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Forum topic by nerdbot posted 10-04-2015 09:22 PM 777 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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nerdbot

97 posts in 825 days


10-04-2015 09:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: veneer plywood frame and panel door

Hi guys,

I’m building a pair of large interior frame and panel doors out of cherry, with cherry plywood for the panels. I think it was a misunderstanding on my part when I ordered the plywood – I asked for 4×8’ sheet of 1/2” cabinet grade cherry plywood and assumed both sides would look nice. I didn’t bother checking both sides of the plywood when it was delivered, the top side was nice bookmatched veneer. When I started on my project, I noticed the ‘B’ side was also cherry veneer, but no effort was put into book matching. It’s actually streaks of heartwood and sapwood down the the full 8’ length (see attached pictures).

Good side:

Bad side:

I always planned on placing the “nicer” side out (the side most visible) and the other side will mostly only be seen by me (these are doors for my office). But I didn’t expect there to be such a large difference in the looks. I’m almost done milling and cutting my rails and stiles, so I need to find a solution to my panel problem pretty quick.

The way I see it, I have a few options.

1.) Cut my own ~1/8” cherry veneer from some stock I have leftover (and/or buy a bit more) and veneer that to the ‘B’ side. This would throw off the thickness of my panel quite a bit, so I’d need to readjust my plans, but thankfully I haven’t cut any of the joinery (mortise, tenons, grooves for panels, etc) yet.

2.) Buy some commercial veneer (the really thin kind) and veneer the panels. It will save time, and shouldn’t affect the thickness of my panels as dramatically, but I’ve never worked with commercial veneer before so I’d learning as I go.

3.) Try to stain just the sapwood to darken it up a bit to lessen the contrast before finishing the rest of the panel. I’ve never tried just staining sapwood before so I’m not sure how well that would turn out, or if it would even be effective in my case.

4.) Buy another sheet of plywood from a different supplier (assuming it’s nicely finished on both sides). I hear the other supplier in my town typically has better hardwood plywood, but they aren’t able to breakdown sheets for transport and they don’t have the most convenient hours. This means it will be difficult for me to borrow a friend’s truck to pick up a sheet.

For options 1.), 2.) and 3.) I’ll be cutting the panels to near final size before veneering so if I went the veneering option I wouldn’t have to veneer a full 4×8 sheet all at once.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


15 replies so far

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3022 posts in 1262 days


#1 posted 10-04-2015 09:30 PM

All of the cabinet grade plywood I have purchased, from Hood Distributing, a major fine plywood distributor, has had a good side and a not-so-good side. My guess is that the cost is significantly more if you can find two A sides.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2571 posts in 1721 days


#2 posted 10-04-2015 10:22 PM

Nerd, you can’t veneer only one side of a sheet of ply and if you decide to veneer both sides, the veneer needs to run 90 degrees to the face ply. I think trying to stain the sapwood will be challenging at best but maybe others will have better input in this regard. I recently bought some maple ply. It was listed as A-1, the face is beautiful and the reverse side is very good. I think that is what you have. My suggestion is that you learn to love the sapwood on the inside of the doors. FWIW

-- Art

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nerdbot

97 posts in 825 days


#3 posted 10-04-2015 10:29 PM

Art,

So even though the face side is already veneered with cherry veneer, I can’t cover up the reverse side? I’m guessing it has something to do with balancing the layers of veneer on each side?

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3022 posts in 1262 days


#4 posted 10-04-2015 10:29 PM

I like cherry sapwood, so I’m not the best judge of this situation. But if you let the inside of those panels see some light, the color difference will dissipate a fair amount.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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nerdbot

97 posts in 825 days


#5 posted 10-04-2015 10:42 PM

Hi Charles,

Yeah, I have a Hood Distribution local to me, and is the previously mentioned “other supplier” I was thinking of contacting next. I like cherry sapwood too, my main problem with the reverse side is that the seams of the veneer are very obvious. Had they done a bookmatch pattern, it might’ve looked a little less harsh.

The sunlight idea is one I didn’t consider… Maybe, After rough cutting the panels I could leave them inside the house near a window for a couple days?

