Shopping around for Wood.. Make sure you check local options!

I came across a plywood store in my local area, called “Toledo Plywood”. I thought I’d mention it here, because the wood seems to be very good quality and they even designate some of the plywood as laser safe / laserable. They will cut and ship the plywood as well, so anyone can order from them, though it may not be nearly as cost effective as a local option if you have one.

I paid a little under $100 and got 5 sheets of plywood cut 20x60" lengths. This included 2 sheets of 5x5 1/8 BB ($10 each), 2 sheets of 5x5 1/4 BB ($30), and 1 sheet of 4x8 1/8 Walnut ($30) “Shop” grade with an MDF core. The Walnut looks the same as proofgrade, minus the masking tape. The cuts cost me about $9, which allow me to bring it home and easily cut it into 12x20 or so pieces. For the projects I have in mind, the masking tape on the Walnut is not essential, because I am just going to be doing cuts around the border for most of them. I can just use some 4" tape.

Here is a picture of my “haul”:

I am a big fan of proofgrade and still buy it. However, if you are looking to save some money (and spend a little of your time cutting) it’s a good idea to check around and see what local options you have. Also make sure you ask them if things are laser safe / and laser cuttable. Stay away from plywood that uses the waterproof glues (the 5x5 sheets from Toledo Plywood don’t).

Assuming I cut things correctly, I should get about 60 pieces of 12x20 BB, and 15 pieces of 12x20 walnut for $100 + maybe an hour of cutting time.

The 1/8 walnut alone would cost me $240 if I bought PG. Amazon 12x20 1/8 inch BB is $3 per sheet, so about $360 if I got the same amount (and 1/4 is more). So there you have it, $500 of wood if I ordered it online for $100. Not bad!!

I’ll follow up soon with a post that uses some of the plywood so I can make sure it works out as good as I think it’s going to. Thanks for reading!


Good advice! We are lucky enough to have a really good plywood distributor nearby as well. If you don’t mind finishing the wood yourself, it’s so much cheaper.

I also get my MDF from them and I love that stuff.


Great point on finishing! I forgot to mention that. I’ve had good luck using this finishing lacquer:

But I also recently tried a cheaper varnish from Krylon that I can find locally and it looks great also. I don’t put any kind of stain on most of my projects.


Do you know what face grade the baltic is? B/BB? B/B? Would you mind posting the exact thickness and face grades? I am trying to figure out if my BB is inconsistent because I am getting different grades… I have some B/B that is at about 0.128", where I am used to more like 0.119" with previous purchases (where I don’t know the grade, but it is likely B/BB).

Just trying to see if there’s a trend on thickness. The B/B stuff is slightly thicker which is a pain to resize my existing models where that matters, but it is cutting super well, I am getting easily 99.5% successful cuts, far more than previous versions where I was seeing around 90%. Maybe luck of the draw, we’ll see.


I honestly don’t know if it’s BB or B grade. It is listed as “Clear Face” and says B/BB. Based on your comments I believe it may be B grade, because it is a tad thicker.

After taking a few measurements with my calipers, the 1/8 inch is right about 3.2mm and the 1/4 is right around 6mm. The stuff I got on Amazon was more like 3mm or even a tad less and doesn’t look as good.

Here is a picture of one side. The other side had maybe 3 plugs. I didn’t notice too many knots, but there are a few tiny ones.

Hope this is helpful.

One other thing. If you are thinking of ordering from them, they replied to my email within 10 minutes the first time I contacted them. So they may be able to give you more accurate info and also can give you a custom quote if needed. They seem to be a very professional shop and well run based on my first visit. They picked and cut my plywood in under 30 minutes.

Ah, Toledo is a bit far, I’m in Atlanta. I go to Rugby architectural building products for my BB, it’s like 3 miles from my house at most. They don’t cut for me like my old supplier did, so it’s a bit awkward to get it home, but it’s a pretty quick process to cut it down once I do.

Man I miss my old supplier, it was nice to come home with a stack of ready-to-go ply.

Rugby is a US national chain, there may be one near lots of you out there:


Since the large pieces of Plywood are usually 48"x 96" if I cut it at 19"I get 5 Pieces which makes 95" plus an inch for saw cuts or error… Then I leave them at the full 48" and cut off what I need at that time which may be 10" or 20" in multiple nested strange shapes, but have used it far more efficiently for cutting it at need.


I just freehand cut one of the 20x50" sheets with a circular saw and did pretty well (cut down to 20x12 ish). I figure I don’t need super accuracy for most of my projects, but I like the idea of keeping a few sheets around uncut so I can make it more efficient later.

Either way, this is definitely going to help me save some margin as I price out some of my designs. Before I was making maybe $10 on a $50 piece, now I’m hoping it will be at least double that after it’s all said and done.

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I checked Rugby to see if there was one close. Looking at the map it looks like they are repelled by Wisconsin (where I live) :smiley:


I was so excited to see the map - looked like CT had one… nope :slightly_frowning_face:

You can also check out Ocooch Hardwoods’ scroll saw/laser ready wood. They have a great selection of actual hardwood in varying thicknesses and widths. Ridiculously cheaper than PG hardwood. They also sell a mystery 20 lb off cut/seconds box of domestic hardwood for $25. It’s a bit of a crapshoot what you get, but hey, it’s $25 (plus $13 shipping) .


They were on my list. Definitely seem like a good option and I plan to try them out the next time I need some hardwoods.

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Here is the result! I cut my new logo on the Baltic birch and the Walnut back. I am happy with the result! The walnut is a bit thinner than Pg. I am also going to try 1/4 inch.


Going to assume you are in or nearby Toledo Ohio as you say that Toledo Plywood is a local company. I’ve had great success with KenCraft Company, an exotic hardwood company in Toledo. Beautiful domestic and exotic woods. They will ship materials to you or you can pick them up in store.

Only downside is that you may need to do some resawing before the material will fit in the :glowforge:. They do have some beautiful live edge slabs.


Yes, I buy from Kencraft pretty frequently! I get a lot of my hickory and african mahogany wood from them. Prices don’t seem to be too bad either.

I asked them about Baltic Birch and they said they could cut it, but I never heard back on a price so I just went with Toledo Plywood to try something new. It is nice having both stores so close! Thanks for the reply… Are you local in Toledo now? Saw it had NY in your profile.

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No still NY. Found out about KenCraft from the “Make Something” Youtube channel. Great content and wonderful guides. He’s a :glowforge: user as well.


Ah… cool! He is a pretty well known guy around here, and I think he helps keep them in business :slight_smile: I haven’t met him personally but I do subscribe to his Youtube channel.

Great for some of you… we live in metro atlanta. Our local options are Home Depot. Oh, and Lowes… Or specialty wood craft stores that make proof-grade look like its cheap. :frowning:


When buying plywood, the surface is important, but a lot less important than the interior.

The filler wood is a great place to hide crap quality wood. Lots of holes, etc…

Now, if they chose to leave said holes empty? You’re gonna have flare ups big time.

Alternatively, they may have filled said gaps with glue. Beyond potentially not being laser safe, you’re going to end up with a lot of spots where a cut didn’t actually cut through.