Rated 4.5 out of 5 by 31
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by Caleone INCREDIBLY DISAPPOINTING, TO THE POINT OF ANGER
While I have done plenty of DIY construction and finish work, have made a number of furniture projects and small, high quality interior items, and built some outdoor and shop cabinets, this project is my first attempt at quality interior casework. I planned for a long time, designed and drew dimensional and elevational sketches , and made extensive cut and process lists before deciding to purchase these project panels from Home Depot.
All the reviews indicate 'Ships Free to Store' as an option. It is NOT. The estimated shipping costs were high, but weighed against a 12 mile drive to a proper lumber yard, I elected to make this purchase based upon the positive reviews. ACTUAL shipping costs were MUCH HIGHER than estimated, totalling 70% of the product cost.
All of the panels--I purchased 9 of the 2' x 4' in 3/4" and 3 of the 4' x 4' in 1/4"--were damaged, with crushed and very rounded corners, and several with peeling and delaminating veneers at the edges. I intended to use the 3/4" panels as case for console-height bookcases, with three additional panels purchased to laminate with the case to form the top and the 1/4" for the backs. I had to carefully trim all the rounded corners and peeling edge veneers so as to begin with fresh edges. There were no usable machine edges to use as reference. Not only did this trimming add a couple hours of setup time to the project, it also left me without enough material to use for the bookcase tops. I definitely understand that the quality of the packaging is the responsibility of the shipper (Columbia Forest Products), and care taken in the shipping is the responsibility of the shipping company (UPS), but the excessive charge for shipping was made by Home Depot, and all of the foregoing is germane to my product review and needs to be included here. Potential buyers deserve to understand how shipping cost effects overall product cost, and how shipping damage contributes to product wasteage, especially in combination with product quality issues.
These panels have NO wood plys whatsoever. The veneers encapsulate what appears to be two different MDF/wood composite-types of materials. The thin-veneer + no wood core combination means these panels have little potential for fastener holding, so all edges needed to be pre-prepped with glue sizing to maximize potential gluing strength, and in addition to gluing I decided to use both pocket screws and edge screws to ensure holding strength. Only time will tell whether they will hold.
As I mentioned before, the veneers are thin; ultra-thin, actually--wallpaper is thicker than the maple veneers on these panels. In combination with the composite cores, this actually contributes to the primary positive quality of this product: it machines very easily and precisely, and allowed for me to cut extremely sharp dadoes and rabbets for the shelves and backs of the cases. There was no chip- or tearout, but that is largely because there is nothing TO chip- or tearout. However, the concern remains the same, that the gluing strength just will not be there, and as the shelves are of solid maple 11.5" wide, maximum glue hold would be desirable. The outside of the case where I might have otherwise reinforced with screws or other mechanical fasteners is visible, so no possibility of that. I did a load calculation for solid maple and cross-braced accordingly, and with solid wood trim and top plus a rigid back I will hope that there will be no pressure outward on the cases from the weight within.
These cases COULD push apart from the shelf load, as 4 of the 3/4" panels were markedly warped-fortunately inward (according to the "A" face of the veneer), and that indicates to me a lack of dimensional stability in the product. Dimensional stability is why I chose to case this product in plywood in the first place, so that is incredibly disheartening. Added to that dimensional instability is what I now know to be THERMAL instability as well--after the cases were assembled I moved the off-cut portions of the panels out of my small heated shop and into my 'woodshed;' this shed is enclosed and weather-tight, but unheated and only partially insulated, and therefore not much different than your average unconditioned garage space--you know, the place where most people have their workshops. After ONLY TWO DAYS in this shed, I noticed that all the off-cut sections were warping, with veneer delamination all the way across their surfaces, rendering them unusable for other purpose. A total waste of 30% of my purchase. Be advised and warned if you intend to store the raw product or partially finished project in unconditioned space such as garage, shed, unheated basement or unheated shop.
