Can't stand plywood.

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 01-07-2015 08:21 PM 3872 views 1 time favorited 90 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3104 posts in 2485 days

01-07-2015 08:21 PM

There are definitely uses for plywood, but unless I have a lot of area to cover, I prefer to glue up some 1×8’s for my panels.

I’m recreating this from the picture and haven’t used one piece of plywood yet.
I find that using a biscuit joiner and Titebond II gives a stronger build than plywood. Takes more time but gives a stronger finished work.

One of the main reasons I don’t use plywood is that I have a small shop and having those large pieces takes up room, plus they are hard to work with and if you make an error they are expensive to replace.

I know some of you have nice large shops and think I’m crazy, and maybe I am.

Which do you prefer for your cabinets?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

90 replies so far

View SuperCubber's profile


1042 posts in 2483 days

#1 posted 01-07-2015 08:41 PM

Plywood forever!

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View Rick Bailey's profile

Rick Bailey

247 posts in 1561 days

#2 posted 01-07-2015 08:51 PM

Doesn’t move like hardwood.

-- I'll bulid your dream,you tear it down.

View NoThanks's profile


798 posts in 1728 days

#3 posted 01-07-2015 08:56 PM

A professional realizes that their time is worth way more than the labor to glue up pcs, and it’s far cheaper to use ply.

All you are doing is taking money out of your pocket!

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5173 posts in 2692 days

#4 posted 01-07-2015 09:12 PM

Plywood here…..

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View OSU55's profile


1962 posts in 2188 days

#5 posted 01-07-2015 09:54 PM

If painting, definitely plywood. Recreating the piece shown, plywood, since face frames are used. If I wanted just edge frames, probably solid wood for the shelving – I don’t like edge banding. The entertainment center would be ply, maybe solid wood for the top shelving if edge framed.

As mentioned, if I were doing it for $, ply all the way.

View ChuckC's profile


843 posts in 3134 days

#6 posted 01-07-2015 10:40 PM

I feel the same as you about plywood. I hardly use it. If I made the stuff for a living I may think differently though.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4092 days

#7 posted 01-07-2015 10:59 PM

Saying plywood is better then wood, or wood is better then plywood, is like saying a potato chip is better then a potato, or a grape better then a bottle of wine.

Plywood can be as rude as the nose of a pig, and just as tough, ..... not all plywoods are created the same and some are ugly, others as sweet as wine.

I not only like plywood, I love it when its pancake flat, and comes pre-finished : )

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View dhazelton's profile


2793 posts in 2496 days

#8 posted 01-07-2015 11:03 PM

Plywood is dimensionally stable. Real wood is not.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2485 days

#9 posted 01-07-2015 11:08 PM

HINT: for the entertainment center…
Because you’re using 3/4” thick stock for the back, plan on installing a mount for the flat panel TV and get it off the stand.

Why?, you ask…
Because it’s a PAIN IN THE BUTT to dust with the TV on a stand. Seriously. I have a similar piece of furniture here. After I mounted the TV on a mount in that recess I was like… “Why didn’t I do this in the first place?”

And plywood….. it’s just another option for me. Depends what I’m doing. It IS hard to handle in a small shop and if you work alone all the time (like me). That’s why I have my cuts planned before the sheets ever come home and my breakdown table is set up and ready. The sheets come out of the vehicle and slide onto the breakdown table. Circular saw and edge guide. Break ‘em down into manageable pieces.

I would RATHER just work with solid wood. But if I just need some cabinets and nobody is going to see the sides…. plywood. If I’m building a table or furniture piece (or a new EASEL!) then I like solid wood.

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3264 days

#10 posted 01-07-2015 11:13 PM

I use plywood by default for cabinet carcases because I lack both the time and money to build them out of hardwood, and I also don’t see the benefit of using hardware for this in most cases (where the asthetic warrants this, such as a Krenov style cabinet, then by all means use hardwood). It would be an unusual cabinet application that requires more strength than plywood. Working with plywood in a small shop just requires a decent guide (shop made is fine) for your circular saw and some saw horses. For less than $100 you can have a good circ saw, adequate blade, and a guide that will give you a great cut quality with virtually no chipping. For an approach even easier than saw horses, lay the plywood on top of a sheet of 1” or thicker XPS insulation that sits on your shop floor (or driveway) and it serves as a great sawing platform.

-- PaulMayer,

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6298 posts in 3393 days

#11 posted 01-07-2015 11:29 PM

I refuse to answer on the grounds that might tend to incrininate me…....!!!!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4092 days

#12 posted 01-07-2015 11:30 PM

I wouldn’t say that one was better then the other, without knowing where it was being used, and without speaking to the person who wanted to own it, and what the purpose is, I think its always good to have an understanding that not all things are measured equally, that there are just varied degrees of being right and that sense where the fulcrum sits, is always owned by the person who signs the cheque.

Just because some one hands you a cheque

Doesnt mean you have to accept it : )

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4092 days

#13 posted 01-07-2015 11:37 PM

Plywood is stable
Real wood is not

really ?

If your sitting on your donkey and watching the TV,

either one works so far : )

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2485 days

#14 posted 01-07-2015 11:38 PM

For who ever said it was cheaper to use plywood, The plywood at Lowes for this job would run me $50 a sheet and I’d have to have Lowes cut it for me because I can’t handle a 4×8 sheet. Just too heavy and if you drop it on a corner, it’s ruined. Using 6’ and 10’ pine 1×8’s is much more economical. I glue up just what I want and if something happens to it, I can rip the bad piece out and put in another for very little. The depth on these pieces is not all that much, so I rarely have to glue up more than three boards to make a side. The backs are plywood, but that is all.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30052 posts in 2537 days

#15 posted 01-07-2015 11:50 PM

If you use the high-grade pine boards from the box stores, it’s not cheaper than plywood. I know at Menards, you can get the cheaper pine boards, but I wouldn’t use them for a customers project.

Mathematically, plywood is stronger than pine of equal thickness. But, you need to use the appropriate type plywood as well.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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