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View CWWoodworking's profile

Dear plywood manufacturers,

by CWWoodworking
posted 09-24-2020 10:56 PM


34 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6212 posts in 3225 days


#1 posted 09-24-2020 11:02 PM



Pick a thickness for 1/4” please. 5mm, 5.2, 6. I don’t really care. Just make it with a little consistency.

In the past month it’s ranged from 4 to 6 and its driving me nuts.

I just recently ordered some pretty expensive tooling. I went with 6 mm, now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t gone a little bigger.

What size does everyone use for plywood frame and panel doors?

- CWWoodworking


You must be new to using plywood. :)

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

1137 posts in 1095 days


#2 posted 09-24-2020 11:12 PM

No not new. I don’t consider myself all that picky. But man I must have got the extremes. I had to sand off a ton just to get it into a 5.5mm. Then the next panel raddled they were so loose.

View Rich's profile

Rich

6155 posts in 1505 days


#3 posted 09-24-2020 11:17 PM

.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View SMP's profile

SMP

2869 posts in 821 days


#4 posted 09-24-2020 11:27 PM

Yeah its crazy. Now when searching some websites they are in categories. 1/4” category can have like 5 different thicknesses pretty close to 1/4”-ish. Imagine if car parts were like that. Yeah I need some valve springs that are around 1”.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5962 posts in 1736 days


#5 posted 09-25-2020 01:45 AM

Can’t help you with the ply dillema… I bite the bullet, put on my Trend full head shield and work with MDF (6mm in this case)... at least the MDF has a better standard deviation distribution.

You think you have problems with ply… just wait till you try the same comparison with shop vacs and their respective hoses and dust ports.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

4128 posts in 2138 days


#6 posted 09-25-2020 03:35 PM

Even in “the good old days” when things were more consistent, I always got all the required plywood from the same batch and then sized my grooves appropriately. Royal PITA, but not much else that can be done. Alternatively, a small rabbet can be cut on the back side (router table) such that the portion that slips into the groove is of consistent thickness.

Each method either requires a lot of pre-planning or wastes a lot of time and opens up other avenues of aggravation 8^)

For tooling, I’ve also given up on getting the proper fit with one pass and instead size my cutters a tad under the minimum thickness needed (then make two passes).

My guess for the whole situation is as follows:
Ply manufactures make 3/4” (0.75”) plywood.
Router bit cabal makes 0.750” dado bits.
Ply mfg, makes undersized by 1/32”
Router bit cabal makes 1/32” undersized cutters
Ply mfd. laughs and makes random thickness sheets.
Router bit cabal makes variable diameter bit with bright anodizing and calls it a “system” for only $200
Ply Mfg. make thickness vary over entire sheet.

View drsurfrat's profile

drsurfrat

213 posts in 102 days


#7 posted 09-25-2020 05:18 PM

You guys are funny – made my day.

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

6624 posts in 3325 days


#8 posted 09-26-2020 12:17 AM



Even in “the good old days” when things were more consistent, I always got all the required plywood from the same batch and then sized my grooves appropriately. Royal PITA, but not much else that can be done. Alternatively, a small rabbet can be cut on the back side (router table) such that the portion that slips into the groove is of consistent thickness.

Each method either requires a lot of pre-planning or wastes a lot of time and opens up other avenues of aggravation 8^)

For tooling, I ve also given up on getting the proper fit with one pass and instead size my cutters a tad under the minimum thickness needed (then make two passes).

My guess for the whole situation is as follows:
Ply manufactures make 3/4” (0.75”) plywood.
Router bit cabal makes 0.750” dado bits.
Ply mfg, makes undersized by 1/32”
Router bit cabal makes 1/32” undersized cutters
Ply mfd. laughs and makes random thickness sheets.
Router bit cabal makes variable diameter bit with bright anodizing and calls it a “system” for only $200
Ply Mfg. make thickness vary over entire sheet.

- splintergroup

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

1178 posts in 827 days


#9 posted 09-26-2020 01:48 AM

I normally don’t use plywood or MDF on any project. But, I just finished making two shed doors for a customer. He wanted 1 1/2”x 5 1/2” rails and stiles with 3/8” plywood for center panels with center trim pieces to stiffen up the plywood in the doors. I usually figure 1/32 to 1/64 inch narrower dados for the plywood to eliminate slop. Turned out the plywood was actually 3/8” thick. Good thing I didn’t make the dado cuts before the plywood was delivered to me. Would of had to recut the dado slots.

View SMP's profile

SMP

2869 posts in 821 days


#10 posted 09-26-2020 03:55 AM

If i wanted to make millions I would in invent a system of channels. Say for panels or drawer bottoms. You route a 1/4 groove, and insert my channel that is sized to accept one of the 100 or so thicknesses near 1/4”

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)

therealSteveN

6654 posts in 1490 days


#11 posted 09-26-2020 04:11 AM

CW just 2 words for you and your dilemma. SPACE BALLS. Set them into a groove wide enough to take the panel. They take care of the rattles, and the fit will always be like it was custom made.

