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Maple board vs. plywood thickness

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  • Maple board vs. plywood thickness

    For some oak bookcases I put together awhile back, I was able to make them out of 3/4in oak veneer plywood and then add an off-the-shelf (HD) 3/4in oak board strip to the shelves and round it over and all that.
    I've been asked to do the same thing in maple, and after poking around a bit, maple hardwood plywood comes in 3/4in, but the board lumber is cut 4/4. Now I guess they don't say that it's 1in. just to fool the new guys like me <vbg>.
    It does mean I have to buy a jointer-planer to take 4/4 down to 3/4 before I can match the boards to the plywood, yes?


  • #2
    or trim a 1/4" off on the table saw
    9/11/01, never forget.


    • #3
      If you're goal is to end up with the boards and the plywood to all be the same thickness then yes, a planer would be the easiest way to accomplish that.
      I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


      • #4

        Or you could do what I do, and just use this as perfect reason to get a jointer/planer. I'm actively searching for justification now for drill press...


        • #5
          Or use your TS to cut a rabbit to accept the plywood and leave the full 1" (aka 4/4) thickness to give the front edge of the shelf more mass and a little extra stiffness. Use a 1/8 or 3/16 roundover bit to soften the edge if you wish or dress it up with an ogee or other shape bit in your router.
          "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


          1/20/2017 - The Beginning of a new Error


          • #6
            Have you seen the maple board? 4/4 is the rough cut measurement. If it has been milled it is 3/4".


            • #7
              do you have a friend with a planer?

              Is birch available in solid wood, it is a very similar grain and look,

              can you find a different source for the lumber that may be planned all ready or a pre made trim,
              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
              attributed to Samuel Johnson
              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.


              • #8
                Measure the Maple Board


                I agree with Jim the Pipestone Kid's reply. 4/4 doesn't always mean it's exactly 1" thick. Just like 2x4 doesn't mean the stud is exactly 2" x 4". I'm still fairly new at this, but I haven't found a 4/4 board yet that was actually 1" thick.

                Measure the maple board if you can. Then decide how to proceed.

                Still able to count to 21....


                • #9
                  Agree, 4/4 is a rough lumber dimention from the mill. HD will sell it as 3/4 finished size or dressed size


                  • #10
                    If the maple board is S4S, it will probably be 3/4" thick. The ply is probably 23/32" thick. The extra 1/32" can be left proud or sanded (or routed) flush. If the maple board is more than 3/4" thick, you can still leave it proud or trim with a router with a flush cutting bit or even sand it down.

                    Another way is to rip your maple board to the thickness of the ply. But this will leave the end-grain exposed and may cause some staining issues.

                    I'm sure you have thought of this and it doesn't work with your design, but on my bookcases, I like to add a 1 1/4" or so thick edging. I like the way it makes the shelves look more substantial.


                    • #11
                      laminate trimmer

                      i would just cut my stripps and use a lam trimmer to cut off extra.
                      BMW R1200RT
                      Last edited by RODDY; 01-22-2011, 10:32 AM.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the help. Apologies for the lenght of time to respond. I guess I'm off to investigate planers.


                        • #13
                          Boo!!! do it yourself


                          • #14
                            I like Bob D's suggestion to cut a rabbet and keep the extra maple. If the wood turns out to be 3/4" finished, I might even cut 1" or 1.5" strips and rotate them to accept a rabbet.