Is it ok to crosscut shelves long ways if it will be painted? Birch ply.

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Forum topic by noone posted 05-06-2012 12:46 PM 813 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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559 posts in 1697 days

05-06-2012 12:46 PM

I don’t know if I said this right, but I have a lot of scrap birch ply (ends of 4×8 sheets) that are the right width for a 38” wide shelf, but it would mean that I would have to crosscut it so the shelf would end up with the grain going front to back on the length of the shelf. I will be using a solid 1×3 poplar front to these shelves. Painted.

Any issues with doing this?

3 replies so far

View jmos's profile


716 posts in 1794 days

#1 posted 05-06-2012 01:06 PM

From a strength standpoint it will not matter at all. Plywood doesn’t actually have a grain direction; the individual plys are glued with the grain running perpendicular. If you paint it no one will ever know. If you don’t paint, it may look at little ‘off’ to the eye with the grain running the width of the shelf, and to someone who knows what they are looking at it’s a dead give away it’s plywood and not solid wood, but it will work fine.

-- John

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3643 days

#2 posted 05-06-2012 01:37 PM

Ditto what John said. There are no structural issues at all in doing what you propose. My only caution would be that, depending on the color and lighting conditions, the grain direction might still be visible through the paint. I don’t think it will be very noticeable at all, but it’s something to consider if you (or the boss) are really picky.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View noone's profile


559 posts in 1697 days

#3 posted 05-06-2012 02:02 PM

Kind of what I figured. Thanks for confirming.

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