Help with a few snags...

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Forum topic by brownmd posted 06-21-2010 09:18 AM 1107 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 3079 days

06-21-2010 09:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: questions plane hand tools groove

So I’ve run into a few issues as I’m trying to get ready to assemble a bed I’ve been working on. Basically I’m down to cutting out a groove groove for the 1/2” plywood panels. My “workshop” is in my apartment, so a router and other power tools aren’t really an option. I got a plough plane to cut the groove, but was disapointed to find out that the groove it cuts is a bit bigger than the plywood.

So my first question is this. How much space should there be in that groove? Do I want it nice and snug, or do I have to leave any room for plywood to expand – thickness-wise?

Second, I think I’ve got way too much room, and I’ve heard of people using tacks to hold a panel in place… I’d rather not, but is there any other good option?

Finally, I have a smaller blade, but it’s too small, but I could cut a groove then enlarge it I suppose. Does anyone have any suggestions on a good way to enlarge it? I suppose I could do it with a chisel, just not sure how pretty that would end up, or if I’d ever finish. Or, I also think they make some kind of specialized plane for that, but I’d rather not invest in another one if I can avoid it. Another option, I could try to cut two half sized grooves overlapping to try to get the right size, but that might be a bit tricky

What would you do?
Thanks everybody!

3 replies so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3067 days

#1 posted 06-21-2010 09:30 AM

A little space wont hurt but you don’t say how much space you are looking at. Maybe you could use a small cove or quarter round molding to hold it in place. maybe some small block on the unseen side to hold it better. Hope that makes sense/helps.

View brownmd's profile


17 posts in 3079 days

#2 posted 06-21-2010 10:12 AM

That could be an interesting solution. I might be able to slip some sort of thin strip of wood in there, maybe even make it into an accent around the panels… that could work maybe.

I’m not sure of the exact amount it’s over, I’ll try and measure it tomorrow maybe.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3009 days

#3 posted 06-21-2010 05:01 PM

Since power tools seems to be out of the question, in this case this is what I would do if it were me.
Use your plow plane to plow out the grooves needed. Then glue strips to the panel that are the depth of the groove. Then use a block plane to shave down (or sand) the glued stripes to fit in the groove for the panel. This will give you the snug fit your looking for and help to make a cleaner looking joint. Since the plywood is pretty stable material the added glued strip shouldn’t be much of a problem with expansion and contraction.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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