Woodworking projects under way. #9: Wood Magazine clamshell cabinet progress... Trying to stifle obscenities...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 05-23-2011 04:24 PM 1408 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Wood Magazine clamshell cabinet. Dry fit done, on to glue and finish... Part 9 of Woodworking projects under way. series Part 10: Wood Magazine clamshell cabinet progress... Loaded it up last night. »

I knew better, I knew better but my cheap instincts told me to try it anyway…

I am talking about using lumber from Home Depot…

I KNOW all they sell is junk. But a $25.00 sheet of 3/4” “cabinet grade” plywood is just too hard to resist…

They know my weak spots…

There is nothing more infuriating than getting everything lined up just right, and dead square… Getting it all glued together, and then having the lumber MOVE on you…

Isn’t part of the point of plywood that it’s supposed to be STABLE?

I now have a couple of choices…

#1. Scrap the whole stinking project, and start over with decent plywood. An expensive option that I just don’t have the dinero for in the first place, which is why I opted for the $25.00/ sheet ply instead of the $50.00 / sheet oak ply at the hardwood dealers… (not to mention the cost of the gas getting there and back…)

#2. Since it’s mostly done, I just need to go over it with the danish oil a second time, I could just continue with the project, and hope and pray that it will stop moving.

#3. Cut and install some sort of bridge to go across the middle, of the door span, that I can use to pull the sides of the rails back IN to where they should be.

I think I am going to do #2 and keep #3. open as a possibility. I am not sure I want to post this one as a completed project though. I am more than a little unhappy with this plywood… and the results I am getting from it… It really burns me that I can be square, and out of square at the same time…

I guess you learn something new every day…

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6 comments so far

View HorstPeter's profile


121 posts in 3284 days

#1 posted 05-23-2011 04:52 PM

I too thought plywood would be flat and stable, but apparently that really isn’t the case all the time.


View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3722 days

#2 posted 05-23-2011 06:27 PM

pics would probably help. might not be as bad as it sounds

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4267 posts in 3619 days

#3 posted 05-24-2011 06:20 AM

My minibench was built with the antipation that the plywood would be warped. Meaning, I made the ends so strong, that I could use them to pull warped plywood straight. Besides, I wanted weight and rigidity.

But it is the last project of any complexity I build out of this stuff. It is too costly in terms of time….....

For me, it is a transition piece. From here on in, the materials will be better.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3687 days

#4 posted 05-24-2011 03:30 PM

Well, I went ahead and mounted the thing up on the cleat last night, and the case shifted, even though on the bench everything is “square” and on the wall everything is “square” and there is a distinct bow to the rails on the doors, the doors now open and close freely. I did not glue the case as it was not called for in the plan (screws only), but I am going to loosen the rabbet joints up and get some glue in there, snug it all back up square, and then re-hang it, see if letting the glue dry tensioned on the wall helps…

I have not gotten nearly as far with the finish as I would have liked, it seems this stuff DRINKS Danish Oil, and I am running low on it at this point… I will have to run by Home Depot and grab another can SOON..

On the plus side, I have the cleat dead level, and screwed into 3 studs with 3” screws. This thing isn’t going anywhere!

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View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 3231 days

#5 posted 05-24-2011 03:45 PM

I use cleats to hang cabinets as well. For cabinets, I glue and screw them together. Always expect movement and plan for it, especially for kitchens. Other than bathrooms/washrooms where there are hot showers, kitchens are the worst for humidity. I learrned that if you are going to hang off of a cleat, put one in the shop to test the cabinet before you get it on site. The stresses are different and they move.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3687 days

#6 posted 05-24-2011 04:13 PM

FWIW, the cabinet I am building is not exactly, but pretty close to a 100% follow the plan build of a Wood Magazine plan. I left out the adjustable shelves and inner doors in lieu of having a space to store my multi drawer small parts bins.

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