I have been commanded to build a cabinet for our bedroom out of teak. My
suggestions for interesting alternatives were ignored.
I have never used plywood (except 1/4" for door panels) so I don't know much
about it's properties. The furniture I am putting it with is veneered
plywood panels with solid edge pieces. How do I glue the solids to the
plywood and get them to look right? Obviously I can't joint, glue, and
plane them like I would solids.
Any advice, or references, would be appreciated.
As it turns out, yes you can glue them, plane them, and
generally do anything to them you have done to solid edges.
I'm not sure what you mean by "look right" but a solid wood
edge glued to a piece of plywood looks pretty good if done
Teak is more difficult to deal with because of oils in the
wood that need to be removed "before" gluing. Wipe down both
pieces with acetone and glue as normal.
Furniture has been made with plywood for over 100 years which
means it's a proven product.
These folks have them other answers:
Now,,,, what other questions do you have ???
Wade Lippman wrote:
The latest FWW issue had an interesting article on this. The author
suspected that wiping oily woods was not that effective. He theorized
that quick drying solvents draw out as much contaminant as it wipes
off. So, he tested a few identical pieces: one simply glued; one wiped
then glued; and the third with his (now preferred) method, light
sanding. The first two reached an almost identical stress point
break--they were within 10 psi if I recall. The third method was far
I'd always understood wiping oily woods a good idea, but recognizing
the physiology of wood and chemical makeup of glue, and understanding
why bonds fail are important. On oily woods it fails owing to
contaminants in the wood. That they might be drawn out of the wood by
quick-drying solvents and thus frustrate the intent of wiping had
never occurred to me.
I'll have to try this soon. Anyone have 100 bf of mahogany lying
around so I can experiment?
You can joint the plywood edge and your edging piece right? The problem is
just alignment of one or both faces during glueup so that you don't need to
plane. Biscuits or dowels work well, and are a good idea for strength as
well since you will be gluing to the edge of plywood. Then a hand scraper
works well to get the surface perfectly flush. Ideally your solid wood
piece will be ever so slightly proud (rather than the opposite). Some
masking tape on the plywood while you scrape helps protect the thin veneer
on the plywood while you sneak up on flush.
It can be. The problem with sanding in this case is the ease with which you
can sand through the veneer of the plywood, not to mention dishing the
surface, which will really show badly on something like a table top.
Scraping is much more controllable and once you get the hang of it, faster.
I am not sure how to say this without sounding sarcastic, but you mean
tongue and groove?
I have a t&g router bit, but I don't have a biscuit cutter, so that would be
better for me, if it is what you mean. I have not tried cutting a grove in
plywood; it works out well?
lot of good info so far. i just finished a bunch of birch banding on
birch ply, I used a block plane to "sneak up on flush", didn't use any
masking tape and only one 'error"(first plane experience). i used
biscuits to assist with the alignment, make sure your biscuit cutter is
aligned properly. FWW last issue did a test on "oily woods" and yellow
glue, glued dry, wiped with acetone and lightly sanded. the acetone
wipe helped very little but sanding just before gluing helped a bunch.
Poly glue was suggested for most oily woods.
Several articles recently on edge banding and there is a new router bit
set that is supposed to make it much easier but fairly pricey.
Wade Lippman wrote:
I don't know how well teak glues, but I've used solid edging up to
3/4" wide on different plywoods. I make the edging about 1/16" thicker
than the plywood. To glue, I apply glue on both sides and rub the
edging back and forth a few times until it sticks on its own. In the
past, I've tried clamping, biscuits, nails, but I realised that none
of these are needed. Once the glue sticks, I just use masking tape to
clamp and hold the edging in place. Once the glue is dry (the next
day), I trim the edging using a flush trim bit on a trim router, or a
hand plane. I have not had a failure yet.
Replace "no" with "yk" twice
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In order of preference depending on the quality of the project, I use (e.g..
hardwood veneered plywood for cabinetry.
1) Face frames if they're applicable.
2) Veneer strips with white glue
3) 1/2" thick strips of hardwood
4) Veneer strips that are already pre-glued (Iron on type)
I often use the last method when I'm going to paint my project and it's
cheap, good one side or both sides plywood.
Why are the pre-glued your last choice? I have no real experience at any
veneering, except that I bought some pre-glued at a garage sale to play
with, and it seemed to work pretty well. Is it not durable, or what?
It's durable enough, it's just that I usually hand sand off the excess
veneer edge and the glue remnants makes it more difficult to sand, slowing
the process down. Also, if I don't sand or trim carefully enough to remove
all visible traces of the pre-glue, it affects the uniformity of the stain
that I apply. In addition to that, the pre-glued stuff is marginally thicker
then what you'd apply in white carpenter's glue form so the veneer strips
aren't as close to the plywood edge, sometimes making it noticeable. That's
why I use the pre-glued mostly with paint jobs, any remnant can just be
This has worked well for me also. I leave the banding a little wider than
the plywood, rub it back and forth to get a good glue bond and then I use
that blue painter's tape instead of masking tape. It gives less trouble
when you go to remove it. I have trimmed the banding down using a router
but I prefer to plane it close to the surface and finish it by sanding when
I sand the plywood. I have built several projects using this technique and
have had no problems.
Wade, reading some of the other replies I see that "solid edge pieces" means
diff things to diff folks. At the minimum, you might just want to cover the
edge of the plywood, and that could be anything from a thin veneer up to
whatever, but thin enough that it can just be glued. My previous reply
described what I would do if adding 1 or 2 or more inches of solid wood to
the edge of plywood. For me, a table top doesn't look right with just a
thin strip covering the edge, while a couple of inches of solid wood look
right fine. But then, you did not say table top did you? Just my opinion
of course, but obviously my suggestion of biscuits or dowels is not going to
work with thin banding strips. Just thought I needed to clear that up.
It took me a bit to respond to this but I had to find my source first :-).
The Router Workshop has the following tip for edge banding:
I had since found it to be extremely easy, fast and accurate.
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