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cutting plywood to hide plies

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  • Soundslike
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    I know you're not kidding, but what makes you think using plywood complicates construction? After the countless threads about MDF edges and the treatment?

    I'm one of those guys that hates mdf dust, but I'm curious. All materials have their compromises, but I think plywood requires fewer. Granted I always veneer or paint plywood since I think plywood is pretty unappealing when stained.

    FWIW, a plain miter joint with modern glue is plenty strong enough for a speaker. Splines and cleats are leftovers from earlier days for this application.
    I noticed that I failed to reply, and I didn't want you to think I was avoiding a response, so I'm replying to a conversation that's pretty much over...

    The complications I had in mind are what we've been talking about here, i.e., how to join the panels so the plies don't show. I assumed the OP intended to do some sort of natural finish, otherwise he probably wouldn't be concerned about the edges. I guess I also assumed he was using veneered plywood, such as the common stuff available at the home improvement centers like Oak or Birch. That's the kind of construction I had in mind when I implied using it was more complicated than MDF. Assuming that's the case, and it's necessary to make a mitered joint, it will be more complicated than a simple b u t t joint.

    My main point is that I don't think we should rule MDF out and that MDF has advantages. The density of MDF is greater, and density seems to be a desirable characteristic to lots of designers, although I guess we're seeing challenges to the idea that it makes for a more inert enclosure. It is easier to finish if you're going with a painted finish, the surface is harder, it's typically straighter, (unless you buy the more expensive types of plywood), it doesn't splinter, and it's cheaper. In fact, Baltic Birch is a little more than four times the cost of MDF.

    I think there is widespread agreement that plywood is more pleasant to work with, and that the material is superior for many things. I just don't think it's always the best choice, and as you say, no matter what you use, there are compromises to be made.

    Regarding splines and cleats, I think someone else already described my thinking. They're not necessary with enclosures for reasons of strength, but they can make assembly easier.

    Leave a comment:


  • Silver1omo
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    Originally posted by Soundslike View Post
    Note that the quarter round method will require a piece that's as thick as the plywood, or the plies will still show somewhat. But if a size equal to the plywood is used, you'll have to use some method, such as cleats, in order to have surfaces to mate for gluing. Using MDF sounds simpler to me, but if you decide to use mitered joints, you may want to consider a spline, and/or cleats, or biscuit joints.
    If the quarter round is smaller you can dado the joints leaving less exposed plies, more work, but I like to dado to help me square things.

    I'll have to test a miter with cleats to see if I get better results...

    Leave a comment:


  • fastbike1
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    I was speaking as much from an alignment perspective as from a joint strength view. I do have a lot of corner clamps and I also like the packing tape approach, although one's tape needs to be reasonably straight as well.

    I really need to practice w/ my lock miter bit. Definitely the hot setup once dialed in. I did have some issues with tearing the spline portion even in plywood when dry fitting. An absolute diaster in mdf.


    Originally posted by relder View Post
    If you include biscuits as splines, they sure make the mitre easier to glue up and assemble without wandering as much, if at all, under clamp pressure. If you have a bunch of those "corner clamps" (I don't) I guess it's not as necessary.
    Last edited by fastbike1; 02-02-2012, 07:45 PM.

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  • relder
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    Originally posted by fastbike1 View Post
    Splines and cleats are leftovers from earlier days for this application.
    If you include biscuits as splines, they sure make the mitre easier to glue up and assemble without wandering as much, if at all, under clamp pressure. If you have a bunch of those "corner clamps" (I don't) I guess it's not as necessary.

    Leave a comment:


  • jgleadall
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    +1 on the locking mitre joint, they are a little tricky to setup, but worth it. I used to work for a railing company that built their large newel posts that way with solid wood, worked like a charm. Just throw clamps all the way around and tighten them all up really good and your done, no need to align anything. whereas trying to make mitre joints line up can be a challenge, usually a roll of fibre tape is required to keep things from moving around and tight.

    Leave a comment:


  • BeeTL
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    Originally posted by mike price View Post
    I use the cleats and quarter round method all the time , I find it easy , very sturdy , and it usually turns out looking pretty nice in the end. Here is a link to a post I made with some pretty detailed pics of the construction method.

    http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...62&postcount=1

    http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...3&postcount=39


    And the rest of the thread if you're interested.
    http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=225603
    Those came out really nice!

    Leave a comment:


  • mike price
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    I use the cleats and quarter round method all the time , I find it easy , very sturdy , and it usually turns out looking pretty nice in the end. Here is a link to a post I made with some pretty detailed pics of the construction method.

    http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...62&postcount=1

    http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...3&postcount=39


    And the rest of the thread if you're interested.
    http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=225603
    Last edited by mike price; 02-01-2012, 12:48 AM. Reason: added link

    Leave a comment:


  • fastbike1
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    I know you're not kidding, but what makes you think using plywood complicates construction? After the countless threads about MDF edges and the treatment?

    I'm one of those guys that hates mdf dust, but I'm curious. All materials have their compromises, but I think plywood requires fewer. Granted I always veneer or paint plywood since I think plywood is pretty unappealing when stained.

    FWIW, a plain miter joint with modern glue is plenty strong enough for a speaker. Splines and cleats are leftovers from earlier days for this application.

    Originally posted by Soundslike View Post
    I don't think you mentioned why you want to use plywood, but I know a number of people that frequent this forum prefer it, primarily I think, because they dislike the dust that MDF produces. But using plywood does complicate construction, as compared to MDF.

    Leave a comment:


  • Soundslike
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    Roman's suggestion (lock joint) is no doubt the best solution, but I suspect you're looking for an inexpensive method. I don't think you mentioned why you want to use plywood, but I know a number of people that frequent this forum prefer it, primarily I think, because they dislike the dust that MDF produces. But using plywood does complicate construction, as compared to MDF. If you don't have the resources to use lock joints, then mitered joints will be the best option from an appearance standpoint. Note that the quarter round method will require a piece that's as thick as the plywood, or the plies will still show somewhat. But if a size equal to the plywood is used, you'll have to use some method, such as cleats, in order to have surfaces to mate for gluing. Using MDF sounds simpler to me, but if you decide to use mitered joints, you may want to consider a spline, and/or cleats, or biscuit joints.

    Leave a comment:


  • r-carpenter
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    Lock miter bit on the router table or shaper is another way but takes time and pricey bits.
    Edging can look nice if solid edge is used decoratively.

    Leave a comment:


  • jinjuku
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    The OP asked how to cut to eliminate exposed ply. There is only one way I know of doing this. Now you can finish to cover up the exposed ply but that is a rather large difference.

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  • stan
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    45 degree miter all edges, all pieces cut to outside dimensions, use packing tape to do a fold/assemble, works pretty well, but the pieces must be accurately cut and mitered. Somewhat tricky to glue/assemble, having two people helps.

    Stan

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  • cjmartiny
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    I think i understand the quarter round idea after googling it. looks like you would cut it a little deeper to allow the quarter round to slide between the two pieces of wood. Might do that dont look TOO difficult.

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  • BeeTL
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    Box joints!



    Just kidding...I was testing on scrap.

    :p

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  • djg
    replied
    Re: cutting plywood to hide plies

    I have done several speakers with quarter round or square solid stock on the vertical corners. The tops I have covered with veneer, hiding the end grain. The bottoms were left unfinished. A little Zaph mini monitor, that has top and bottom veneered. Schumakubin, top veneered, and Singularity, with floor tile top.
    Attached Files

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