User’s Guide to Plywood
For furniture makers, sheet goods offer strength, stability, and good looks
Synopsis: Sometimes solid wood is not the best option. For built-in cabinets or large tabletops, for example, contributing editor Roland Johnson turns to plywood. Its sandwich structure of thin veneer layers makes it flat and stable. With a high-grade hardwood veneer, plywood looks great and saves time and money. It’s stronger than regular wood, holds a screw well, and makes great door panels, drawer bottoms, and cabinet backs. It’s also good for making strong and stable jigs. Johnson explains how to choose hardwood-veneer plywood, how to cut big sheets safely and without tearout, the best joinery for plywood, and how to apply edging.
As much as I enjoy building furniture out of solid wood, there are times when it is not the best choice of material. When I make built-in cabinets or large tabletops, I turn to plywood. Its sandwich structure of thin veneer layers, with the grain…