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Forum topic by IantheTinker posted 02-18-2018 07:26 PM 521 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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IantheTinker

261 posts in 333 days


02-18-2018 07:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plywood shelf l corner grain direction pocket holes

I am building a a corner book shelf for my parents and I am unsure as to how to style the shelves. It will be in an “L” shape and I am torn between cutting a longer piece and pairing it with a shorter, or cutting the entire “L” from the plywood. I was concerned about grain direction if the shelves were cut out as a solid piece.

I am planning on pocket holes for the joinery.

I included a picture of the two piece method I was thinking of (and already cut all the pieces for). The other picture is of my highly refined, expertly drawn out plans and cut list.

Any thoughts are welcome.

-- opiningminnesotan.com


13 replies so far

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WyattCo

93 posts in 310 days


#1 posted 02-18-2018 07:58 PM

I don’t understand the “grain direction” concern. It’s plywood. What am I missing?

View Rich's profile

Rich

3902 posts in 795 days


#2 posted 02-18-2018 07:59 PM

I think that mitering the corner would look best.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2893 posts in 2720 days


#3 posted 02-18-2018 08:19 PM

Exactly why a lot of commercial cabinet makers use 9 ply birch ply. Doesn’t matter how you shape or cut it, there is no grain direction, hence, no loss of strength.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

2644 posts in 1593 days


#4 posted 02-18-2018 08:54 PM

Personally, I think that joining the 2 pieces as shown at the top, won’t look as good as cutting it out as a single piece or as Rich suggested cutting as a 45 degree miter joint with the grain running at 90 degree angle to each other. Assuming you are going to use edge banding to hide the plies, the grain direction will look more natural with grain running at 90.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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jimintx

858 posts in 1790 days


#5 posted 02-18-2018 09:05 PM


Personally, I think that joining the 2 pieces as shown at the top, won t look as good as cutting it out as a single piece or as Rich suggested cutting as a 45 degree miter joint with the grain running at 90 degree angle to each other. Assuming you are going to use edge banding to hide the plies, the grain direction will look more natural with grain running at 90.
- Lazyman

Agree. I think.

The miter approach would result in the grain directions intersecting at 90 degrees. Right?
That would look best to my eye, but once it is all installed and loaded, only the maker is likely to even know how the grain is running in each side of the ell.

And it raises the next question: how to join the two sides of the mitered shelf.

Also, I think Ian meant the grain direction issue to only be the visual of the grain, not a structural concern.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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IantheTinker

261 posts in 333 days


#6 posted 02-18-2018 09:07 PM



Personally, I think that joining the 2 pieces as shown at the top, won t look as good as cutting it out as a single piece or as Rich suggested cutting as a 45 degree miter joint with the grain running at 90 degree angle to each other. Assuming you are going to use edge banding to hide the plies, the grain direction will look more natural with grain running at 90.

- Lazyman

I wasn’t sure how much having fewer plus running in that direction would effect the strength. It seems that most agree it wouldn’t have an effect, so I have learned today. No I just need to figure out how I will cut them out, probably table saw close to the corners, then finish with the jig saw. Thanks for the input!

-- opiningminnesotan.com

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IantheTinker

261 posts in 333 days


#7 posted 02-18-2018 09:08 PM



I don t understand the “grain direction” concern. It s plywood. What am I missing?

- Fthis

I also wasn’t sure about having the grain go in that direction on the shorter side of the shelf. Thought it might look funny.

-- opiningminnesotan.com

View jbay's profile

jbay

2898 posts in 1105 days


#8 posted 02-18-2018 09:20 PM

Here is an idea

or

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

1687 posts in 3071 days


#9 posted 02-18-2018 09:23 PM

It will probably use more wood but I would make the grain go at 45 degrees to both legs and have it as a single piece for aesthetics.

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IantheTinker

261 posts in 333 days


#10 posted 02-18-2018 11:44 PM



Here is an idea

or

- jbay

Well, that idea isn’t half bad! Sad to say that I already went down to the shop and cut the “L”’s out as solid pieces…only to discover that due to the orientation of my markings on the wood, the best side of the plywood is facing down! Boy was I peeved with myself! I was already giving up the commission my parents were giving me for this project (due to wasting wood with the first way I cut out the shelves), but now I am going to have to purchase new 3/4” Birch plywood…$50 out of my own pocket. I was okay with giving up the commission, chalking it up to a lesson learned, but now I am just mad with myself after this last mistake. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever learn…

-- opiningminnesotan.com

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

858 posts in 1790 days


#11 posted 02-19-2018 02:33 AM

Ian, if you have cut out an L shape, i bet you can get close to the top drawing from jbay.

Just cut it into the three sections, and turn ‘em over.
Maybe that or a similar scheme will work, but I know there are dimensions to consider.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View IantheTinker's profile

IantheTinker

261 posts in 333 days


#12 posted 02-19-2018 03:05 AM



Ian, if you have cut out an L shape, i bet you can get close to the top drawing from jbay.

Just cut it into the three sections, and turn em over.
Maybe that or a similar scheme will work, but I know there are dimensions to consider.

- jimintx

Good thinking, Jim, but I think it would be too small then. My mom has a lot of books, lol. Thanks for sharing though, it helps me to remember to try and think outside the box.

-- opiningminnesotan.com

View Mike_in_STL's profile

Mike_in_STL

730 posts in 740 days


#13 posted 02-19-2018 03:09 AM

My vote is one solid piece, it’s plywood, no grain structure or load bearing issues to deal with.

-- Sawdust makes me whole --Mike in STL

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