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Plywood or solid hardwood - CEPenworks - 11-04-2019

I am finally planning on making a hall bench my wife has been wanting for years. I was planning on using this out of Woodsmith Vol. 39 No. 233. They made theirs out of poplar and painted. I am wanting to use red oak. This is a lot of flat panels. I was wondering if plywood with 1/4" hardwood edging would look ok or like I was trying to be cheap and easy or should I just the the bullet and glue up all those panels? I don't have a lot of experience gluing up panels and don't have a planer or sander to fix things. With cauls and a biscuit joiner I hope they would come out acceptable. Mie would be about 60" wide where theirs is 40". I have bead board I removed form a house built in 1925 that I hope to use for the back.

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RE: Plywood or solid hardwood - Cooler - 11-04-2019

Most oak plywood (and 100% of the big box plywood) has a rotary cut veneer.  To my eye it is a cheap look, but most people will not notice.

Here is a good article on the subject:  https://www.columbiaforestproducts.com/library/reference-guides/grading-guide/veneer-cuts-and-matching/

If you want to mimic real lumber then you should go to a good lumber yard and buy the plain sliced variety.  If you have a tongue and groove bit set you can use it to cut grooves in the plywood edges and tongues in the hardwood edging material.  The resulting glue-up should be very solid.

cutting the tongues on  both edges of 3/4" x 1-1/2" stock and gluing up two boards at a time saves time.


RE: Plywood or solid hardwood - Bill Holt - 11-04-2019

Looks like this is for a "mud room".  I think plywood makes since.  Plywood could save time and money.  On the other hand, gluing up and flattening panels will build your skills, giving satisfaction.  Guess I'm not much help.


RE: Plywood or solid hardwood - cputnam - 11-04-2019

If you are going to use paint, then use plywood. OTOH, if you wish to show off the look of red oak, then use solid wood.

Gluing panels is not hard, I can do it. I would suggest that you forget about the biscuit joiner. All you can do is to weaken the resulting joint - all those mortices. Cauls across the face will solve the line-up problem. A good jack or larger plane will obviate the need for a planer (they sure are nice though.)

If subject to any abuse, edging has a way of looking shoddy. Regardless, a nice flat strip glued to an edge is not going to come off. Use a pin nailer if you must "just to hold it while the glue dries."

JMO & YMWV


RE: Plywood or solid hardwood - bhh - 11-04-2019

I made something similar earlier this year from oak plywood, from a big lumber mill, not a big box store.   The back panels are bookmatched, not rotary cut, but by the time it gets loaded, it's a little hard to see that.


RE: Plywood or solid hardwood - ajkoontz - 11-04-2019

(11-04-2019, 11:40 AM)CEPenworks Wrote: I am finally planning on making a hall bench my wife has been wanting for years. I was planning on using this out of Woodsmith Vol. 39 No. 233. They made theirs out of poplar and painted. I am wanting to use red oak. This is a lot of flat panels. I was wondering if plywood with 1/4" hardwood edging would look ok or like I was trying to be cheap and easy or should I just the the bullet and glue up all those panels? I don't have a lot of experience gluing up panels and don't have a planer or sander to fix things. With cauls and a biscuit joiner I hope they would come out acceptable. Mie would be about 60" wide where theirs is 40". I have bead board I removed form a house built in 1925 that I hope to use for the back.

If it were me- #1 solid wood, #2 plywood and a face frame, #3 plywood and hot glue veneer banding. I would not hardwood band the plywood.


RE: Plywood or solid hardwood - CEPenworks - 11-05-2019

I guess I will go the solid hardwood route. Even my expensive wood store only stocks rotary cut red oak plywood. I do have a jack plane but have only used it to taper some curved legs for a table and to make some cauls. That worked well but I wouldn't trust myself trying to flatten a panel.


RE: Plywood or solid hardwood - kurt18947 - 11-06-2019

(11-05-2019, 08:48 AM)CEPenworks Wrote: I guess I will go the solid hardwood route. Even my expensive wood store only stocks rotary cut red oak plywood. I do have a jack plane but have only used it to taper some curved legs for a table and to make some cauls. That worked well but I wouldn't trust myself trying to flatten a panel.

I don't know if you have a store like this available. I much prefer  flat saw ply over rotary cut. Flat sawn ply doesn't really look like a glued up panel but it closer than rotary cut.

http://www.industrialplywood.com/04prod_cab_oak_r.html


RE: Plywood or solid hardwood - Handplanesandmore - 11-06-2019

Plywood because it's much cheaper, and it'll take less time to complete the project.

But if your intention is to develop skills in working with solid lumber or even rough lumber, go with hardwood. Hardwoods pose more challenges such as wood movement, etc.

Simon


RE: Plywood or solid hardwood - paul2004 - 11-06-2019

If you don't have a planer or sander, use plywood. Even with biscuits, it's probably impossible to get a nice flat panel without a sander or planer.. How else are you going to do it (I assume you don't have the hand tool equivalents either).
If you really want to do this in solid wood, you need a planer and ROS sander at minimum. Ideally a jointer too.

IMO, rotary cut oak does not look that bad.. 99% of the population (or more) can not tell the difference between cheap particle board with fake oak on it, plywood and solid wood.

I made my kitchen uppers out of solid maple.. Other than my family (who I told in the planning phase), the only person that noticed it was solid wood was the guy that installed the countertop lol..

Your first solid wood project should be something fairly small like a spice rack, small cabinet over the toilet or something like that, because chances are.. you will make a lot of mistakes.. I Wouldn't want my first soild wood project to be something as large as you have planned.. That's a lot of $$ to do in solid wood and a lot of hours of labor and you don't even have a planer..