Upon completing case and shelf assembly, I noted a few places where glue had squeezed from joints and onto the veneers. In attempting to clean this up, I sanded the veneers lightly by hand with 220 grit sandpaper and a sanding block. The veneers are so thin that a small amount of Titebond squeeze-out was able to soak all the way through the veneer, and I was only able to figure this out by accidentally sanding THROUGH the veneer to the substrate underneath. By hand. Gingerly. With 220 grit paper. THAT is a thin veneer. If you must sand this-and it is nowhere near finish-ready when you get it--you absolutely MUST maintain an extremely deft touch with your sanding procedure. I recommend 320 grit paper, no more than one pass, and DO NOT under any circumstance get glue anywhere where it can be seen and interfere with your finish.
When it came to fabricating a top for the bookcases, I decided not to purchase any more of this product and instead special order furniture-quality maple plywood from my nearest lumber yard. Although these project panels are described as a 'cost-effective option,' when shipping costs are factored in, they are not. Especially when compared to far superior maple plywood--I purchased a single sheet of "true 3/4" maple ply for $15 less than the average cost of 4 of these quarter sheets (with shipping factored in), and that includes paying for a rip cut at the lumber yard so I could fit the sheet into my SUV. Any expected convenience of having the panels delivered was well overbalanced by the amount of prep work and product waste that I experienced. Next time I decide to case a project in plywood, I will special order and drive 12 miles to the lumber yard, or drive 27 miles to the nearest specialty lumber retailer and buy off the rack. I won't purchase these again, not on a bet or a dare.
As it is, the project is completed. I decided after purchasing additional maple ply elsewhere to go a different direction with my bookcase tops. My concern with the finished product, which I had envisioned as something between high-level casework and fine, heritage furniture is that the quality of the case material-these maple plywood project panels-is just not there and will likely affect the life of the furniture I made. It took me three and a half weeks of evening-and-weekend free time to make these three bookcases (plus an additional two weeks of evenings and weekends to prep and finish the tops I eventually chose to make), and they should last my lifetime-and my daughter's, and her future children's too...but if scratched with the vacuum or left in an unheated space for two days, that will be the end for the casework. I am angry at Home Depot for selling these, and even angrier at myself for buying them and using them. What is done is done, I guess, but be warned before you buy. I have included a photo collage of the completed cases in my workshop, where the finish I applied is curing out before I bring them indoors.
April 1, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by bean Perfect for DIY upholstered headboard.
I am a beginner to DIY, and extremely satisfied with this product. The surface was smooth and light colored that I could paint on it; the board was easy to cut with the cheapest jigsaw; Also it was easy to adhere with just wood glue. I am not an expert but I heard fusses about the difficulties of stapling on some high density boards, yet this product is just about perfect dense for hand staple guns. I bought a spare board just in case of the measurement isn't right, which I didn't need at all. The measurement was perfect. To anyone who wants to start DIY headboard project, I would recommend this product.
December 11, 2012
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Peachie Purchased to make a spice rack
I purchased this product to be used by someone else to make a pullout spice rack. The job turned out great as a new addition to my "refreshed" kitchen. Nice material.
September 2, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by RB042413 Product as expected.
Product is in excellent condition --- very well packaged.
April 24, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by FuzzyPaul Wonderful material
The quality of the surface was excellent. There are no voids and the face was attractive. Well packed. Above average veneer face, looks like sugar maple with the birds eyes.
October 1, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Husseinawala It is a great product
It was exactly as described. It arrived at time. It is easy to work with.
March 27, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Engraver Excellent bond in the layers
This plywood has, just as it's name implies, a pure bond. No small spaces/gaps in the core. The end resulting product is excellent for me. I really like it.
April 30, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by csmbjb Good Quality
I am using these panels for a wall in my office, have been very pleased with the quality and grain with these panels. I just wished they were stocked in the store. Shipping was relatively quick, so really not a problem.
April 8, 2014