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Project by mgb_2x posted 01-23-2010 12:19 AM 2585 views 6 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have always admired many of the nice projects that have been made using plywood, figured someday I would have to see what I could make. Sam’s really nice turning was the final straw so to speak. Stopped by Home Depot and picked up some 3/4 inch BC and took a shot at a design on the fly. All through the build I had a fear that no matter what this would look like a piece of plywood, but the end result works for me. I learned a lot about using plywood will make a number of changes on the next round.

This is a snapshot of the process for those interested;

1 Build a box 13×10 x 5 1/2 tall mitre the joints and make a 1/8 inch groove for a bottom, cut bottom to fit, sand insides of sides and bottom, glue and assemble.

2 Build top frame 14 1/2 by 11 1/2 of 3 inch material miter corners. Creates 3/4 overhang. I added slipfeathers to the corners to strengthen the joint.

3 Build top insert of two thicknesses 6×10

4 Cut the cove on the box sides, see the photo, blade is set at 45 and rail guides are set a 45 to the blade. This configuration will create an eliptical cove which looks nice. Unfortunately mine is upside down, the tighter radius should probably be at the top, but since this is a protoype no big deal.

5 Cut the bevel on the frame and the insert, I run them on the table saw using a fence, very very carefully. Don’t recall the angles just use the trial and error method.

6 Lots of sanding, this method of creating a cove leaves a lot of saw marks, Plywood has a number of voids and I cut small slivers to fill some of the more noticeable gaps, others got a dab of CA. Assemble lid to box with small hinges, on this box I face mounted the hinges to the back of the box as I was not sure how good the screws would hold going into the edge of the plywood.

7 Cut 2 1/2 sqaures for feet bevel as needed.

8 Finish as desired, I used Golden Oak stain and a top coat of lacquer.

Took the box to the local woodworing store and got pretty good reviews along with some recommendations on how to improve the design. I would really appreciate any comments on how to improve the design, I know already I do not like the feet, they look too plywoody. Also need to get the eliptical cove headed in the right direction.

Thanks for looking!

-- "aim small miss small" m g breedlove

6 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3809 days

#1 posted 01-23-2010 12:37 AM

i think i would have been scratching my head a little on this one, trying to figure out what wood it was…lol…i think its great…you did a great job ..who would guess plywood could look so good…thumbs up from on it…you can play with doing something else with the feet..but they look good..i would have thought it was zebra wood or somthing…lol…....grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View mgb_2x's profile


181 posts in 3574 days

#2 posted 01-23-2010 12:45 AM

Grizz don’t feel bad it has lots of people scratching their heads, several people thought it was inlaid. The patterns created by the cutting are striking. I think most of the inner layers are mahogany or luan and the are very attractive, the top ply is fir and it is not so lovely. Will try some walnut or cherry plywood.

-- "aim small miss small" m g breedlove

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4666 days

#3 posted 01-23-2010 01:41 AM

This reminds me of our 2×4 challenge—unbelievable what can be made out of a “non-fancy” piece of wood.

Bravo on completing your personal challenge so beautifully.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View firecaster's profile


574 posts in 3924 days

#4 posted 01-23-2010 05:03 AM

I like the feet as they are. Maybe you could try them smaller and recessed under the box. Only a woodworker would know they were plywood and as said above they may think they’re an exotic.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View SawTooth1953's profile


339 posts in 3811 days

#5 posted 05-21-2010 04:43 PM

The rectangular box is enhanced greatly by the contoured plywood… I love the effect! I sculpted a seahorse from plywood and it came out nicely enhanced, too.


-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4082 days

#6 posted 05-21-2010 09:30 PM

Very cool

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