Manufacturing Plywood Boards: Then And Now

Submitted by: fancylad 1 week ago in Tech


Learn a little something about a fading industry set to a druggy electronica track -- it's a win-win, IAB!

From the Victoria Albert Museum: Plywood is a simple material made by glueing together thin sheets of wood, known as veneers or plies. These basic elements have remained broadly the same throughout its history. The most significant breakthrough in its production came in the early 1800s with the development of steam-powered machines that could cut veneers cheaply. The most influential of these was the rotary veneer cutter.

The cutter rotates a log against a wide, horizontal blade, causing it to ‘peel’ into a continuous sheet of wood. This enables the creation of longer, wider sheets of veneer than previously possible and with little waste. Using these machines meant that plywood could be manufactured quickly and inexpensively on a large scale.

This film shows the stages in manufacturing plywood boards in the mid-20th century and today. The process remains essentially unchanged, although today many of the machines are much faster and computer controlled. 
There are 26 comments:
Male 4,439
The first 30 seconds of this video needed a trigger warning for squirrels.

A very cute little squirrel who hopes you don't chop his tree down to make plywood.
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Male 1,078
squrlz4ever I believe they issue an evacuation order before they fire up the chainsaw;) 
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Male 3,120
That's a great comparison, there were so many people in the 50s working on that job line.  Probably got that number down to half a dozen now.  People ask where the jobs went, well there ya go.
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Male 3,114
I've played around making plywood for small projects - small boxes, as well as aside table.
This guy shows how he does it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60NMei0TAic
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Male 1,078
What I found amazing was the size of those old Doug fir trees.  The original stand trees in the Pacific Northwest were ginormous.
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Male 3
great video! thanks for sharing!
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Male 706
A good video but for a more modern look I recommend the video https://vimeo.com/44947985
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Male 4,719
nice video, i never knew they peeled the wood in one thin layer like that, but considering all the boards i've seen like that and wondered how they did it, now i finally know!
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Male 706
monkwarrior But how do you know this is really how it's done if you haven't seen it with your own eyes?
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Male 4,719
lockner01 still trolling?? it does you no good.
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Male 4,439
monkwarrior How do you know? I think Lockner gets a full day's worth of B vitamins every time he teases you.
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Male 4,719
squrlz4ever I'm a monk, i can see when people are hurting themselves.  Lockner01 knows it too though it's doubtful they will admit it.
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Male 706
monkwarrior You spelled douchebag wrong.
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Male 4,719
lockner01 Thanks for continuing to hurt yourself, though i don't know why you do it, it seems ridiculous.
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Male 706
monkwarrior But you didn't answer the question.  You've said that you don't know if the earth is round or not because you haven't seen it for yourself.  You obviously don't believe the massive amount of video, photo and scientific evidence.  Yet one viewing of a video on plywood from 60 years ago and you believe that's how plywood is made.  

That's pretty hypocritical.
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Male 4,719
lockner01 it's pretty hypocritical that you're still trolling, and hurting yourself.
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Male 706
monkwarrior Your statement is a logical fallacy.
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Male 4,719
lockner01 Maybe you shouldn't have come out of the gate trolling?  Your loss.
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Male 706
monkwarrior Maybe you shouldn't have come out of the gate being a douchebag.

I don't see how your hypocrisy is my loss. But I guess that's how you were brought up.
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Male 4,719
lockner01 So you consider 

"nice video, i never knew they peeled the wood in one thin layer like that, but considering all the boards i've seen like that and wondered how they did it, now i finally know!" 

As coming " out of the gate being a douchebag"?


Boy! you really are a desperate troll! ahahaha!

Keep trolling, it does you no good!
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Male 706
monkwarrior No I actually asked you an honest question.  
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Male 4,719
lockner01 unfortunately you were trolling due to your poor reading comprehension that caused you to fail to understand that
  • i have seen these boards before first hand.
  • i commented 'nice video' on the video on how these boards came to be
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Male 706
monkwarrior "nice video, i never knew they peeled the wood in one thin layer like that, but considering all the boards i've seen like that and wondered how they did it, now i finally know!"

So you "never knew they peeled the wood..."  But you've seen these boards; but you never wondered how these boards came into being?  

Before that did you think there was a plywood tree?  
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Male 4,719
lockner01 to be honest i never really thought too much about it, I could see it was layered, and i remember wondering how they did it.  Now i know.
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Male 706
monkwarrior Wow -- I don't know what to say.  Could we call your response a restart?
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Male 4,719
lockner01 maybe a clarification for you
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