Back in the early 80's, I worked with 3/4" walnut and oak panel (MDF exclusively). When I sanded these materials with the finish sanders back then, I would have to exert heavy pressure for a long period of time before I burned said material. A year ago I purchased 3/4" red oak plyboards from Home Depot to construct a dresser. Where I had a mismatch between a solid piece of red oak and the plyboard, I started to finish sand (220 grit) this area. To my horror, I had burned the veneer at this juncture in less than 5 seconds. To my amazement and on closer inspection, I noticed the veneer was extremely thin and really would not support any kind of finish sanding.
What's happening? It's bad enough that some plywood is now measured in mm and my poor brain can't handle the calculations to determine if the piece is between 3/4" or 1/2". And now the market is selling router bits to compensate.
I know this is a rant, but I am getting ready to build a furniture grade vanity in my bathroom with red oak and the panels will reflect that also. Nicely stained and polyed, I am going to be looking at this work for the next 30 years. Where do I find quality materials for this project? I don't trust any of the big boxes for supplying what I really need.
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor G:
Cannot help with the metric system. I understand it but everything in my head is wired to the inches and feet system.
As far as veneer, I have some padauk veneer left over from a project I did in 1969. It is 1/24th of an inch thick. Most everything was that thick then. Now the standard for loose veneer is 1/42nd of an inch. When I have seen sites that offer more thicknesses, the 1/42 is usually the thickest. (Yes, they have a few things available in 1/16 or 1/8th, but only in a very few items for antique repair or laminating plies.) I presume at the site that offers three thicknesses (with 1/42 as the thickest) that the thinnest would be bought by people who manufacture veneer faced plywood panels.
I have some 1/64 inch plywood which has 3 plies. That is 1/192 per ply or less, allowing for the glue. The only way I can get veneer thick enough for the musical instruments I construct is to resaw and then sand. Usually to 1/16th or occasionally to 1mm (let's see, that would be 1/25.4). Keep your head up.