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Dovetails with ply and solid

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Forum topic by agianni posted 01-21-2011 06:59 PM 796 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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agianni

13 posts in 1743 days


01-21-2011 06:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: maple plywood dovetail

I’m building some drawers for an entertainment unit and I was thinking about making the drawer bodies out of birch ply but the fronts out of maple and they would be joined by dovetails. Should I consider doing this? Or will the differences between the wood types cause problems with the joints? i.e. will the plywood and maple shrink and swell at different rates and cause the joints to open up? These will be 100% finished, so they shouldn’t have any serious exposure to shrinking and swelling.

-- Andrew


3 replies so far

View Darren J's profile

Darren J

3 posts in 2276 days


#1 posted 01-21-2011 07:05 PM

It’s possible you would have issues with swelling, but it probably depends on how deep your drawers are. I considered making drawers like that once, but was really concerned about chip-out of the ply faces when cutting the dovetails.

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Loren

7825 posts in 2399 days


#2 posted 01-21-2011 07:15 PM

Dovetailing ply to solid woods usually works fine. Expansion and contraction
of woods usually only causes problems with bigger joints, like very long
tenons.

Make sure the maple is dry though.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3990 posts in 2414 days


#3 posted 01-21-2011 09:01 PM

I assume we are talking router-cut, half-blind dovetails and baltic birch?

If so, it helps reduce tear-out if you use a marking knife or marking gauge (to define the line across the stock) then do a light scoring cut before you route them.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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