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Old 11-10-2011, 03:59 PM   #16
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Wood Choices for Built-in Bookshelf


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That's not an issue with just China either, mind you.
Jeez wiz, soon they'll be importing Americans from China..... Oh, wait a minute.....

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Old 11-11-2011, 09:08 PM   #17
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Wood Choices for Built-in Bookshelf


dont forget 3/4 oak ply. i'm addicted to that stuff. no real difference from birch, but its funner to say when people ask what its built out of, lol.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:54 AM   #18
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Wood Choices for Built-in Bookshelf


Lowe's shows 3/4 oak ply sheets at $45. Compare to birch at $40. Not a terribly huge price difference. I really wish they'd list face veneer ratings on the site.

They actually list the birch with "actual" thickness of .703", compared to the typical 21/32" (.65625") for most 3/4" ply. I wonder if they just set some egghead and/or bean counter out with a set of calipers and no training to put stats on the product pages.

Got a lead on a potential local lumber yard. Will have to check it out ASAP.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:00 AM   #19
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Spoke too soon. Just found the reasoning behind .703" actual thickness. Will certainly avoid now.

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This plywood is not 3/4 inch thick; it is 18 mm. The actual thickness is .703 (18 mm). 3/4 inch plywood is 19 mm (actually 19.05 but that difference is acceptable. 19 mm lumber would be 50 microns off versus 45 mils (of an inch) off for 18mm lumber). Of course, even better than 19 mm would be actual and exact, 3/4 AMERICAN inch lumber.

This product will not match up with the thickness of the 1 inch (nominal and actual 3/4 inch) dimension lumber from Lowe's or anywhere else. The one mm difference is very noticible in assembly of any project or in fit into a dado cut for 3/4 inch. Engineered wood products should not even list a "nominal" thickness. 3/4 inch plywood has always been 3/4 inch. The difference between "nominal" and "actual" is for surface planing. Plywood doesn't get surface planed.

Unless you are willing to spend a lot of time at the planer, skip this and find real 3/4 inch plywood.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:07 AM   #20
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Wood Choices for Built-in Bookshelf


Earlier this year I built wall-to-wall bookshelves for my sister-in-law. Everything Oak. 3/4" plywood for the shelves, 1/4" for the back. Everything trimmed with Oak. All ready for stain & varnish, then the ding-dong went and painted the entire thing white!

Before selecting your wood of choice, keep in mind that there are different qualities of plywood - specifically, some plywood has more "plies" than others. The more plies, the stronger the plywood.


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Old 11-12-2011, 03:40 PM   #21
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Spoke too soon. Just found the reasoning behind .703" actual thickness. Will certainly avoid now.
well...imo this really isnt true. all plywood varies in true thickness due to the way it is made (glue, heat, pressure). 1mm is not a big deal for cabinets because everything is going to be faced.

generally (IMO) best practices is to buy the plywood that is best and cheapest for the project, then you simply used oversized veneers for the cut ends when needed and flush route them, and of course you dont have to worry where face frames will be.

for shelf dado's with under/over sized ply, you simply use your dado shims and you shim to the the exact size anyway regardless of listed nominal dimension.

The lumber yard is great, but sometimes i want a sheet of 3/4" at 9pm on a saturday....big boxes are great for that, and not every project is an heirloom piece.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:47 PM   #22
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Certainly agree, though I don't understand the dado shim thing. I'd planned on purchasing a specialty dado bit and a plunge router specifically to get the closest dado to perfect that I could.

This is a project that's a little ways out, so I have plenty of time to do it right.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:53 PM   #23
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Found a Meeks nearvby with 23/32 Birch for $56.90 and Oak for $59.33. They don't know the grade, either. YIKES!
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:58 PM   #24
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Certainly agree, though I don't understand the dado shim thing. I'd planned on purchasing a specialty dado bit and a plunge router specifically to get the closest dado to perfect that I could.

This is a project that's a little ways out, so I have plenty of time to do it right.
if you use a table saw with a stacked dado blade to cut your shelf grooves then you can set the dado width to be EXACTLY the width of the plywood (within reason, 1/32" shims).

it may in fact be difficult to do the dado if the bookshelf ends are very long unless you have a large tablesaw area...but you can do it with a router in that case and you can use a bit smaller than the plywood (1/2") and get a perfect fit that way by using a long piece of aluminum clamped to the workpiece as a guide and slowly move it over and take more bites until your dado is perfect (23/32nds, etc).....

make sense?
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:54 AM   #25
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Ahhhh. See, I thought you were referring to some sort of wood shim you'd use to fill in the space left over by standard dado widths with undersize plywood sheets. Makes much more sense now.

Still looking for a quality lumber yard, and not having much luck doing so.

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