What is Sande Plywood, and How Is It Different from Regular Plywood?

While looking for the best type of wood for your projects and home construction, you may have stumbled upon Sande plywood. Most woodworkers and hobbyists admire Sande plywood because of its beauty and fantastic water and moisture resistance.

Sande plywood is excellent for outdoor use because of its impressive properties. Let’s find out more about this type of wood and why it’s more highly regarded than ordinary plywood in this sande plywood guide.

What is Sande Plywood?

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Sande plywood is a kind of plywood made from sande. This is imported wood used to create plywood for general construction, furniture, and other uses.

The name sande may not ring a bell, but this wood is also known as Brosimum Utile or Mulberry wood. The mulberry tree is a native of South America, specifically from countries like Ecuador, Columbia, Costa Rica, and other nearby countries.

Mulberry Wood Characteristics

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Mulberry (Morus spp)

The mulberry tree is grown for its fruit, while the rest of the trees are very useful. The White Mulberry leaves are food for silkworms which create silk. The mulberry wood has a shade that’s similar to a wood called Osage Orange.

  • Distribution: Red mulberry is the most popular species, and this grows in Eastern North America. Other mulberry species are available worldwide.
  • Tree Size: 30 to 50 feet tall and 1 to 1.5 feet wide
  • Average Dried Weight: 43 pounds per cubic feet
  • Specific Gravity: .55, .69
  • Janka Hardness: 1,680 pounds-feet
  • Appearance: the mulberry tree has a gold-brown heartwood which can darken as it ages. It has a pale yellow to white sapwood. 
  • Grain or texture: this tree has a uniform surface with a straight grain and natural shine.
  • Resistance to Rotting: the mulberry tree is very durable and is resistant to insects and other burrowing critters. This wood has exceptional weathering properties.
  • Workability: mulberry wood is easy to work with whether you use hand or power tools. You can use wood glue and different types of finishes with ease.
  • Presence of Odor: this wood has no odor even when it’s being worked.
  • Availability: this wood is an expensive domestic hardwood. It is more costly than other wood species because of its small size and scarcity. Smaller pieces of mulberry wood are available in local hardware. 
  • Uses:  mulberry wood is useful in small turning projects, furniture, and in constructing fences as fence posts.

What are the Qualities of Sande Plywood?

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Sande plywood could be the material you’ve been looking for. Here are the qualities of this wood you might be looking for.

Sande Plywood is the Easiest to Stain

Sande plywood has a lovely natural grain which makes it different from other engineered wood. Because of this, woodworkers and hobbyists prefer to use stains or finishes on Sande plywood. And this is not a problem at all.

Sande plywood accepts finishes and stains well. As long as you follow the instructions on how to use the stain you wish to use and consider the wait time, you can guarantee that this plywood will last longer.

This Plywood has Great Aesthetic Qualities

This plywood has a unique beauty. The grain is even, but sometimes some Sande plywood surface has uneven grains. Woodworkers and hobbyists prefer to use this wood for furniture and other decorative items because of its natural beauty.

And to preserve the natural beauty of Sande plywood, finish the surface with a light stain. Test a small amount of this finish on a small area on the wood before applying the product all over the wood.

Sande Plywood Can Resist Water

Sande plywood has an exceptional resistance to water and moisture. Compared to regular plywood, Sande plywood can withstand water and moisture because of its very tight grains.

Wood naturally holds water, but this wood has a fantastic quality to keep water and moisture out completely. And because of this excellent waterproofing quality, Sande plywood is mainly preferred for building outdoor furniture or for constructing outdoor structures like decks, fence posts, and other outdoor projects.

Sande Plywood Resists Insects and Pests

Because of its impressive waterproof characteristics, this plywood is also resistant to pests, especially termites and other boring pests. These great qualities make this wood great for constructing outdoor furniture and other structures.

