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  1. #1
    P.E.
    Guest

    Gluing solid wood to plywood

    I want to glue a 1/4" thick piece of maple to plywood to dress up the plywood. The maple is 5" X 45" and the 1/2" plywood substrate is also 5" X 45".

    This is a follow up question to my last thread.

    How can I do this and accomodate for wood movement during humidity changes.

    Can I run a 1" wide bead of glue down the center of the maple, glue it to the plywood down the center line which will allow for expansion toward both edges?

    Should I screw it from the back of the plywood?

    Is this really possible?

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Tucson, AZ, USA.
    Posts
    2,548

    RE: Gluing solid wood to plywood

    Don't have an answer to the "how to" Q, but I do have a secondary option that will add to the $$$ of your project.

    Are you aware that they sell hardwood surfaced ply. This was great news to me while making a cherry wall unit. Sometimes this stuff can cost a bit but it saves you from problems down the road. I'm sure you could find some at a specialty store. Ours is Woodworkers Source. Good luck and I hope you get some good how to's to the question.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Bradford, Vermont, MerryCanna.
    Posts
    18,751

    RE: Gluing solid wood to plywood

    My suggestions are:

    (1) Replace the plywood with maple-surfaced plywood.

    (2) Apply maple veneer to the "dress" face of the plywood and some cheap veneer to the "pants" face.

    (3) Arrange for a lip around the periphery of the plywood to loosely hold a maple face in front of the plywood. A glue bead down the center may help considerably to keep it in place. Groove under the lip enough to allow the maple to move... most important along the long edges. Allow 1/16" to 1/8" total extra movement space.

    -- Tim --

    There is food enough for every bird.
    It is seldom, however, thrown directly into the nest.

  4. #4
    P.E.
    Guest

    RE: Gluing solid wood to plywood

    Tim,

    Thanks for the response.

    I wanted to use 1/4" thick veneer (resawn from stock)?

    Do I need to use the same thickness veneer on both sides of the plywood? Regular wood glue?

    Was also thinking of . . . not veneering but screwing the face of the maple to the plywood from the underside of the plywood. Using only 2 or 3 screws down the centerline to allow for movement? Risk of cupping afterwards?



  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Bradford, Vermont, MerryCanna.
    Posts
    18,751

    RE: Gluing solid wood to plywood

    For best results, you'll want the same surface treatment on both sides - which means the same thickness veneer on both faces - and the same (or at least a reasonably close approximation of the same) finish on both sides. If one side will be in intimate contact with masonry, it complicates things a little - especially masonry expected to get rather warm at times. Fortunately, while the masonry gets warm the air surrounding that masonry will also get warm... so there won't likely be quite as much humidity differential between the two faces as one might expect under other circumstances.

    Oh, wait - seems to me that you have plans of attaching to the masonry with cleats. No more issue with intimate contact with masonry at all, since there'll be an air space between the cleats. BTW, the cleats should help somewhat with bowing, but I'd STILL do the same thing to both surfaces.

    Regular wood glue would probably work well, provided you're ready to work pretty fast. I think maybe my choice would be solvent-based contact cement, though. That won't preswell the veneer, and you have some more time to get stuff ready while it's precuring.

    I think if you use screws down the centerline, the maple will periodically cup away from the plywood at the top & bottom, and not only look odd but also begin to collect dust and dead flies :) in the crack. Once the crack starts to fill, it'll never again close.

    -- Tim --

    There is food enough for every bird.
    It is seldom, however, thrown directly into the nest.

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