Hi all. I'm trying to build a fairly basic tv stand for my first
project. I plan on using 3/4 hardwood plywood for the 5 sides of the
case. Approx. size of the box is 14"x18"x24". I planned on mitred
joints for the top, bottom and sides to avoid the ply showing. Is this
a good idea for plywood? Doesn't seem very sturdy. What other joints
are appropriate for plywood case joinery that would be flush? Also, I
assume I would cover the plys showing from the face of the box with
regular hardwood. This would necessarily be 3/4" strips, is this
correct? Whats the best way to join the hardwood to the exposed plys?
Are these parts of plywood suitable for glueing or even some more
advanced joint. Am I stupid for using plywood? It just seems difficult
to find real wood in the larger width dimensions to make case sides.
Most planks I've looked at are no more than 12" wide. Thanks for
listening to these stupid questions. I'm trying to teach myself with
only books, since I don't personally know any woodworkers. Thanks, Peter
Consider using a butt joint and putting veneer tape over the exposed end.
Won't look great, but will be oh so much easier than a miter joint. A
rabbet will make it stronger and better looking (since the taped area will
be thinner), but also more difficult.
The rabbet joint seems reasonable. Are most larger cases put together
with ply or real wood? When done with real wood, is it commonplace to
have to glue boards together to accomodate the larger widths of the
individual faces? Thanks!
I don't use ply for anything but backs and, ocassionally, panel inserts. It
really doesn't much look like wood. Either you get a weird rotary grain or
equally weird strips.
Inexpensive commercial furniture is mostly ply with either solid wood or
veneer over the ends.
Yes, real wood is glued up in panels. With care you can match the wood so
it is nearly invisible. If you take a course they will show you how.
You're on the right track using hardwood ply for this application.
However, I think mitering all those corners is too ambitious for a
first project. You really have to get all your ducks in a row to get
such a long mitered joint to fit. Unless you have access to some
pretty sophisticated equipment, you'll have a real hard time cutting
your pieces at the precise angles required.
As an alternative, consider using 3/4 X 3/4 solid wood strips at each
edge . You can even use contrasting wood and treat it as a design
element. Glue the strip to the edge of one piece of plywood and after
it has set, then glue the other piece of plywood at 90 degrees to the
first. Edge-gluing plywood works, but doesn't make a really strong
joint; so you don't want to count on that joint to hold your box
together. Try to leave room to glue another 3/4 X 3/4 strip INSIDE the
box along each edge so you'll can take advantage of the much stronger
face-to-face bond. Everything will get nice and sturdy when you glue
the back in place.
Good Luck, and Have Fun
"Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas
I'm having a hard time visualizing this. I understand the strips on the
front face because I assume the drawers will end up flush with the
hardwood bands. Just having trouble seeing it at the corner joints. Are
you saying there will be strips protruding from the square box and
outside of it?
I'm saying the 3/4 square hardwood strips would BE the corner where the
side meets the back.
This is my first attempt at typwriter art, so be patient with me. It's
supposed to represent two pieces of plywood that each attach to a
square strip of hardwood, which is depicted by the X's. The spacing
will probably all go crazy when I hit the send button.
If the square hardwood strip is the same thickness as your plywoood, it
would sit flush with the plywood surface.
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Compound Miter, router, power hand tools (drill, planer, circular saws,
jig saws etc.), some basic chisels. Basically missing a thickness
planer, jointer, bandsaw, drill press and a tablesaw. My dad is
bringing me most of these in January so I'm hesitant to purchase
anything else until i see how good of shape these are in. Thanks for
Sounds like a pretty good start!
You could use the router to handle a rabbeted joint but might I suggest
moving the horizontal joints inward an inch or so and router a dado
(slot) to hold the horizontal pieces? Glued up, that's semi-strong but
can be greatly improved upon by drilling holes in the faces of the side
pieces to allow you to push a dowel through the side face and into the
end of the horizontal shelf piece. This will add greatly to the strength
of the joint, becoming, nearly, a mortise & tenon joint. If you choose a
contrasting color dowel, it becomes 'a design element' ;-)
Then get some wood filler, a putty knife and some sand paper to get
those edges smooth enough to apply a contrasting paint to the exposed
plies (unless you actually prefer to look at them ... it's your dime).
Keep your eye open for a used table saw in good running shape. You
should be able to score an older Craftsman IN GOOD CONDITION for
$100-$150. DAGS for information on tuning one up to run properly, make
the needed adjustments and a few test cuts then get yourself a good 40
tooth ATB blade for it.
I built a TV stand with a combination of plywood and hardwood.
Forget mitered corners unless you can cut them perfectly. Do you have the
tools to do this?
Buying wide hardwood is difficult, near impossible with some species,
expensive with all. You can glue up two, three, four, or whatever number of
pieces you need to get the width you want. My drawer fronts are glued from
narrower boards. To do this properly, you must be able to cut a very good
edge and have enough clamps to hold it all together.
Is the top of the box going to be overlapping the four sides? If so, you
can cut the plywood, then edge it with real wood strips. They are easily
attached with glue, biscuits help to align everything. Since most of the
top is covered with the TV, it will look like solid wood, not ply doctored
If you make the front face frame out of real wood there will be no edge ply
showing. You won't see the back either so that can be left with the ply
showing or use edge banding. Joints can be overlapped, rabbeted, etc. The
ends have some trim to give the appearance of a wood panel instead of just a
I posted a couple of photos of what I built on
alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking. That will give you some ideas.
Is there a link to those pixs? Love to check it out. Here's a link to
something similar in design to what I'm trying to build....
http://www.comcore21.com/large-LS-500-2D-NS-1SH-CP.htm . I know, boring
for you craftsmen, but believe it or not, I like contemporary design.
My design would be similar (the case, drawers) only I plan on putting
casters on the bottom (duh!) and a much larger tabletop sitting on 4
'legs' coming off the top of the case.
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
That's cool. I'd much rather use real wood but thought it would be too
difficult given the dimensions. Maybe I'll try a prototype first with
ply then do it for real once the jointer, etc. arrive. Thanks for the
advice and help all!
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
The prototype entertainment center I built, to get ready to build the 'nice
one', is still in use 6 or 7 years later, in the master bedroom. More
important projects seem to have come up, and SWMBO is just fine with that.
Good luck on your starter project. There will be a lot to do after that.
Enjoy the process!
For the case forget mitres, cut the top and bottom and then apply edge
banding which is a thin veneer that you just iron on to the edges to
hide the plys. Attach the sides with dowels, screw/nail the back on and
then make a face frame for the front out of real wood.
Be very careful that everything you cut is perfectly square, sounds
obvious but you'd be surprised how quickly a smidge off here and then
can add up.
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