FWW recommends grooving the plywood. So the tongue goes on the
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells
'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets
fly with a club.
-- John W. Cambell Jr.
Normally you would groove the plywood. In most applications, and considering
the thickness of most edge banding, you likely won't have enough material to
groove the edging material without weakening it.
I just did this on a 6-foot long shelf. I put the tongue on the
hardwood (dado blade on the table saw) and the groove in the 3/4"
plywood (slot-cutting bit on the router). I made the grove about 1/4"
wide and 5/16" deep; the tongue was about 1/16" shallower than the
groove. I cut the tongue slightly thick and planed it to fit. Make
sure you plane equal amounts off both sides of the tongue to keep it
As for which would be better, I can't really say. All I know is it
seemed to work out OK the way I did it.
There was a similar question about a month ago. The answer that I gave
then is the same one that I will give now. Why don't you just use
contact cement to glue the hardwood edge the the plywood shelf. I have
done this many times and then use the router trim off the excess. It
works and looks fine and has held up of me on a wall unit for at least
It works for me.
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