Quality Expectations

Characteristics, not Defects.

The below list of characteristics are not considered defects. 

The Butterfly Patch:

These little patches are a snug and flush replacement for naturally occurring knots in the timber. It may have been from a branch growing in that spot or a tear in the thin and fragile veneer.  Sometimes you can be lucky and not have any on your sheet. Other times there might be 5 or 6 on one face.

The only time you are guaranteed a butterfly-free sheet is if you purchase A-Grade Birch Plywood, even then you may want to hand pick each sheet. We use B Grade Birch Plywood so that our furniture is affordable for our customers.


The Edge Void:

Plywood is made by laying one sheet of veneer on top of another. Butterfly patches are not applied during this process which means that a void from a knot on one layer of veneer will remain as a void. The ply is still strong because these are only small voids and across the size of the board the layer is supported on either side. It is not possible to see these voids until you are cutting into your sheet, making it impossible to elude. Very often these will land along the edge of your cut.

We never fill these voids as they are a characteristic of plywood. Some bespoke plywood makers will lay their own sheets using A grade veneers to avoid these voids at a significant cost.


Tonal Variations:

Plywood is a natural material and will have varying characteristics depending on the weather, age and specific tree being used for the sheet of ply.

Plywood is also made using lots of different types of timber, so the tone will defer between these species.

Occasionally a supplier will be out of stock so we may need to source the plywood from elsewhere. It is always following the same grade of B/BB for birch ply no matter the source, but sourcing from different geographical locations can result in slight variations across the order.


Colour Changes:

You may notice your Birch Plywood furniture is becoming darker over several years. This can be due to UV exposure levels or daily use as well as the age of the finish. Remember that UV exposure happens even when not in direct sunlight!

Our Plywood furniture is finished with Osmo wood wax (an industry favourite). Osmo wood wax is a wax and oil combination with a slight white pigment to help prevent yellowing of the timber during the finishing phase, keeping it as true as possible to the original tone. Because Osmo has a large amount of oil, it is susceptible to a phenomenon called ‘dark yellowing’.

This article provides a comprehensive explanation: http://www.justpaint.org/what-is-dark-yellowing/


Quality Guarantee

Samples vs. Finished Piece

  1. We work with natural timbers and organic finishes. The sample piece we supply will never be an exact match to the finished piece, but we endeavour to make it as close as the materials will allow.
  2. Customers referring to a sample in their care must consider the storage and age of this sample if referred to after a significant amount of time has passed since acquisition.
  3. Availability of sample pieces cannot be guaranteed unless an order for the full amount of material has already been placed to complete the project in question
Fit for Purpose
  1. So Watt provide descriptions for the use of their designs and guarantee that each piece is fit for the described purpose within reasonable interpretation.
  1. All pieces are handmade by the team at So Watt. As such there will always be variation across manufacture of repeated items.