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CharlesA

3022 posts in 1262 days


#6 posted 10-04-2015 10:47 PM

I haven’t purchased any cherry plywood from Hood, so I can’t testify to that in particular, but I got some Mahogany, and there was definitely an A side and a B side, but they were not dramatically different. In Louisville you have a $100 minimum order from Hood. I don’t use much find hardwood plywood, so I usually have to buy a bit more than I want to make that amount. The quality has been good, however.

I use plain Arm-R-Seal on Cherry and let it age. In a month or two it has darkened appreciably, and within a year it is much darker, and the lighter and darker heartwood is usually indistinguishable. The sapwood is usually far less noticeable.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View rhett's profile

rhett

734 posts in 3131 days


#7 posted 10-04-2015 11:06 PM

I doubt you would have issue with veneering only 1 side of 1/2” material, captured in a frame, unless the panels are very large.

If you are worried about veneering, they sell PSA “pressure sensitive adhesive” paper backed veneer. Think giant peel and slap sticker.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2571 posts in 1721 days


#8 posted 10-04-2015 11:35 PM

Nerd, you can’t veneer only one side of a sheet of ply and if you decide to veneer both sides, the veneer needs to run 90 degrees to the face ply. I think trying to stain the sapwood will be challenging at best but maybe others will have better input in this regard. I recently bought some maple ply. It was listed as A-1, the face is beautiful and the reverse side is very good. I think that is what you have. My suggestion is that you learn to love the sapwood on the inside of the doors. FWIW

Edit: “So even though the face side is already veneered with cherry veneer, I can’t cover up the reverse side? I’m guessing it has something to do with balancing the layers of veneer on each side?”

Nerd, that is correct. Ply has to have an odd number of veneers and they have to be balanced in terms of water absorption, i.e. you can’t use Formica on one side and a porous wood on the other side.

-- Art

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1773 days


#9 posted 10-05-2015 02:08 AM

Next time order A-2. This gets you good on both sides. If you got the bucks you can order AA-2.

The letters say what grade of veneer you’re going to get and the number says it’s on one side or two.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4856 posts in 2277 days


#10 posted 10-05-2015 03:14 AM

I like to shop where I can pick the sheets that are best for my project. Shops like crosscut or Mr. Plywood usually stock hardwood ply. I would just replace the bad sheet, and maybe you can use the other sheet for the back of a bookcase.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3941 posts in 1957 days


#11 posted 10-05-2015 11:01 AM

That is a little worse than I would expect. I think I’d either narrow the choices to 2. Learn to live with it ( a coat of garnet shellac may tone down the differences) or get a replacement piece. I know the logistics seem insurmountable, but that would be easier than trying to veneer the existing piece (IMHO).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View rhett's profile

rhett

734 posts in 3131 days


#12 posted 10-05-2015 11:42 AM

Veneering two sides is good practice for large panels that support themselves. Panels captured in a frame are secured at four point and any cupping would be contained by the groove, unless again, the panels are very large.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/38125

This project is 5 years old, veneered one side 1/4” panels, not even a slight issue.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/29036

Another project, veneered one side 3/4” cherry ply, no issue.

However, I would never only veneer one side of mdf. FWIW

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View nerdbot's profile

nerdbot

97 posts in 825 days


#13 posted 10-05-2015 11:53 PM

Thanks for the input guys. I ended up getting another sheet that looked much better at my usual supplier, so they were able to cut it down to size for me. All the cabinets in my house are cherry and I have a few projects for those rooms so the 1/2” sheet won’t be going to waste. Thanks again!

View grass's profile

grass

4 posts in 428 days


#14 posted 10-06-2015 02:00 AM

I have used cherry and oak PSA veneer on the back side only on 1/4 plywood for 9 years without any problem. I run the grain the same direction as the grain direction on the plywood. I use water base contact cement on bare ply. The PSA veneer I buy has peel and stick 3M adhesive.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1773 days


#15 posted 10-06-2015 07:33 AM



I have used cherry and oak PSA veneer on the back side only on 1/4 plywood for 9 years without any problem. I run the grain the same direction as the grain direction on the plywood. I use water base contact cement on bare ply. The PSA veneer I buy has peel and stick 3M adhesive.

- grass

+1

That works too. I use PSA veneers ever so often and never regretted it. I have even hasd PSA bloodwood veneer custom made when I did the bloodwood kitchen. Used it on the side of the tall cabinets.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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