well as roofing and general joinery.
Softwood Plywood Grades
Wood comes in a variety of grades; we offer the grades listed below for softwood plywood. For more information about the different types available, please see our wood grading guide.
Softwood plywood is the most popular manufactured plywood and is available in various thicknesses. It is commonly used in construction projects as it’s cost-effective and can be used for different projects. There are several grades of this wood to choose between, from C+/C grade which has knots on both sides of the wood, with those on the facing C+ side filled and touch sanded. We stock Brazilian softwood plywood sheets which is a lighter toned wood with straighter grain and a more uniform texture.
Advantages of 18mm Softwood Plywood Sheets
There are many benefits to using softwood 18mm plywood sheets, which is why it is the most popular type of plywood to work with. It’s an affordable material that delivers plenty of strength but it’s also easy to work with and can be cut and machined with ease using standard power tools. Softwood plywood is a compression-resistant material that won’t bend or warp so it’s great for reliability and durability in any application it’s used for. We also offer the other popular size of 12mm softwood plywood.
Applications for 18mm Softwood Plywood Sheets
18mm softwood plywood sheets are strong, hard-wearing and stable, so they’re perfect for applications that require rigidity, especially when it is being used in larger sheets. For construction projects and concrete frameworks, 18mm plywood is a fantastic choice that is affordable but provides brilliant durability. Softwood plywood is available in a range of grades, depending on how important the appearance of the wood is, so you can either opt for high-grade softwood plywood sheets to celebrate the natural look of the wood or choose a lower grade for applications where the wood won’t be visible. We also offer marine plywood, hardwood plywood and birch plywood.
|Material||Wood - Plywood|
|Available Thicknesses||12mm, 18mm|
|Maximum Sheet Size||2420mm x 1220mm|
|Minimum Sheet Size||100mm x 50mm|
|Manufacturers Tolerances||+/- 10% plus 0.4mm (e.g. 5mm cast sheet could vary from 4.1mm to 5.9mm)|
|Cutting Tolerances||+/- 1mm|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is softwood plywood used for?
Softwoods are most commonly used for general building, roofing and concrete frameworks, or any application where the technical specification of the product is more important than the appearance of the wood.
What is the difference between softwood plywood and hardwood plywood?
The primary difference between hard and soft plywood is the wood used to make it. For soft plywood, the trees of choice are cedar, spruce, pine and fir, which are known for their flexibility and malleability. While hard plywood like birch or tropical trees like red maple and are known for their strength, stress resistance and stiffness.
Can you paint plywood?
You can paint plywood, but be sure to use primer, as plywood will absorb more paint than you would expect so the primer seals the plywood, and allows it to take to the paint more easily keeping your surface smooth and sealed.
Can you bend plywood?
It is possible to bend plywood. There are numerous ways of bending plywood, but if you are after a sheet that cannot be bent, look at our MDF sheeting.
What is plywood used for?
Plywood can be used for a wide range of versatile structural applications whether interior or exterior, from furniture to internal panelling.
How strong is plywood?
Plywood is relatively strong as it is numerous layers of wood pressed together. For a stronger piece of plywood, look for 5-ply or multi-ply sheets as these will have more layers, and thus more strength.
What are the types of plywood?
We sell a variety of types of plywood, including softwood, hardwood, marine, and birch, all of which have specific characteristics and will aid specific projects. For more information on the respected types, read their descriptions at the bottom of their product pages.
Can I cut plywood?
It is possible to cut plywood yourself, but we are able to do it for you if you request at the point of ordering. To do so yourself please follow safety procedures, and use a sharp saw else you risk the sheet breaking.
How is plywood made?
Plywood is made by glueing a series of thin veneered sheets of wood together. Each adjacent layer is rotated by up to 90 degrees to reduce the risk of splitting when nailed in at the edges. This technique, referred to as cross-grain, improves strength, stability and prevents warping, making it an excellent general-purpose construction panel.
How do you seal plywood edges?
Plywood should be sealed to prevent moisture from affecting the sheets and causing warping. The sealant you use will depend based on how you intend to use the plywood, but you should use something quick-drying and can withstand all temperatures, and be compatible with paint if you intend to paint your plywood.