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Plywood Face Grades


Imported Hardwood Plywood Veneer Grades
Please Note: Multiple industry-based grading standards exist for the different types and different manufacturers of plywood.  Below is an outline of the grades based on summaries of the more popular standards.

BB Grade that requires smooth, tight-cut veneer, but still allows the natural characteristics of the wood.
Permitted defects (no restriction): burls, pin knots, colour variation, and usual characteristics adherent to the species.
Permitted defects (restricted): sound or live knots, filled or puttied splits, shims, wormholes and pinholes.
Non-permitted defects: soft or dead knots, stain and mineral streaks, doze, decay, open splits, rough cut, or brash and torn grain.

CC More relaxed grade than BB, often used as a back for a BB sheet.  May contain, in addition to BB grade, stain/mineral streak, dead knots, rough cut, and hairline splits.
Permitted defects (no restriction): burls, pin knots, colour variation, and usual characteristics adherent to the species.
Permitted defects (restricted): soft or dead knots, sound or live knots, stain and mineral streaks, filled or puttied splits, shims, wormholes and pinholes, doze, decay, open splits, or rough cut.


New Zealand & Australian Plywood Veneer Grades

A Highest quality veneer, appearance grade veneer suitable for clear finishing.  Specified for use when surface appearance is the most important factor.
Note: Because of the strictness of A grade rules, availability can be scarce in most species.

S Sound selected clear veneer with minor repairs allowed.  Similar restriction as B but natural characteristics such as knots are permitted as a decorative feature.

B Appearance grade suitable for high quality paint finishes and clear finishing/staining.
Filled knots should be less than 20mm wide
Tight knots should be less than 25mm wide
Filled splits should be less than 3mm wide


C Non-appearance grade plywood with a solid face; highlights the true nature of wood with sound natural defects and distinctive wood grain.
Filled holes/knots less than 50mm
Tight knots less than 50mm
Filled splits less than 12mm wide


D Non-appearance grade with open defects permitted, not suitable for painting.
Holes should be less than 75mm wide
Knots have no limitation
Open splits should be less than 25mm wide
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