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Current lead time for cut & edge orders is 9 - 10 working days

Cworkshop's How To

How to Join Plywood: Most Popular Methods

A quick introduction to...


Plywood has become one of the most popular materials used in many applications, from furniture, toys, house and boat building. The structural stability, board uniformity and surface plys, usually made from birch, teak, oak and walnut, can add a high-end look and feel to the finished products. The "grain" made from the different plys has become a feature, with the long, straight lines creating a mesmerising effect.

Plywood is a popular choice for furniture because it has several advantages over solid wood. Plywood is a good material to use for a number of reasons, one of them being the strength and durability. Plywood is made by bonding layers of wood veneers with glue, making it solid and durable. The cross-grain construction of plywood also provides stability and prevents warping and cracking, making it ideal for furniture that will be subjected to stress and weight. From a costs perspective, plywood is less expensive than solid wood, making it a cost-effective option for furniture. It also allows manufacturers to use wood resources more efficiently since they can produce more furniture pieces from the same amount of wood. Consistency is key with plywood; made from high-quality wood veneers that are carefully selected and graded. This means that every sheet of plywood is consistent in terms of quality and appearance, making it easier to match pieces of furniture and ensure a uniform look. Plywood is very versitile and can be easily cut, shaped, and moulded, allowing designers and manufacturers to create furniture in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Plywood can also be veneered, painted, or laminated to achieve different finishes and styles. Lastly, plywood is environmentally friendly: Plywood is often made from sustainably sourced wood, and the manufacturing process produces less waste than solid wood. Plywood also uses less glue than particleboard or MDF, which reduces emissions and makes it a more environmentally friendly option.

Overall, plywood is a strong, cost-effective, and versatile material that is well-suited for furniture making. It offers many benefits over solid wood, making it a popular choice for furniture designers and manufacturers.

Type of plywood you can join

There are several types of plywood available, and the choice of plywood depends on the intended use and requirements of the project. Here are some popular types of plywood:

Softwood Plywood: This type of plywood is made from softwood trees such as pine, fir, or spruce. It is commonly used for construction and outdoor projects because of its strength and durability.

Hardwood Plywood: This type of plywood is made from hardwood trees such as oak, maple, or birch. It is commonly used for furniture, cabinets, and decorative projects because of its attractive appearance and durability.

Marine Plywood: This type of plywood is made with waterproof glue and is designed for use in marine environments. It is commonly used in boat building and other outdoor projects where the plywood will be exposed to water and moisture.

Structural Plywood: This type of plywood is designed for use in construction and engineering applications, such as flooring, roofing, and wall sheathing. It is typically made from softwood veneers and is graded for strength and stiffness.

Veneer Core Plywood: This type of plywood is made by sandwiching a core of thin wood veneers between two layers of face veneers. It is commonly used for furniture, cabinetry, and decorative projects because of its attractive appearance and stability.

The choice of plywood depends on the project's specific requirements, including the intended use, environment, and desired appearance.

Plywood joining methods

At Cworkshop, the plywood we sell, cut and edge, is mainly used for furniture purposes, and as such, we'll explore the different ways two plywood pieces can be joined.

You will need woodworking tools and materials such as a saw, glue, clamps, and fasteners to join plywood. Choosing the correct method of joining is essential based on the plywood's type and thickness and the final product's intended use.

Screwing Together

One of the simplest and easiest ways to join plywood is to combine the ends using clamps, usually 90 degrees, and screw in from the outer piece of plywood. To ensure and clean an easy screw, it's best first to drill a 2 or 3mm diameter pilot hole that goes through both pieces of plywood. The pilot hole can guide the screw effortlessly. To get a flush finish, use either a self-counter sinking screw or drill a counter-sunk hole after drilling the pilot hole.

Pocket Hole Screws

This popular method of joining plywood requires using a particular jig called a pocket hole jig. Once your pieces of plywood have been clamped into place, line up the pocket hole jig and drill the pilot holes. Remove the jig and proceed to screw the pieces together.

Butt Joint

This is the simplest and most basic joint. In this method, the edges of the plywood pieces are placed against each other and glued together. To strengthen the joint, you can reinforce it with dowels or screws.

Tongue and Groove Joint

This is a more advanced joint that requires cutting a groove along the edge of one piece of plywood and a corresponding tongue on the edge of the other. The language fits into the groove, creating a strong, interlocking joint.

Dado Joint

This is a joint where a groove is cut into one piece of plywood, and the other piece of plywood fits into the groove. This joint is commonly used in cabinet making.

Lap Joint

This is a joint where one piece of plywood overlaps the other. The overlap can be glued or fastened with screws or nails.

Biscuit Joint

This is a joint where a small oval-shaped piece of wood, called a biscuit, is inserted into a slot cut into the edges of the plywood pieces. The biscuit is glued in place, and the two plywood parts are clamped together until the glue dries.

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