Help: Plywood Panel to thin


I've nearly completed my first set of frame & panel doors for a vanity using a set of matching frame-and-panel router bits (first time using these bits). I've gotten to the point of assembling the doors and installing the 1/4" plywood panel, but the plywood panel is about 0.20 inches thick where as the slot for the panel is 1/4 of an inch making for a very SLOPPY fit.
I'm thinking of gluing a strip of wood to the back side of the plywood panel along the perimeter and then running it through my planer to mill it down to 1/4 of an inch...essentially increasing the thickness of the panel along its perimeter. I'm not sure if this is the best solution.
What do you guys do to fill this gap to create a panel that fits snugly into the slot?
Mark
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"Mark" wrote in message

into
One old timey method was to stuff string in the groove, all around the perimeter, on the back side of the panel. Your idea is another method that will also work with plywood doors.
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Mark,
Places like Rocklers sell materials to fill this gap. The string idea would work, too. Your idea of putting a strip of wood will work. Except if you plan on using a machine planer be very careful. The opposite grain you will be presenting the blades on a surface that may or may not be glued very well under your glue job may just send splintered pieces everywhere and ruin your panel. I suggest adjusting the thickness of the attachment wood before you apply it to the panel.
Roy
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For next time, ask around about types of plywood available. My lumber supplier (does hardwoods and specialty plywoods) specifically recommended an MDF core maple plywood. It was about 50% more expensive but he claimed that the thickness was a true 1/4 and it was a much more uniform product. I think the veneers were a higher grade as well.
Normally I would avoid MDF anything, but for door panels I think it was the right product for the job.
-Steve

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Mark wrote:

Good as any. _____________

Cut the groove the right size :)
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I was watching norm last night on the tivo. He ran into the same problem. His solution was to get a 3/8" piece of plywood and rebate the edges to that it's exactly 1/4".
brian
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"Space Balls".... look here:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 20&SearchHandleDBDBDBDADADDDGDADCGGDGGBDJDDGCCNGGDFDGGBCNDEGDDGDCCNGBGGGEGGCNGEDHGCDCDHDCGGDBGCGCDDGCDADADADBDADADADBDBHDHAGBGDGFCAGCGBGMGMHDDADADADEDADADADADADADADBDFDADADADBDADADADADADADADADADADADADBDADADADBDBHDHAGBGDGFCAGCGBGMGMHDDADADADBDB
or the correct size slots...
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 825&SearchHandleDBDBDDDADADDDGDBGGGCDIDHGFDHGGCNDJDGGCGCCNDEGCDIGDCNDJGDDJGFCNDEGCDJGFGFDFGFDIDGDCDGDJDADADADBDADADADBDCHDGMGPHECAGDHFHEHEGFHCHDDADADADEDADADADADADADADBDFDADADADBDADADADADADADADADADADADADBDADADADBDCHDGMGPHECAGDHFHEHEGFHCHDDADADADBDB&filter=slot%20cutters
Mark wrote:

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u probly know, I just got my caliper- some things at the store, rewgardless of 1/4, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4" whatever is bound to be exact or pretty close to thre real decimal equiv. like mdf, and Baltic Birch plywood. Don't take my word for it. Sometimes space is good, others bad. Dunno
-
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im just learning glue
-
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I thought that "space balls" were to take up the vertical and horizontal slack/space on a panel and allow movement. I don't think they are to be used to fill the space front-to-back on a panel, but I suppose they could be used that way. Anyone ever do this?
Correct slots, as you mentioned below, would have been good, however I wanted to use the new "frame & panel" router bit set I just got....and you can't adjust the slot on those things....at least I don't believe you can without a whole lot of messing around.
Mark

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 20&SearchHandleDBDBDBDADADDDGDADCGGDGGBDJDDGCCNGGDFDGGBCNDEGDDGDCCNGBGGGEGGCNGEDHGCDCDHDCGGDBGCGCDDGCDADADADBDADADADBDBHDHAGBGDGFCAGCGBGMGMHDDADADADEDADADADADADADADBDFDADADADBDADADADADADADADADADADADADBDADADADBDBHDHAGBGDGFCAGCGBGMGMHDDADADADBDB

