Plywood v.s. solid wood

I am planning on building the tower bookcase from woodsmith. It is 76X12x16. The plans call for using 3/4" cherry plywood with solid wood edging and trim and 1/4" plywood back. I plan on using red oak instead. I can get a 3/4 sheet of red oak plywood for about $55 but I have a supply of dry solid red oak that is costing me 35 cents a bf for 1x8 in about 10 foot lengths. So it would be cheaper to use the solid wood. If I use the solid oak I will still get a sheet of 1/4" for the back.
Another option is to use elm that is costing $1 a bf so it is still cheaper but I would need to resaw the 1/4 back panel cause I have no source for elm plywood. However I do like how the elm looks.
It will be more work to prep the solid stock and I am concerned about the solid stuff being affected by humidity etc.
Any opinions from you wreckers?
As always thanks in advance for ideas.
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Or make it in two sections so that you can slide the upper piece onto the lower piece. Worked on the floor to ceiling cabinets in the kitchen I made. Alternatively, shorten them as Ramsey suggests, then add crown molding (moving it will become a bit of a hassle).
Renata
wrote: --snip--

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I think everyone would suggest the Oak board lumber, especially at that price. Can I get some too?
Red Oak does move some but usually not to bad, and once it's built into a box it will behave. A few pointers that can help are to let the wood get acclimated to your shop for as long as possible and let it set as much as possible between milling operations. Once you cut some fresh edges, it can move on you in the next day or so. Use biscuits to help with alignment and keep it from slipping in the future. Don't over pressure the clamps. Use flattener boards across the faces at least while clamping up, you can put masking tape on the faces of the flatteners to minimize their sticking to the squeeze out. Finally, once you have panels, never lay them flat where only one side is exposed, always stand them against a wall, etc. Once it's built make sure to finish all faces with whatever you prefer to minimize moisture changes in the wood.
BW

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Ditto. The only other thing I'll add is that I'd go with birch ply for the back because it's cheaper and you're not really gonna see it. For this reason, I use the same thing on my shelves as well. The facings and sides are the main highlights. Of course, for a knick-knack shelf, that all goes out the window. Mark from Pasadena, MD
Bill Wallace wrote:

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The oak is from 200 year old trees(ring count) and was salvaged from huge beams in a 100 year old barn. The guy I get it from resaws the stuff after he salvages it. After 100 years hanging it's dry. Very beautiful wood. I've made a few small things and no problem so far but was wondering about something this size.
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In that case, proceed with abandon.
BTW, you suck ... big time!
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Last update: 8/16/03
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