The rest of you guys. Thanks for the chuckles, it was a fun read.

-- Think safe, be safe

View pottz's profile

pottz

12296 posts in 1900 days


#12 posted 09-26-2020 04:13 AM

just deal with it,thats the wood life…...next !

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5891 posts in 3267 days


#13 posted 09-26-2020 01:20 PM

This has been a pet peeve of mine for years, if they can make MDF and Particle board true to size there no reason for plywood not to be true size, it is a manufactured product, they can make any size they want. So why not simple logical sizes? 5.2 mm is 0.2047244” , so convenient.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

127 posts in 232 days


#14 posted 09-26-2020 07:02 PM

I have a wood block, 6” x 10” prox. 3/4” thick. Over a period of time I have cut grooves with various router bits and marked the groove with the bit size. Standard bits like 1/4” then some “plywood bits” etc.
Now when making a groove for a panel I use the block with the ply to see which one is close or get lucky and find the one that fits right.

-- It's not a mistake it's a design opportunity

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5962 posts in 1736 days


#15 posted 09-26-2020 08:31 PM



... if they can make MDF and Particle board true to size there no reason…
- bondogaposis

I don’t know about MDF. I often buy it and it sometimes its exactly 3mm thick, but then at other times it 6mm thick and even 9mm thick… I gave up when it go to 12mm… I just couldn’t handle the inconsistency in sizes.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View SMP's profile

SMP

2869 posts in 821 days


#16 posted 09-26-2020 09:22 PM


... if they can make MDF and Particle board true to size there no reason…
- bondogaposis

I don t know about MDF. I often buy it and it sometimes its exactly 3mm thick, but then at other times it 6mm thick and even 9mm thick… I gave up when it go to 12mm… I just couldn t handle the inconsistency in sizes.

- LittleBlackDuck

You probably got it wet. A little moisture and it swells up to 2 or 3 times its original size.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5962 posts in 1736 days


#17 posted 09-26-2020 11:16 PM


You probably got it wet. A little moisture and it swells up to 2 or 3 times its original size.
- SMP

So I stand to save a fortune… if I need 9mm, buy 3mm and just jump in the shower with it… and only step half way in if I want 6mm…

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

6624 posts in 3325 days


#18 posted 09-27-2020 12:14 AM


You probably got it wet. A little moisture and it swells up to 2 or 3 times its original size.
- SMP

So I stand to save a fortune… if I need 9mm, buy 3mm and just jump in the shower with it… and only step half way in if I want 6mm…

- LittleBlackDuck

Don’t make a video of this…..

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View SMP's profile

SMP

2869 posts in 821 days


#19 posted 09-27-2020 12:19 AM


You probably got it wet. A little moisture and it swells up to 2 or 3 times its original size.
- SMP

So I stand to save a fortune… if I need 9mm, buy 3mm and just jump in the shower with it… and only step half way in if I want 6mm…

- LittleBlackDuck

No no no! You buy SMP’s world famous MDF expander fluid. Only $29.99 per quart plus shipping and handling of $50.

View pottz's profile

pottz

12296 posts in 1900 days


#20 posted 09-27-2020 12:26 AM


You probably got it wet. A little moisture and it swells up to 2 or 3 times its original size.
- SMP

So I stand to save a fortune… if I need 9mm, buy 3mm and just jump in the shower with it… and only step half way in if I want 6mm…

- LittleBlackDuck


bingo ducks one size fits all.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5962 posts in 1736 days


#21 posted 09-27-2020 12:26 AM

You probably got it wet. A little moisture and it swells up to 2 or 3 times its original size.
- SMP

So I stand to save a fortune… if I need 9mm, buy 3mm and just jump in the shower with it… and only step half way in if I want 6mm…

- LittleBlackDuck

Don t make a video of this…..

- woodbutcherbynight


Definitely not! Got a quote and it cost too bloody much to move the shower down to the workshop… Furthermore, if i did that, I’d have to go downstairs for my monthly wash.

No no no! You buy SMP’s world famous MDF expander fluid. Only $29.99 per quart plus shipping and handling of $50.
- SMP

Hope it’s better than Acks wax… I wanna see the ingredients…

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View pottz's profile

pottz

12296 posts in 1900 days


#22 posted 09-27-2020 12:28 AM


You probably got it wet. A little moisture and it swells up to 2 or 3 times its original size.
- SMP

So I stand to save a fortune… if I need 9mm, buy 3mm and just jump in the shower with it… and only step half way in if I want 6mm…

- LittleBlackDuck

Don t make a video of this…..

- woodbutcherbynight

Definitely not! Got a quote and it cost too bloody much to move the shower down to the workshop… Furthermore, if i did that, I d have to go downstairs for my monthly shower.