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 825&SearchHandleDBDBDDDADADDDGDBGGGCDIDHGFDHGGCNDJDGGCGCCNDEGCDIGDCNDJGDDJGFCNDEGCDJGFGFDFGFDIDGDCDGDJDADADADBDADADADBDCHDGMGPHECAGDHFHEHEGFHCHDDADADADEDADADADADADADADBDFDADADADBDADADADADADADADADADADADADBDADADADBDCHDGMGPHECAGDHFHEHEGFHCHDDADADADBDB&filter=slot%20cutters
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Mark,
The space balls will keep the thinner panel from rattling.
All my shaper cutters also stick a 1/4" groove. If I have to use a 1/4" (5mm), I use spaceballs to limit movement and rattling. Also, I turn the door, outside face down, press down on the panel and tack a 5/8" brad through the lip of the stile/rail and through the edge of the panel. Make sure you angle the nailer so it doesn't exit the profile on the other side. Perhaps the easiest method is to glue the ply panel to the stiles/rails. Lay the door face down and put a little weight on the panel to keep it tight to the outside edge of the stile/rail. You can do this with plywood without having to worry about wood movement. You can't do this with solid wood. It has to have room to move. If the doors are paint grade, simply caulk the gap on the back side, again pressing on the panel to keep it tight to the front. And for a proper paint job, you also want to caulk the front edge of the panel to the frame. Use an acrylic latex or similar that stays pliable.
I eliminated the problem by rabbeting 1/2 ply (3/8" was too hard to get and in some cases more expensive than 1/2") to fit. This method also gives a heavier, better looking door and the reveal in the back looks good.
Oh, one other method is to use a shaker style cutter set. Make a small bead moulding, say 3/16" x 1/4", on the router table and nail it to the inside edge of the door where it meets the panel. For that, you would need a pin nailer (23 ga).
Preston

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 20&SearchHandleDBDBDBDADADDDGDADCGGDGGBDJDDGCCNGGDFDGGBCNDEGDDGDCCNGBGGGEGGCNGEDHGCDCDHDCGGDBGCGCDDGCDADADADBDADADADBDBHDHAGBGDGFCAGCGBGMGMHDDADADADEDADADADADADADADBDFDADADADBDADADADADADADADADADADADADBDADADADBDBHDHAGBGDGFCAGCGBGMGMHDDADADADBDB

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 825&SearchHandleDBDBDDDADADDDGDBGGGCDIDHGFDHGGCNDJDGGCGCCNDEGCDIGDCNDJGDDJGFCNDEGCDJGFGFDFGFDIDGDCDGDJDADADADBDADADADBDCHDGMGPHECAGDHFHEHEGFHCHDDADADADEDADADADADADADADBDFDADADADBDADADADADADADADADADADADADBDADADADBDCHDGMGPHECAGDHFHEHEGFHCHDDADADADBDB&filter=slot%20cutters
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Preston,
I like that idea about the 1/2 plywood rabbeted to the 1/4 inch dimension...that's a great idea. Damn, wish I would have thought of that. Thanx a bunch. I appreciate the other good ideas you've sent....I guess I was restricting myself to the router bits I had and the 1/4 inch sheet of hardwood plywood I was planning on using....should have done the 1/2 inch ply. And I'm going to get some of those space balls this weekend for sure.
Mark

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 20&SearchHandleDBDBDBDADADDDGDADCGGDGGBDJDDGCCNGGDFDGGBCNDEGDDGDCCNGBGGGEGGCNGEDHGCDCDHDCGGDBGCGCDDGCDADADADBDADADADBDBHDHAGBGDGFCAGCGBGMGMHDDADADADEDADADADADADADADBDFDADADADBDADADADADADADADADADADADADBDADADADBDBHDHAGBGDGFCAGCGBGMGMHDDADADADBDB

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 825&SearchHandleDBDBDDDADADDDGDBGGGCDIDHGFDHGGCNDJDGGCGCCNDEGCDIGDCNDJGDDJGFCNDEGCDJGFGFDFGFDIDGDCDGDJDADADADBDADADADBDCHDGMGPHECAGDHFHEHEGFHCHDDADADADEDADADADADADADADBDFDADADADBDADADADADADADADADADADADADBDADADADBDCHDGMGPHECAGDHFHEHEGFHCHDDADADADBDB&filter=slot%20cutters
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There are 'plywood' bits available that are that 1/32 or so under the true dimention of the plywood. I had a special 8 inch blade made for my table say just for making a dado for plywood. It is just under 1/4 inch, and lasts a lot longer than the router bits, but you can't do stopped cuts, you have to cut from one end of the board all the way through to the other end. It cost less than $80. The dial a dado blade from Freud can do the same thing. robo hippy
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Amana also has an ultra-cool slot cutting bit. It's like a dial-a-dado, but it's a router bit. You loosen a nut and turn a knob allowing you to adjust the cutter thickness. It's not a rail & style set but you could probably recreate the same profile with normal bits. It's about $100 iirc, but I think it's worth it to get an exact fit and be able to use it for everything from 1/8 to 1/2.
brian
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You probably want the 3/8" plywood. That's commonly available and would just be more workable I think.
brian
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