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Forum topic by noone posted 09-04-2012 11:36 AM 4722 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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noone

559 posts in 1733 days


09-04-2012 11:36 AM

Ok, so I’m attempting to do my first plywood purchase outside of Home Depot and am trying to determine what kind of plywood is which. I’m building a vanity this time around and am looking at probably maple or cherry, whichever you think looks best in a dark espresso stain.

The dealer I’m looking at has sliced plywood, rotary plywood, and imported plywood. I assume that the ‘imported’ plywood is probably the cheapest. Would that be sufficient for the vanity box?

What is the difference between rotary and sliced?

http://www.fspcjax.com/plywood-lumber/


18 replies so far

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Danpaddles

554 posts in 1773 days


#1 posted 09-04-2012 12:02 PM

You should be able to see the difference between the two cuts. Ask to rub a little mineral spirits on the wood to make the grain show up better. Generally, the sliced is considered to have the more natural, pleasing wood grain showing. Rotary cut gives a slightly unnatural look by comparison. We are not talking huge differences, the colors would be the same either way.

Is the small price difference on the one or two sheets you would need, significant to the whole project?

Suggest baltic birch plywood for drawer parts. That is a different animal than other hardwood plywoods. Baltic birch has thin, tight plys. It will come in different sizes, it does around here anyway- 5×5 sheets.

Have you caught on to the fact that plywood thickness is not as advertised? Just like a 2×4 is not really 2 inches by 4 inches- plywood is undersized too. (Dang wood companies had to go and make life complicated just to save a few cents)

-- Dan V. in Indy

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Earlextech

1159 posts in 2151 days


#2 posted 09-04-2012 12:12 PM

Rotary cut is a clean log shaved all around the circumference, creating a continuous grain. Sliced, which I’m guessing is “flat cut”, “sliced” means nothing, comes from a log cut in two down the middle, lengthwise, with thin “slices” taken off the flat side of the log. These pieces are then edge glued to make up a full sheet.

The two cuts create a totally different look in the grain. I would use prefinished, birch plywood for the carcase and drawers and use one sheet of the exterior wood you want for the finished ends. Also, if you want square cabinets, use 3/4” ply and 1/4” ply for the back. Anything made of smaller stock can warp, twist and be bent by poor installation, leading to doors and drawer fronts that cannot be adjusted properly.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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Alexandre

1417 posts in 1652 days


#3 posted 09-04-2012 12:23 PM

Hope that helps

-- My terrible signature...

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noone

559 posts in 1733 days


#4 posted 09-04-2012 12:41 PM

Great explanations. Thanks.

I keep hearing suggestions to use prefinished plywood for the carcass. Is it normal to have a light colored interior but a dark exterior? Is prefinished in dark colors? If so, how do you match the color of the prefinished plywood with the trim and doors that you stain and varnish?

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Earlextech

1159 posts in 2151 days


#5 posted 09-04-2012 12:56 PM

I would not want a dark interior, how would you see anything, especially in a vanity base. It is “normal” to have a light colored interior.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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MrRon

3926 posts in 2704 days


#6 posted 09-04-2012 07:09 PM

It’s a matter of choice as to the appearance. If the area is small, either type would be fine. For a large surface area, I would probably go with matched sliced plywood. Baltic Birch plywood is great for drawers. Since it is imported, it is measured in millimeters. 18 mm being closest to 3/4” and 12 mm closest to 1/2”. Since BB is so stable, it is the plywood of choice for drawers; 1/2” being a totally adequate thickness. You can cut dovetail or box joints in BB due to its multiple plies. There is also a product called appleply which is similar to (but not as good) baltic birch. There is also solid core and marine plywood which are at the top of the cost ladder. One other product is MDF with a veneer face. Although it is a fiber core product, it is still considered a plywood and it is used primarily for inexpensive furniture. It has many limitations making it most unsuitable for a fine furniture project. For more information on plywood go to: http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Wood_Handbook.html

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noone

559 posts in 1733 days


#7 posted 09-04-2012 11:04 PM

What kind of glue do I use for prefinished plywood?

I was planning on continuing to use Kreg joinery for the carcass with glue. Rabbet in the back and glue and nail it. Both sides of this vanity will be covered by walls. Make a 1” face frame with solid cherry. Stain and varnish that, my toe kick, and the full overlay doors and drawer fronts. Install face frame and toe kick after i install the carcass so i can flush up the face frame as close as possible to the side walls. How is this plan?

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Earlextech

1159 posts in 2151 days


#8 posted 09-05-2012 01:21 PM

Melamine glue for finished parts, wood glue for unfinished.

Kreg jig is awesome.

Add 1/2” to each side of face frame, install it on the cabinet, then scribe it to the wall. Otherwise, great plan.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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noone

559 posts in 1733 days


#9 posted 09-05-2012 03:59 PM

How do you nail finished pieces to minimize visible nail holes? What do you use to fill nail holes that will match the color of an espresso finish?

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Earlextech

1159 posts in 2151 days


#10 posted 09-05-2012 06:00 PM

Brads, not nails, first of all. Second, from the inside, not from outside. Third, look at Minwax wood putty at the big box stores.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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noone

559 posts in 1733 days


#11 posted 09-05-2012 08:03 PM

Thanks!

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nailbanger2

1041 posts in 2604 days


#12 posted 09-05-2012 08:25 PM

Excellent advise you are getting, noone, but I have an alternate view on the face frame. Use 23 gauge pin nails and, with a dark wood, you can shoot them from the outside and there will be no holes to fill. These pins are only for tacking until the glue dries.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

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noone

559 posts in 1733 days


#13 posted 09-05-2012 11:08 PM

And more good advice! I was trying to figure out how to nail a face frame and a toe kick from the inside…... As I only have an 18 gauge brad nailer, it sounds like its time to invest in a pin nailer!!

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Earlextech

1159 posts in 2151 days


#14 posted 09-06-2012 12:24 PM

And I should have mentioned – Kreg jig – one of the best tools I own.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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noone

559 posts in 1733 days


#15 posted 09-06-2012 03:06 PM

I do definitely love the Kreg Jig. My first built-in project, and my first carpentry project outside of trim, was built entirely using the Kreg Jig!

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