Ask Adam Savage: Favorite Wood for Building Storage



hey guys adam savage here in my cave answering 
questions from tested patrons and today's question   comes from jamie vs and jamie j-i-j-a-i-m-y uh 
vs wants to know hi adam what is your favorite   type of wood for building tool storage i think 
i've seen you generally use plywood any pros and   cons to the most general types of panel wood 
oh yes there are a lot of pros and cons yeah   okay where do i begin my bread and butter 
material here in the shop is half inch arctic   birch ply it has many plies we're going to grab 
some of that and grab some of that we'll grab this yeah that's good okay what else what 
else we're going to get yeah okay so oh man okay baltic birch ply that's my bread and butter 
that is like it's how i think half inch baltic   birch ply i love it i mean i carry plywood i 
i try and keep a stock of quality plywood uh   of many thicknesses eighth inch quarter inch half 
inch three quarter inch and one inch and i don't   use a lot of one inch but i try and 
keep some of it around here because   i like it for its engineering capabilities 
but this right here is baltic birch ply um   this is uh i think what they call bbc uh so 
it's a b there's a i can't quite remember   but it basically is there nobody any longer 
except super high-end makers i guess make a   like a grade birch ply on both sides i think the 
main stuff that you can buy these days is b grade   which is fantastic be great on one side and a bc 
on the other side i think that's how that breaks   down you can see the plies here there's like 
one two three four five six seven eight nine   plies um i became familiar with this stuff at 
industrial light magic because this is the ideal   material for laser cutting specifically because 
it does not have voids inside normal plywood like   this and here's some just classic shite hardware 
store plywood this stuff is i can yeah i could   break the stuff with my hands this this this 
garbage plywood still totally useful but   i i don't think much of it you 
can see this is three plies here   um and plywood is uh the reason plywood 
is so strong because each ply is laid   orthogonally to its predecessor so you 
get this combined amount of extra strength   but one of the things you don't know is that 
inside this plywood when they lay in some of   those pieces sometimes there are voids and they 
concern themselves mostly with the outside not   the interior levels and when you're laser cutting 
and you hit one of those voids it can greatly aid   you in catching your laser cutter on fire and 
that's a bad thing so you don't want that so   we used a lot of arctic birch apply for the laser 
cutting we did at ilm when we were laser cutting   frameworks for things um i fell in love with its 
tensile strength its rigidity its smooth surface so the pros for this are it 
has beautiful finishable sides   lots of layers which means tons of extra strength 
no voids laser-cut it all day long uh cons   it's expensive it's also hard to get um in fact 
here in the bay area i'm having trouble finding   anyone who will cut it for me and i can't deal 
with four by eight sheets of material in this shop   which means i'm eventually going 
to buy a track saw so i can   deal with four by eight material in the shop 
the problem is that lumber yards don't want   the onus of making perfect cuts and a 4×8 
to deliver it to you which makes sense   that's a lot of extra time to spend making 
perfect cuts uh but it also means that it's   really hard to get this stuff so i actually 
buy it at a kind of a premium on amazon   but again it's expensive if you go and ask for 
finish ply at a normal hardware store around   america and i discovered this while i was on tour 
and trying to find arctic birch reply because like   i think about this stuff so specifically in terms 
of its engineering capabilities that if you if i   am thinking about this stuff and you bring me this 
stuff this three ply with a veneer on each side   this is also garbage to me because it look if all 
you have to do is fill a hole with a panel this is   fine this is fine but if what you want is the kind 
of stuff i want out of this like engineering out   of it like you know i could put two holes here and 
cut a long thin line and use this as a tape holder   in fact i will show you that that's what i do here 
here we go this is some like seven ply quarter   inch plywood and i'm using it to hold up tape 
like this is an engineering execution of plywood   that you could only do with that high 
quality plywood you could not do that   with this it would not last it would not survive ah so where was i i just look the fact is 
is that i use plywood both for building   things like boxes and storage for which 
these plywoods would be fine if you   glued them well and uh secured them well and 
clamped them and all that stuff these plywoods   would probably be fine for all of that but i 
also use my plywood as an engineering medium   and the tensile strength and the the the various 
qualities i get out of arctic birch ply make it   just leagues better for the kind of engineering 
i'm always thinking about than this stuff this   is another example of what's called a finish ply 
and again you can see here it's just three plies   with a veneer on each side um this veneer is a 
shiny one it actually makes this hard to glue to   uh yeah i wish uh i wish we had i wish more of 
the world had access to better plywood because   it's such a dream to work with this stuff 
it really is it's just a freaking delight um yeah so i i like i want to make it yeah i 
just i think i've already made that clear   yeah i i go for the spendy stuff because i use 
it for way more than a lot of the normal things   plywood gets used for um i hope that was somewhat 
informative i didn't mean this to be a diatribe   on what i do and don't like about plywood 
but that is kind of what you asked for so   i appreciate the delightful question thank you 
guys so much by the way tested patrons your   questions continue to be awesome they're inspiring 
they engender lots of introspection from me i   often go home after this and tell my wife like ah 
that came up to this really interesting revelation   while answering this question seriously um that 
happens almost every time i i do these things so   thank you please keep submitting your questions 
tested patrons and i will continue to answer them   stay safe wear a mask and i will see you next time 
thanks guys i want to add this one note here um   is that um as far as other so plywood is my 
main i've i've said this at the beginning of   the video and i'll say for the rest of my life 
plywood's my bread and butter material but when   it comes to solid wood uh i really love i really 
love poplar and i love ash i love them for how   workable they are i like them how they feel 
and actually recently i made um the handle for   hellboy samaritan out of cedar and i also really 
liked working with cedar and i really dug the   awesome smell of working with cedar just thought 
i should add that before i completed your question thanks

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