Looking for good structual plywoods less than 1/8" on the cheap


Title says it all. I have yeat another usecase and now need good birch or other strucural plywoods that are less than 1/8" Seems most of it is sold for modeling and goes up in price quickly below 1/8". As always, and help is much apprecheated.


I hunted around for a long time and have had no luck. I also can’t find a reasonable source of 1/8” maple/walnut/cherry either.


These guys aren’t cheap, but they have 1/16 birch:

https://northeasternscalelumber.com/shop/plywood.html ($7.09/sqft)

Here’s a thread on another forum about it:

From which we see that national balsa has 1/16" for about half the price of northeastern scale lumber: http://www.nationalbalsa.com/birch_plywood_s/138.htm ($3.52 /sqft)

Then I found this - http://www.boulterplywood.com/MarinePlywood_4.htm Their price for okume ply varies based on size. 4x8’ sheets go for cheapest ($1.38/sqft) and 2x4’ sheets are a bit more ($2.25/sqft) You’ll probably get absolutely housed on shipping though.

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/wppages/finnishbirch.php have various cuts too, the half sheets are 4x4’ ($1.20/sqft) and full sheets are pretty much identical price per square foot.

http://shop.balsausa.com/product_p/346.htm has 1/16" ($3.94/sqft)

https://www.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0095p?FVSEARCH=plywood+1%2F16 are expensive, about $10/sqft.

https://cherrytreetoys.com/1-16-birch-plywood/ ($5/sqft)

https://sigmfg.com/collections/plywood/products/sigpw005-plywood-1-16-x-6-x-12-3-ply?variant=12308916600910 ($5.33/sqft)

http://www.balsatron.com/Item/1-16-x-12-x-24-3-ply-birch-plywood ($6/sqft)

https://www.horizonhobby.com/product/airplanes/tools--equipment--and-supplies/wood/plywood-1-16-x-12-x-48-(6)-mid5482 ($6.88/sqft)

I called these guys: https://forestplywood.com/product/baltic-birch/#specifications and got a quote of $58.50/sheet ($2.34/sqft) but they don’t ship. If you’re near San Diego, though, that’s a good price considering there wouldn’t be shipping involved. They have 1/8" for $11.40 ($0.46/sqft !! ) a sheet too, which is the new winner for 1/8" price.

https://www.greathobbies.com/productinfo/?prod_id=P2411612 seems Canadian, ($8CAD -$6.09USD/sqft)

http://www.aircraftplywood.com/products.html These guys are a manufacturer, so when i called he chuckled at my question about the order size. But, if you want to go big, there’s a 25 sheet minimum at $65/sheet ($2.03/sqft, but total order of $1,625.00… AND shipping, ouch)

http://www.hyatts.com/art/plywood-1-6mm-1-16-x-12-in-x-24-in-X77531 ($8.something/sqft)

And that’s where I ran out of steam. National Balsa, Aircraftspruce, Boulter and Forest Plywood are definitely the cheapest per square foot. I think that the bottom line will be that shipping is going to kill you no matter how do it online. If you can find a local distributor who is willing to stock it, that’s probably going to win handily.

Quick Update:

Aircraft spruce has great prices and the shipping isn’t awful if you do a couple sheets. 1 sheet is $20, but 2 is like $23. What was particularly interesting to me is that they listed an “East” location, in GA. I am in Atlanta, turns out they are in Peachtree City which is a reasonable drive for me. A field trip is in order soon.

1/16th materials?

I ordered some 1/16" plywood from Boulter Plywood Corporation. Shipping wasn’t too bad; $25 for two sheets. I did have them cut to GF size and paid well for that service! Next time I’ll just get it cut to 2’x4’.

I’ve done some projects with the 1/16". Obviously cuts well. Cool little finger joints.


The Okume?


yes, the Okoume. Wasn’t too sure about the glue they were talking about, but really doubted it was pvc and figured I could plow through anything that thin. Didn’t have any issues.


Believe it or not, I found out, from my wife, that Joanne Fabric “AND Crafts” had it. Until I moved to Pensacola, FL I hadn’t seen a Joannes with crafts in the title so I don’t know where they’re all at but I get 1’x2’x1/8" BB for $5.50


I got good results from these folk and their plywood is about as inexpensive as I have seen at $2.00 a sheet of 1.2foot


This looks like a good source in general but I am looking for less than 1/8",that is what I am having trouble sourcing at a reasonable price.


Nice compilation!


I have found the Revell BB stands in most hobby chains - Joann, Michaels and Hobby Lobby. I’ve also seen them in lumber chains - Menards and Home Depot. The stands are usually by the plastic models in hobby stores and have small inventories of 1/32 - 1/4”. 1/8” is usually the cheapest at around $5 for 12x24 sheets. They also, usually have balsa blocks for wood carving, they are rather small but some get as thin as 1/4” if you want to play with solid wood lasering.

Now, if only I could find acrylic that conveniently.


Here’s an example I found in my photo library I took a couple months ago. The thin stuff gets expensive. Their labels are rather confusing.


I found a large sheet 4’x8’ of 3/32" mahogany ply at home depot. Had them cut it in store. Might have been a one time thing, as I can’t find it again. :unamused: look in the panelling section.


This is the kind of deal I am looking for! I will keep an eye pealed. Sure they will charge me a couple of bucks to cut it down but a single sheet may well be a lifetime supply.


Well, Lauan plywood, aka meranti plywood aka phillipine mahogany plywood is pretty easy to source. I have a local builders supply store that sells it for cheap and in full sheet sizes. It tends to come in a bit under 1/8”, about 0.10”. I posted about it at some point…

Here we go: Settings for 1/8" Meranti Lauan plywood

Worked out to about $0.37/sqft.


On occasion I have seen what was called “doorskin” that is the sort seen often in interior doors. It is a mahogany a bit more than 1\8" thick and comes in 4x8 sheets and is usually very cheap.

There is another called “luan mahogany” that has a better finish but the mahogany part is paper thin and it comes in a max size of 4’x4’ and is a lot more expensive.

When I can get 48"x96" sheets I get them cut at 19" times 4 cuts that make 5 - 19"x48" sheets that work well in the passthrough. That makes for approximately 20 - 10" x 19" sheets and 5- 8" x 19" sheets but with the passthrough I can be more efficient with pieces overlapping so I don’t cut the 48" x19" sheets prior to use.


I ordered 5 sheets of 1/16th 12"x48" birch from nationalbalsa out of mass and am very pleased with it. a little warped but nothing some magnets couldn’t handle to keep things flat on the bed. i’m in new england so shipping was pretty quick