How stable will this octagon wrapped in molding be?

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Forum topic by PhilosopherSteve posted 01-21-2015 02:00 PM 978 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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43 posts in 4353 days

01-21-2015 02:00 PM

I wanted to make several of these cipher wheels in hardwood instead of plywood (buyers don’t seem to like hearing “plywood” anymore). These are made from a core of 3/4” thick maple or cherry (the maple one is in the picture) wrapped with 1/2” wide walnut. I do like the nice contrast. These are only about 8” from side to side – that makes the center area 7”. Each edge is just under 3”. The center circle is 3 3/4” diameter and I left some wiggle room for it.

Question is, even on a piece this small, could the molding cause problems or just come right off? In looking at it, I’m even now worried about the hand wheel I glued onto the center – could it keep that from being allowed to move as well.

These are an item I want to sell, so I’m being a little more cautious than if I was keeping it myself (I could always glue a piece back on).

I could still take the molding off, as well as the hand wheel (I think the hand wheel looks kinda chunky anyway). Bandsaw and table saw with a bit of scraping and sanding could remove this.

Am I over worrying or rightfully cautious? Thoughts? Also, do you think the center hand wheel is too chunky?

Thanks, Steve!

7 replies so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4247 days

#1 posted 01-21-2015 02:08 PM

Hi Steve;

You may be over doing it, as modern glues have fantastic holding power.

However, if it makes you feel better, add some pin nails. If you have a pin nailer, you’ll find the hole is so small there really is no need to fill them, yet they do provide holding power, when used in conjunction with glue.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1788 days

#2 posted 01-21-2015 03:03 PM

...hardwood instead of plywood (buyers don t seem to like hearing “plywood” anymore).
- PhilosopherSteve

Don’t call it plywood. Call it veneer constructed.

View MrFid's profile


888 posts in 2172 days

#3 posted 01-21-2015 03:14 PM

Don t call it plywood. Call it veneer core.

- Yonak

Hah! I wouldn’t worry about it. Larger projects will have more stretching and shrinking than smaller projects. Could you maybe do some decorative turning for the center handwheel? That might make it look a little more elegant, if you’re looking for suggestions. Not sure if you have access to a lathe or not.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View bondogaposis's profile


5210 posts in 2618 days

#4 posted 01-21-2015 03:26 PM

Since the plywood is stable and the trim pieces will not move in length, you will be fine. The center wheel may cause a problem in the long run. I would just apply glue to the very center of it and then it will be free to move independent of the plywood.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View PhilosopherSteve's profile


43 posts in 4353 days

#5 posted 01-22-2015 04:12 PM

Thanks for all the great replies. While it seems that I am probably over worrying – I may still take one of the wheels I made I remove the edging and see what other kind of adornment I can put on. In looking around it seems even a piece this size could move about 1/16” or so. While those joints will probably hold, I don’t mind a little challenge to see what other possibilities I have. I do have a lathe to maybe play with those hand wheels.

Lee – good idea on a few pin nails. They can solve a variety of problems.

Yonak/MrFid – veneer constructed/core – love it. I will have to use that!

Bondogaposis – These wheels don’t use plywood which is why I was worried. With the tip on “veneer core” I will probably go back to plys for the stability.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4486 days

#6 posted 01-22-2015 04:22 PM

One more vote for “don’t worry about it.” I’ve never had wood movement cause a problem on any of the many, many small boxes I have made.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1489 days

#7 posted 01-24-2015 01:23 AM

If the wood has been aged well and the moisture content is low enough when you seal it with whatever you use there’ll be minimum expansion/contraction. If you dado the trim into the oct and give it a smidge wiggle room, (like a breadboard end) all you have to do is pin nail the middle of one face. The oct can move as much as it wants.

-- I meant to do that!

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