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Dovetails with ply and solid

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Forum topic by agianni posted 1182 days ago 694 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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agianni

13 posts in 1493 days


1182 days ago

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

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Darren J

3 posts in 2025 days


#1 posted 1182 days ago

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

6746 posts in 2148 days


#2 posted 1182 days ago

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.

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TheDane

3423 posts in 2163 days


#3 posted 1182 days ago

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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