We think plywood and plastic laminate are beautiful. They’re strong, humble and practical materials. We always leave the edges exposed to admire the plywood core. Our cabinetry is an honest and sophisticated exploration into the most effective and beautiful ways to use them. Our Euro-ply core plywood is made of 13 layers of void free birch veneer, and it is faced with either a maple or walnut veneer. We show off this high quality core by leaving the edges of the plywood exposed. While other companies use laminates to hide inferior substrate materials, we use laminate to add color and durability to our products.
So, what is plywood? Simply put, plywood is a pile of very thin slices of wood, stacked up, and glued together to make a thicker piece of wood. Why go through all the trouble? Well, wood is great, but using solid lumber has a couple of drawbacks. First, wood reacts to its environment. In humid conditions a piece of lumber will take on the ambient moisture and the wood cells will swell, and the board will get bigger. When the air is dry the wood cells dry out too, and the board shrinks. Most of this movement only occurs in one direction, across the grain. The length of the board remains unchanged, only the width and thickness change significantly. And mostly just the width.The board is also significantly weaker in this direction.
Plywood solves these two problems. During the lamination process the layers of wood are aligned at right angles to each other. The direction of the wood grain is rotated 90 degrees to the layers adjacent to it. This criss-cross grain pattern gives plywood dimensional stability and uniform strength in all directions. And it is much stronger than other alternative sheet goods like particle board and fiberboard. Take a look at this video from inside a plywood factory. Or if you have more time, and a sense of humor, try watching Tom Sachs’ love letter to plywood.