Panels a bit too thick?

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Forum topic by brownmd posted 04-24-2010 08:28 PM 880 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 2473 days

04-24-2010 08:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

So I’m in the middle of building a bed. The headboard is frame and panel. The rails are a little less than 1 1/2” thick, and I’d orignally planned on using some 3/4” plywood for the panels… But now that I’m to that point, it almost seems like 3/4 is a bit too thick…

So my question is, with frame and panel construction, how much wood thickness do you need on each side of the groove for optimum strength… and also, would half inch ply be strong enough? The panels are around 20” x 20”? If so, I’ll just go with some half inch ply and save some money…

5 replies so far

View Richforever's profile


750 posts in 3140 days

#1 posted 04-24-2010 09:49 PM

Seems like for 20” by 20” panels, 1/2” ply would be plenty for the panels. If the panels are set to the back of the rails so that molding can be placed around the edges, I’d leave at least 1/4” behind the grooves in the rails. Rubber “space balls” in the grooves should keep the panels centered and prevent rattling.

Hope this helps.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

449 posts in 2424 days

#2 posted 04-25-2010 03:51 AM

Most frame and panel doors and wainsote panels only use a groove about a 1/4” side. Half inch should be fine. Plywood doesn’t move around like solid wood does so you don’t need to be as careful with spacing and such. A little clearance and some foam weatherstrip bits in the grooves would probably be ok.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View a1Jim's profile


115172 posts in 2996 days

#3 posted 04-25-2010 03:56 AM

I concur 1/2” should do the job

-- Custom furniture

View brownmd's profile


17 posts in 2473 days

#4 posted 04-25-2010 10:24 AM

Great! I guess I’ll probably go with 1/2” then… I’m always impressed by the willingness to help on this site… thanks everyone!!!

View CaptainSkully's profile


1407 posts in 2978 days

#5 posted 04-25-2010 03:24 PM

Keep in mind that the panel groove doesn’t have to be centered in the 1.5” rail. You can increase or decrease your exposure as needed, especially if you go with the 1/2” panels.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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