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Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:55 pm
by Grub screw
Hello folks,

Probably best to jump in at the deep end by mentioning I have little in the way of refined woodworking skills, most of my projects to date have been fairly hefty, doors, raised beds some carpentry (of sorts) fitting mortise locks but that's it.

Normally I would get a quote for something special and go from there, however this is slightly different as it's a prototype which is likely to need many changes along the way hence my pondering it myself.

To get started I need a few pointers on a) suitable wood and b) correct tools to use, let me give a brief description.

The structure is around is around 600mm wide, 350mm deep, 400mm high - at either end are two shaped pieces of plywood supporting two shelves


The ends need to be shaped with equal proportions similar to above picture, one shelf will sit on the top (where the bottom of desk is), the second at the opposite end

This unit will likely be used within kitchens so some moisture to be expected, eventually these will be hand finished to show the grain.

Marine plywood came to mind or birch ply, but the are just guesses - would appreciate any suggestions on this, also to make those shapes, tool pointer too - thanks,


Re: Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:10 pm
by JonR
Birch ply and maybe CNC cut would be the way to go I reckon.

Re: Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:09 pm
by Leveller2911
I agree with JonR and found out recently James Lathams sell Poplar Ply which should be cheaper than Birch, more stable but may be a bit softer and not put up with knocks.

Re: Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:25 pm
by Grub screw
Thanks for the suggestions and apologies for not replying sooner (notifications seem to be going adrift).

A bit more background which may help explain a few changes, there are two proposed versions - the first is budget focuses made from steel tube and joiners, functional and practical it does the same job but may suit a more modern kitchen (chrome/grey/marble).

The one ply version is more traditional with an eye on finish but essentially offering same functionality,

I always remember plywood desks at school being super strong with a nice grain, i think IKEA also have some nice pieces with similar features which leads me onto another question, holding it altogether.

The cap type bolts used by many flat pack firms including IKEA look like a good solution, if so would need to work out how to get a thread in receiving side, that said I have another idea which I hope can work - it may also add to item itself in terms of overall aesthetics.

As there are two shelves needed (top/bottom), would it be possible to cut slots into the side walls and use a peg system to both secure and help with overall rigidity?

Struggling to give an example, perhaps I have seen this used on tables?

I have also learnt with the tube design that over-complicating is both costly and could hinder assembly, simpler the better - no screw assembly would be cool.

Thanks again for feedback.

Re: Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:30 pm
by Grub screw
P.S, not sure if I receive notifications being a newbie - chk box is ticked.

I like grain of Popular ply

Re: Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:57 pm
by Grub screw
This looks really good, courtesy of indestructibles

Image ... okshelves/

Lots of straight lines, wondering if i can get away with circular saw (which I have) and router for inner corners ?

Re: Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:20 pm
by Grub screw
Hello folks,

Bit of progress, in order to get started I opted for 18 mm hardwood ply from Wickes. The rationale here was more about getting the correct balance of thickness v weight before moving onto the more expensive Birch ply, I also thought for a prototype this would be sufficient too.

For rough cutting of outline I have opted for a mini saw, having purchased a similar circular saw in the past everyone seems fixated on using a 'ripper' blade which are general included - by the sounds of things ripper blade is just that, designed to tear through material as quickly as possible, would it not be better to go for something with more TPI?


Once the outline is cut will tidy up using a router and guide bit with template.

Re: Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:38 pm
by Grub screw
Made a good start today roughing out the side pieces and two base boards, not pretty but a start at least.

Created a large amount of fine dust, not surprised that none of my tools fit Henry nozzles, no adapters either - ordered full set.

I ended up using my chop saw from both sides to make large cuts, I figured this would be better than the hand held jobbie but again tons of fine dust, presumably down to plywood construction ?

Re: Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:11 pm
by mark270981
Sounds like a lot of fun!

It’s been a while since I’ve been on the tools and I have to say I miss it terribly

Re: Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:50 pm
by Grub screw
Well took the plunge today..quite literally, after reading many reviews i ordered an Aldi 6-8mm (and 1/4) router, tempted to get table as well but sold out online.

The next challenge being commercial is to decide if sold fully assembled or flat pack, both have advantages and disadvantages with type of joint being the main consideration at present.

Going to use M8 or 6 metal inserts for the four joining pieces which would be okay flat pack, that said lining them up square while tightening a single bolt might cause headaches for customer - if pre-assembled might be able to use strong glue only.

Re: Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:48 pm
by mark270981
Good luck

Have you worked out your selling price yet?

Re: Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:49 pm
by Grub screw
Cheers Mark.

There's two versions, entry or budget no frills which is fairly easy to price based on component parts, then the wood version which has same functionality but more of a kitchen piece.

Pricing on the latter is tricky due to amount of work involved and final finish, it could be uneconomical to produce by hand - not sure at this stage, below is the type of end grain/finish aiming for.


18mm plywood even in hardwood form is quite expensive, that said buying in larger 1.2m x 2.4 would help a lot rather than smaller sizes.

Re: Advice needed on plywood fabrication plse

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:41 am
by thekarter
Are your original sizes correct - 400mm high?