Plywood made with, Luan, is very inexpensive and it also has a smooth surface. 2’ x 4’ sheet of Luan plywood cost about $5 at the hardware store.
Luan wood is simple to work with, and it's thinness allows for, the wood can be cut with a blade so there’s no need for a saw. The downside of using Luan plywood is that it will warp if not secured on all corners. It also warps when it gets wet or is exposed to moisture.
Luan plywood has many home improvement applications and is readily available at lumberyards and home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowes. Luan Plywood typically refers to a plywood panel 1/4 or, less commonly, 1/8 inch thick.
Luan Plywood Origin :
Luan plywood is manufactured from the lauan tree, which is a spieces native to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. Luan Plywood is also called Philippine mahogany or meranti. Recently Luan plywood , manufacturers have been making veneer from either white lauan (Shorea almon) or red lauan (S. negrosensis).
Is Luan Plywood Waterproof:
Luan plywood usually has only few defects which can be filled and sanded smooth using a plywood patch, but this means that the wood is best used for applications where it will be painted, or those applications where it is used as a support structure, such as in cabinets, so as not to show the corrections. Like other plywoods, an exterior grade of luan exists which is made with waterproof glue. Although, I wouldn't personally recommend luan wood for projects which would be intentionally subjected to moisture exposure.
Uses of Luan Plywood
The most prominent use of luan plywood at least in the west is for subflooring of hardwood, and vinyl or laminate flooring. Luan plywood is also sometimes used as an underlayment for flooring, but should should only be used as a supplement to a more durable subfloor, mostly because of the danger of swelling from moisture intrusion. Luan can also be used for cabinet applications, such as for thin divider panels, as well as small wooden toys
Handling and Working with Luan Plywood
As luan plywood is a very thin material, you when working with it, should support both sides to secure when cutting large sheets with a table or circular saw.
When you have to make precise cuts with a power saw, table saw or handheld cutting tool, such as for toys or other crafts, there is the chance of the plywood splintering off the top veneer layer, which would make a mess of the look of the piece. You can ensure this doesn't happen by first cutting through the top of the veneer layer with a utility knife, then keeping your cutting tool blade right next to this line.