No no no! You buy SMP’s world famous MDF expander fluid. Only $29.99 per quart plus shipping and handling of $50.
- SMP

Hope it s better than Acks wax… I wanna see the ingredients…

- LittleBlackDuck


comon duckie leave the battles with the thread they belong too !

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5962 posts in 1736 days


#23 posted 09-27-2020 12:49 AM



comon duckie leave the battles with the thread they belong too !
- pottz

Sorry pottzy, may I then re-word my comments, please.

Has anyone else used SMP’s world famous MDF expander fluid and how do they rate it out of 5 stars? I have a plumbers shower quote awaiting the review.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View SMP's profile

SMP

2869 posts in 821 days


#24 posted 09-27-2020 01:04 AM


No no no! You buy SMP’s world famous MDF expander fluid. Only $29.99 per quart plus shipping and handling of $50.
- SMP

Hope it s better than Acks wax… I wanna see the ingredients…

- LittleBlackDuck

The main ingredient in my secret formula is Dihydrogen Monoxide. You can read about the dangers of it here. You definitely want to use all precautions before using so best read the full warnings on the DHMO website.
http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5962 posts in 1736 days


#25 posted 09-27-2020 08:50 AM


The main ingredient in my secret formula is Dihydrogen Monoxide. You can read about the dangers of it here. You definitely want to use all precautions before using so best read the full warnings on the DHMO website.
http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html
- SMP

As long as it only contains less than 40% of that DM... I can afford a 40% drop in my sex life nowadays… the ticker needs a rest occasionally.
I’ll keep it under lock and key, away from the viagra... Hell, just realised, Yin and Yang... whoo no pee!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

1091 posts in 2135 days


#26 posted 09-28-2020 12:09 PM



CW just 2 words for you and your dilemma. SPACE BALLS.

- therealSteveN


want some room for movement in door panels anyways.
or go with what ive used in some framing on rather not square/level/ plumb remodels:
hammer and nail it do your best.
let shims and caulk do the rest.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5962 posts in 1736 days


#27 posted 09-29-2020 02:27 AM

CW just 2 words for you and your dilemma. SPACE BALLS.

- therealSteveN

want some room for movement in door panels anyways.
or go with what ive used in some framing on rather not square/level/ plumb remodels:
hammer and nail it do your best.
let shims and caulk do the rest.

- tomsteve


Sorry trSN, I missed your initial words of wisdom… Hmmm, Should that be just BALLS ? or BALLS !... ?

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View DS's profile

DS

3590 posts in 3336 days


#28 posted 09-30-2020 04:51 AM

+1 for Space Balls… and yes that is what they are called. Been around decades before the movie.

Also, find yourself a good hardwood supplier and buy domestic plywood. 1/4” is actually 1/4”.
You pay more than the cheap import plywood but you have way better consistency.
The veneers are also thicker so it is more forgiving if you tend to over sand your veneers.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

1557 posts in 2951 days


#29 posted 09-30-2020 11:29 AM

I feel your pain. If you’re in the cabinet business, and you’ve ever had to spec dados, rabbets or blind holes in plywood on a CNC router, you know the frustration of having to measure every bunk of material and output for that thickness, or just use a fudge number.
Why plywood manufacturers don’t figure this out is beyond me.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5891 posts in 3267 days


#30 posted 09-30-2020 06:52 PM

Why plywood manufacturers don’t figure this out is beyond me.

Exactly, it’s as if they hate us. Seems a poor business model.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

407 posts in 875 days


#31 posted 09-30-2020 07:05 PM

For paint grade Mdf is easier as you can run it over a panel raiser to hit the thickness exactly.

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)

therealSteveN

6654 posts in 1490 days


#32 posted 09-30-2020 07:19 PM


CW just 2 words for you and your dilemma. SPACE BALLS.

- therealSteveN

want some room for movement in door panels anyways.
or go with what ive used in some framing on rather not square/level/ plumb remodels:
hammer and nail it do your best.
let shims and caulk do the rest.

- tomsteve

Sorry trSN, I missed your initial words of wisdom… Hmmm, Should that be just BALLS ? or BALLS !... ?

- LittleBlackDuck

Ya got me Duckie. Actually they are Space Balls (Mountain Oysters) in a freeze dried presentation. I urge you not to use SMP’s jump in the shower method, or those Oysters gonna swell up, and blow that panel right out of the rails, and stiles….. It would be an ugly thing to see. Splinters everywhere, including in your Oysters if you get my meaning.

-- Think safe, be safe

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

1137 posts in 1095 days


#33 posted 09-30-2020 09:07 PM

I can deal with the small panels in this case. They are actually drawer fronts. It’s when they are thicker than the plywood cutters and I have to sand them down.

Just ordered insert tooling at 6mm. Hope it works.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5962 posts in 1736 days


#34 posted 09-30-2020 09:30 PM



... or those Oysters gonna swell up…
- therealSteveN

Hell, Oysters would be a lot cheaper than Viagra for the swelling!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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