The majority of plywood sheets are 4 feet wide, although 2- and 5-foot variations are sometimes available, according to About.com. Plywood is typically 8 feet long. Other options are 4-foot and 12-foot lengths. Three thicknesses are available: 3/4 inch, 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch.
However, the thickness labels are slightly misleading. Plywood labeled as 3/4-inch plywood actually measures 23/32 inch, states About.com. A 1/2-inch piece is really 15/32 inch, while a 1/4-inch plank is only 7/32 inch. Sometimes these small differences require adjustments in woodworking projects.
Plywood, which consists of layers of glued wood, was first patented in 1865, according to APA ? The Engineered Wood Association. Originally most plywood was used for door panels. However, by the 1920s, it was being employed for automobile running boards. However, at that time, the glue was not waterproof, and car manufacturers switched to metal. By the mid-1930s, waterproofing was possible, and plywood was suitable for outdoor use.
Plywood is sturdy and durable because the wood layers are sealed together under high heat and pressure, APA explains. This process makes the sheets strong for their weights. Plywood comes in different grades, so it is used for many purposes. These include subflooring, wall and roof sheathing, industrial containers, and furniture.