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Old 04-03-2011, 11:54 PM   #1
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Plywood Baseboard


Replacing all interior doors with three panel oak doors. I would like to use oak veneer plywood to make affordable 6" baseboard. This method will yield seven 8' lengths of baseboard per sheet of plywood. On long runs, the ends, while traditionally fastened using a scarf joint, could be joined using a tongue and groove made on a router table. I plan to apply a square corner cap molding to cover the plywood edge.

Would anyone who has used plywood comment on their experience? Any issues that I should be aware of?

Thanks.

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Old 04-04-2011, 07:58 AM   #2
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That is a lot of work when the molding manufacturers have done all that cutting for you, but it will work. When you figure in all the labor, preprimed molding is a bargin. If you are staining, plywood still looks like plywood.

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Old 04-04-2011, 08:06 AM   #3
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Stay away from wet areas............

Your longest run will only be 8'
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:09 AM   #4
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Agreed. I see CL ads all the time for molding and trim dirt cheap though, pre-primed, mdf and solid too.

(I create my own baseboards, casements, trim, etc. from oak and walnut but not everyone has acres of free wood.....)

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Old 04-04-2011, 10:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by tcleve4911 View Post
Stay away from wet areas............

Your longest run will only be 8'

I agree. Every 8' there'll be a seam that wont match. Not very attractive IMO. Good try though.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:11 PM   #6
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Thanks all for feedback. I'm wrestling with this decision. The baseboard, whether plywood or oak boards, will be square cut with a square corner cap. The oak boards run about $40 per 8' piece at 6" width. Oak veneer plywood would be about that price for 6-7 8' pieces. Considering that the top edge will be covered with a square corner cap, the savings seems worth the attempt. The bottom will get dressed with a shoe molding.

I'm definitely spending cash on oak boards to case windows and doors.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:54 PM   #7
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I think the only concern we had was the plywood edge on the floor soaking up water.
Seal the edge really well and I think you'll be good to go.

One last concern about rotary sawn vs plain sawn plywood.

You WILL see a big difference in the rotary sawn Home Depot plywood when you butt it up against your solid wood door casings.
If you go to a hardwood/plywood dealer, they will sell plain sawn that actually looks like boards glued up together.
Probably another 30 -40 bucks for the upgrade but well worth it.

Just a word of warning......
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:04 PM   #8
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Not what you want to hear, but I think you are just wasteing money to create something that will look like crap. You will have a highly visible vertical seam every 8', which not only will show up as a darker vertical line when stain is applied, but will have a grain mismatch at the butt. To add to the ugliness, unless you can rip the plywood down the seams where the veneer has been seamed, some pieces are going to end up with a horizintal seam(where the veneer is laid up) and two different grain patterns on the same 8" wide piece.
Also very delicate, as the veneer is only 1/42 of an inch thick, not allowing for flushing any seam or sanding and dings or scratches out.

Find a lumberyard that deals in hardwoods, sounds like you may be looking at big box pricing.

IMO, this is definately a case where the bitterness of pour quality will live long after the sweetness of price has worn off.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:06 PM   #9
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What thickness are you talking about? I would think it would look a little anemic.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:22 PM   #10
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Again, I appreciate all comments, which show a lot of great thinking. I plan on using 3/4" material or thicker. Typically, if using board stock 1-1 1/8" would be the aim.

I'll check out the specialty hardwood plywood dealer vs the big box. I'll also look at the lumber yard to price oak boards to figure a true price comparison (more options).

I'm always open to more ideas. Later, I'll post a picture or two, providing an example of the effect I'm looking to achieve.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by DoItMyselfToo View Post
Again, I appreciate all comments, which show a lot of great thinking. I plan on using 3/4" material or thicker. Typically, if using board stock 1-1 1/8" would be the aim.

I'll check out the specialty hardwood plywood dealer vs the big box. I'll also look at the lumber yard to price oak boards to figure a true price comparison (more options).

I'm always open to more ideas. Later, I'll post a picture or two, providing an example of the effect I'm looking to achieve.
Maybe you could use some scrap to fur/fir it out to the right thickness. 3/4 IMO will look odd.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:10 PM   #12
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Maybe you could use some scrap to fur/fir it out to the right thickness. 3/4 IMO will look odd.
Most baseboard moulding aren't even 3/4" thick. Your typical "cove" style of base is usually only 5/8" to 11/16" of an inch if it's finger joint or clear pine. I think the biggest problem is the extra work you're going to be doing. I HATE having to splice base together. But if you're planning on staining it kind of dark it will probably look alright.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by sausagefingers View Post
Most baseboard moulding aren't even 3/4" thick. Your typical "cove" style of base is usually only 5/8" to 11/16" of an inch if it's finger joint or clear pine. I think the biggest problem is the extra work you're going to be doing. I HATE having to splice base together. But if you're planning on staining it kind of dark it will probably look alright.
I have not tried this, but I have built alot of finished shelving units out of big box store 3/4" oak ply and it looks very nice when completed.

I would think that the rotary cut vaneer would allow for a better chance at matching the grain end to end, but again I have never tried this, I am however excited to see the pictures of your finished product.

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Old 04-04-2011, 10:44 PM   #14
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Here is a solution which at first thought will be way outside your comfort zone but is easily achieved. Pic a stable sub material poplar would be my choice, then order veneer of your choice. I use Certainly Wood http://www.certainlywood.com/results.cfm. You can get lengths of 10+ feet and in good widths. Poplar you can get in 14' to 16' lengths and if you half lap them first you will have lengths longer than any run you have. Now you can veneer your oak onto it. That your piece of veneer and slice it slightly oversized and keep it in order. Now here is the part which may throw you- use hide glue, specifically 192 gram strength. You will be able to easily veneer matching grain by joining the veneer end-for-end. Here is a utube vid which will show the process, and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awIBy..._order&list=UL
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:58 PM   #15
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I used to buy all my hardwood from the Mennonites. It was about 7 years ago, but at the time they only charged $2/bdft for typical hardwoods (oak, hickory) and around $4/bdft for cherry and birds-eye maple. They sold it rough or S4S - same price. It may be a stretch, but you may be able to find a supplier like this in your area.

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