I went to the lumber supply store last week and purchased 1-sheet of 3/4” riftsawn white oak MDF core plywood and 1-sheet of 1/4” riftsawn white oak MDF core plywood for the bookcase carcasses and backing material.
Holy cow, that put a dent in the plastic! Good thing that card has a high deflection rate.
The 3/4” sheet was $124, plus tax and the 1/4” sheet was $70-something, plus tax.
The grand total for a couple of sheets of MDF was $212.37!
Wow, MDF has gotten expensive these days! Of course, this was made in the USA and not Asia, so at least it’s safer to breathe any residual sawdust hanging in the air.
Or maybe the steep price was a direct result of the riftsawn white oak veneer that was riding on the MDF that drove the price up? ;)
They wanted to charge me $5/cut and I wasn’t about to pay $10 on top of the $212, so the employee let me pick through the stack and then helped me load 2-full sheets of the stuff into the back of my Cherokee. I drove the plywood home with it hanging out the back of my vehicle. I unloaded it into the garage just before it really started to rain. I counted a grand total of 2-drops of rain on one of the sheets. Good timing!
After unloading the plywood, I went to the Big Box store and picked-up 4-little plastic folding sawhorses.
The next day I went out to the garage with the new sawhorses, my circular saw, and my 50”-All in One Clamp.
I set up all 4-saw horses and had my wife help lift and center the plywood on top of the sawhorses. I centered and squared the clamp, accounting for the 3.75-inches of offset for the circular saw, and locked it down.
Never having cut a full sheet of plywood down before, I figured I’d start with the lighter, thinner (read “less expensive”) sheet first.
I slid my dusk mask on and my safety glasses down.
I crosscut the 1/4” sheet first, without issue, other than feeling like it was a bit of a stretch getting the saw all the way across the sheet. Then I crosscut the 3/4” sheet… even more of a stretch, but still no other issues.
(As a sidenote, I’d highly recommend this clamp for crosscutting sheets of plywood. My regular circular saw rides along the clamp nicely, with enough room for the motor to glide above it without any contact.)
I breathed a sigh of relief, and thankfully no sawdust as I was wise enough to wear a dusk mask for the task. My lungs were unscathed, but everything else in the garage was covered in a fine layer of MDF sawdust.
We then got the 1/2-sheets of plywood down into the basement. I’m telling you, they barely fit down our staircase! Definitely a tight fit. Leaned them on-edge against the toolbox and decided that was enough for the day. I needed to clean a bit of a mess up before I could rip them down on the tablesaw anyway.
Fastforward a day or two…
With my mess cleaned up, there was just barely enough room to maneuver myself and a 1/2-sheet of plywood behind the tablesaw and still have enough room for my ironing board…err… outfeed table to catch the outcoming piece on the back side.
I ripped 8-pieces down to about 10.5”, leaving a bit of room for error in case there were any issues. I’m glad I did too, as one of the pieces went off course, momentarily angling away from the fence. I then took the first piece and made sure to rip it nice and square and used this piece as my guide for the others, deciding if either side wasn’t straight, then ripping the offending side (if one was not quite straight,) off as the waste side.
That brings the project up-to-date. I now have 8-pieces of 3/4” RS white oak MDF core plywood that are 10” wide. The next step will be to crosscut 4 of them down for the sides of the bookcases, and the other 4 down to about 37-1/4” or so, for the top support and fixed bottom shelf of each bookcase.
-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."