Beginner advice on birch plywood

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TheTiddles

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Length of screw does not make it stronger, there’s some dude on YouTube making garden offices who appears to struggle with that one too (that and breather membranes).

So going through 18mm boards, your 60mm screw will have about 40mm of engagement, that should be plenty, I doubt 60mm of engagement will do anything more without pulling the head through. Dowels will aid alignment and make it a bit stronger too. That outside board could be attached from the inside to hide the heads a bit, if you plugged them from the inside they’d be practically invisible, so I’d do that, the glue surface area is huge but it may skid around when you clamp it up, so use pins to align them.

Aidan
 

capocobono

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Wanted to give you guys an update on this. I finally finished the bookcase as well as some other simpler cabinets and a computer desk for me all based on the advice here. The Kreg accucut and my circular saw with a decent blade was a perfect tool for this job. The reason it took so long is because I decided to build a proper work area before starting the job. Instead of crawling about on the floor I built two small workbenches that could be moved apart to make a really big surface which helped a lot with cutting the sheets. Those 24mm boards are an absolute puppy! I'm super happy with the results. Thank you to everyone who commented, your advice was invaluable.
 

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sammy.se

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Thanks for the update. Big well done on your project!!! Looks great

What's next ? :)
 

capocobono

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Haha brilliant. Please share a WIP

Thanks, anything to keep busy during lockdown. I've only just started planning it. I should probably make another post as I've no idea about what to build it from. Would love to use mid century inspired materials like teak or ceader, but have zero expperience with stuff like that.
 

Bm101

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Office looks good. Well done and thanks for updating the thread. Lots of people ask for advice then disappear.
Would you believe a mid century birdhouse with swimming pool and solar powered fountain?
Love it. That would make me smile in my garden every time I walked past it.
What bird do you have in mind what with entrance hole sizes and situation etc. After all all property is location, location, location, but especially so for birdhouses.
Looking forward to updates that looks great fun.
 

Bm101

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Lol. You know diffferent birds need different size holes and such I'm guessing.... sorry it's hard to tell over the internet sometimes. I built a robin box once and I moved it three times trying to get it occupied but no joy. :( Since the Mrs got two cats, both maine coons, (the female is a deadly hunter, four mice a day sometimes... the male is like a thicker brand of fat labrador), I don't feed the birds in the garden now and they stay away. I'd have kept the birds to tell the truth.
 

capocobono

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Lol. You know diffferent birds need different size holes and such I'm guessing.... sorry it's hard to tell over the internet sometimes. I built a robin box once and I moved it three times trying to get it occupied but no joy. :( Since the Mrs got two cats, both maine coons, (the female is a deadly hunter, four mice a day sometimes... the male is like a thicker brand of fat labrador), I don't feed the birds in the garden now and they stay away. I'd have kept the birds to tell the truth.

Yea, I was just being a goof. We get lots of lovely songbirds in the garden. I'll need to do a bit of research into making the holes the right sizes. Don't want a bunch of seagulls in there bringing down the house prices.
 

robgul

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Furniture stuff looks really great - I'm making more and more stuff in ply rather than MDF - and love the OSB wall panels.
 

Matt_0222

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Wanted to give you guys an update on this. I finally finished the bookcase as well as some other simpler cabinets and a computer desk for me all based on the advice here. The Kreg accucut and my circular saw with a decent blade was a perfect tool for this job. The reason it took so long is because I decided to build a proper work area before starting the job. Instead of crawling about on the floor I built two small workbenches that could be moved apart to make a really big surface which helped a lot with cutting the sheets. Those 24mm boards are an absolute puppy! I'm super happy with the results. Thank you to everyone who commented, your advice was invaluable.

Interesting to read about your experience of this and lots of great advice. Looks great. Very similar projects and materials I’ve been thinking about. Did you end up cutting it yourself or go down the ‘Having it cut for you’ route?
 

chris.gid

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Very nice finish on the office cabinets.
I make most of my stuff in birch ply, i started out with a circular saw, cheap 50T blade and a mdf home made track, and used to get very good finish quality.
Your at the opposite end of the country but i buy by birch ply from Builder Depot for about £45 per sheet.
What finish did you end us using, i tend to use screwfix floor varnish if i want to keep the original light colour of the wood or HolZol furniture oil if i want to bring out the grain pattern of the wood.
 

capocobono

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Interesting to read about your experience of this and lots of great advice. Looks great. Very similar projects and materials I’ve been thinking about. Did you end up cutting it yourself or go down the ‘Having it cut for you’ route?