This Wood is Easy to Cut

Sande plywood is easy to cut and shape. There’s no worry of gumming or dirtying the saw blades or edges because this wood does not have resin or any sticky material when worked. And as some dense hardwoods can splinter or break, you won’t find these qualities when you work with mulberry wood.

This Wood is Resistant to Delamination

Delamination is a process when the glue bond that connects the many plies of plywood starts to resist moisture. Delamination is due to the breakdown of the natural structure of wood because of moisture or water. Delamination mainly occurs together with fungi and mold growth.

Sande plywood’s resistance to water and moisture has made it a good candidate for making outdoor structures and furniture. Delamination can be prevented with plywood that has all these great qualities.

What are the Negative Qualities of Sande Plywood?

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Just like other types of wood, Sande Plywood also has some disadvantages. Consider these negative qualities when selecting Sande Plywood as your wood of choice for your next project.

This Plywood has Varying Grains

The first thing you’ll notice about Sande Plywood is that it comes with varying grains. This could affect the wood’s appearance, especially when you’re building a piece of furniture, or you’re using this wood to construct walls and trims. And because this plywood is easy to paint, you won’t have to worry about varying grains.

Sande Plywood is Heavier

This plywood is heavier compared to other plywood, and this weight makes it hard for builders to carry this wood in high places. You may need to use a heavy lifting machine or a forklift to move your Sande Plywood materials around.

Sande Plywood is Expensive

Finally, Sande Plywood is more expensive than other plywood. The reason for this is that mulberry trees are not as abundant and are smaller and thus, will only produce a limited number of wood.

What are the Specifications of Locally Sold Sande Plywood?

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Sande Plywood comes in standard plywood sizes, including 48″ x 96″ and 48.5″ x 96.5″. So when buying this wood from a hardware store or lumberyard, specify these sizes to get the right price. When it comes to wood grades, this plywood is B/C. Some products have A/A or A/B.  The highest grade of wood is A, and D is the lowest grade. Specify high-grade Sande Plywood for your projects.

A high wood grade means that the wood has only a few holes and knots. Also, the wood material uses a high-grade adhesive with outstanding moisture-proof qualities.

What Makes this Different from Regular Plywood?

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So, what makes Sande Plywood different from other regular plywood? First, standard plywood does not have good moisture protection, and thus, water can easily seep through the wood structures. Humid air can also have the same effect. Once moisture is trapped inside the wood grains, this can affect the strength and density of the wood.

Regular plywood is also susceptible to insects and pests. Termites love standard plywood as this is not treated for pests. Meanwhile, Sande Plywood has good resistance to pests and insects and thus can be used outdoors. We recommend applying wood finish or stain on all kinds of wood, even Sande Plywood, to extend the wood’s life and appearance and to prevent further insects and pests that can affect its natural characteristics.

Also, regular plywood is lighter compared to Sande Plywood. This is because the latter has high-quality glues, while standard plywood uses only traditional adhesives to stick the different plies together. Sande Plywood is also more expensive than regular plywood as its source is not as abundant as other wood used to create plywood. Its waterproof qualities also add to its value and high price.

Not all hardware shops and lumberyards have Sande Plywood. You may need to order this wood online if you’re considering using this for your project. Meanwhile, regular plywood is available almost everywhere. You can buy standard plywood from hardware stores, lumberyards, and online or offline dealers and distributors.

Final Words

If you’re looking for moisture-proof, waterproof plywood for your outdoor projects, Sande Plywood could be the one you’re looking for. This plywood is durable, versatile, moisture-free, and pest-free, making it the ideal plywood for many kinds of projects at home or in construction areas.

Sande Plywood comes from Mulberry trees which are not as abundant as other hardwood counterparts. Thus, Sande Plywood is not as readily available as traditional plywood. Also, although Sande Plywood has fantastic qualities, there are still some disadvantages of using this wood that should never be overlooked.

Finally, buy your Sande Plywood and other wood for construction or building materials only from reputable dealers and suppliers. This is the only way to prevent using fake wood products.  

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