Veneering plywood

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Yosarian

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I am making an oak bathroom cabinet and would like a structural back panel to add stiffness and resistance to racking. My idea is to 'veneer' one face of an 18mm ply panel with vertical oak strips, each perhaps 75mm or so wide, so the ply is not visible from inside the unit when the cupboard doors are opened. I will do a chamfer or some other detail between the oak strips rather than have an enormous flat panel. The rear face of the plywood panel I will leave, as the unit will be against a wall. The plywood panel might be circa 1200mm wide by circa 700mm high in total.

My question is, how thick should I make the oak veneer strips? I want them to be thin enough so I don't have to worry about wood movement, but thick enough to be able to plane and chamfer the edges. Maybe 4-6mm?

Thanks.
 

Droogs

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If you only face one side with veneer, you will be lucky if the entire cabinet is in 1 piece after six months in a bathroom. I have seen 0.6mm/ 1/32" thick veneer curl 25mm mdf and 18mm ply like a quaver overnight when only 1 side has been covered. Whatever you do to one face you must do to the other. It is all about Mr Meaggi, no it's not it's about balance. The bathroom will have massive humidity swings and temp and that makes for a hard life.
 

Yosarian

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Given plywood is made effectively of veneers I'm surprised adding one more will make it curl, especially at 0.6mm. But doing both sides is possible.
 

Hornbeam

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Balancing veneers should always be . I have found that even veneering one side and then the other can induce a slight bow.
18mm seems really thick for a back panel. Dependent upon the size of the cabinet, a 6 or 9mm ply back glued into a groove all round should be more than adequate
 

Droogs

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The way stays stable is to have an odd number of ply layers so that one is always acting as a central core that the others work against with an equal and opposite reaction otherwise one side will win the tug of war - result Quavers
 

Droogs

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If you aare "cutting" it yourself 1.5mm will be fine and easy to do
 

Adam9453

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I am making an oak bathroom cabinet and would like a structural back panel to add stiffness and resistance to racking. My idea is to 'veneer' one face of an 18mm ply panel with vertical oak strips, each perhaps 75mm or so wide, so the ply is not visible from inside the unit when the cupboard doors are opened. I will do a chamfer or some other detail between the oak strips rather than have an enormous flat panel. The rear face of the plywood panel I will leave, as the unit will be against a wall. The plywood panel might be circa 1200mm wide by circa 700mm high in total.

My question is, how thick should I make the oak veneer strips? I want them to be thin enough so I don't have to worry about wood movement, but thick enough to be able to plane and chamfer the edges. Maybe 4-6mm?

Thanks.

veneer both sides to avoid unbalancing the panel. You can buy constructional thickness veneers (1-3mm thick) if you can’t cut them yourself, speak to DF Richards veneers in that case.
We always try to avoid veneering items for bathroom environments as the conditions are pretty grim for veneers lifting. Ensure you use an exterior grade ply as your substrate and thoroughly seal and finish the panel. What’s the rest of the cabinet made from?
 

Yosarian

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I have done a trail of laminating plywood, and it didn't go well. The thin strips curled and lifted at the edges, despite careful clamping. This was before it even saw a bathroom. I think I will revert to using solid wood in T&G or overlapping rebate to accommodate movement. Thanks everyone for the helpful advice.
 

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