Although it would have been easy to ask the timberyard to do all the cuts, I wouldn't have learned how to do it properly.

Instead, I created a simpler cut sheet for them to break the big sheets down into managabe sizes. One or two cuts in each board. I'm glad that I did that because managing the 16 full size boards that I ordered would have been almost impossible. I also built a very rough sheet holder frame out of scraps of wood and old OSB to keep the bits getting damaged and getting it off the floor. I gave the timberyard a numbering system for each piece and got them to mark each sheet big and clear top left on masking tape. This really helped me organise all the bits, I can't reccommend this enough because it's easy to get mixed up and cut the wrong bit (which I still did even with all the planning).

As for cutting, I used the Kreg Accu-cut and my Dewalt Circular saw. I bought two saw blades - a Trend 40 tooth tungsten blade and a wolfcraft 100 tooth blade. I found the 100 tooth blade would burn the edges badly on the 18mm plywood, but was much better for the 6mm. The Tred 40 Tooth one was excellent, the only time I experienced (very minimal) tearout was when the board wasn't completely flat. Nothing that couldn't be easily sanded out. Halfway through the project, I was getting burn marks on the wood. I found out that was just buildup of gunk on the sawblade. I used tool cleaner and it was like having a new blade again.

As for the surface I used to cut on - I build two decent size workbenches with retractable wheels so I could move them apart and put a big sheet of plywood between them, making a huge work area. I used a thick sheet of insulation foam to cut the pieces, making sure to only just cut into the sacrificial surface by a few mm.

Your neighbours will hate you, those saws are loud. I started with ear plugs and quickly moved to proper ear defenders. The other bad thing is the dust. I have a cheap shop vac, but there was still so much dust. Even attaching the nozzle to the saw outlet, it still kicks so much dust out. That's probably one example where a more expensive setup would help.

Just remember to practise on something smaller or less precise first. I built the benches and a wood log store to practise on something rougher before attempting the furniture. It was so much fun though, I thoroughly reccommend it.
 

capocobono

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Very nice finish on the office cabinets.
I make most of my stuff in birch ply, i started out with a circular saw, cheap 50T blade and a mdf home made track, and used to get very good finish quality.
Your at the opposite end of the country but i buy by birch ply from Builder Depot for about £45 per sheet.
What finish did you end us using, i tend to use screwfix floor varnish if i want to keep the original light colour of the wood or HolZol furniture oil if i want to bring out the grain pattern of the wood.

I got the guys who built my home office to source me the birch plywood sheets. Those guys got me 16 very good quality sheets for £1,200, which included the initial cuts and delivery. £45 per sheet sounds like an absolute bargain. Is that solid birch ply?

I ended up using Osmo polyx wax/oil combo. It's horrible stuff to work with, but the quality of the finish is superb and one 2.5L tin did all the furniture with about 1/4 to spare. They do a raw version that brings out the grain and protects it but honestly looks like you haven't touched the colour. I ended up going with the clear semi-matt because it seemed to bring out the grain much more, without looking yellow.

I would recommend getting some testers and looking at some youtube tutorials on how to apply it super thin with non-abrasive scrubbing pads. For the love of god buy decent long length thick latex gloves. That stuff will be on your hands for days.
 

Gubbins

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Been following this, bloody well done, I'm thinking of making my kitchen, birch ply cabinets with shaker doors type thing.

You prices are good for Birch ply, I've just been quoted £66, but that was a single price, so I'm sure they would knock a a pound off if I order a £1k worth :rolleyes:

Could you post a pic of your workbenches that you built.

Well done.

G
 

Misterdog

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I have found out however that it is quite expensive and only comes in 2440x1220mm sheets.

Birch plywood is also available in 1530 x 1530 sheets, in all thicknesses.
( Arnold Laver's or James Lathams, and other quality suppliers)
These 5 foot square sheets also have an internal glue bond as opposed to the external glue in 8x4 sheets, this makes them 'cheaper'.

The quality of Birch ply has dropped over the years IMO and the cut edges often reveal voids.
 

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