I seem to have been working more with natural wood the past few years but have been thoroughly enjoying getting back to working with plywoods and MDF materials. I love how quickly you can make things from many of these double sided or single side plywoods. You just need to take a few minutes to plan your cuts, but when that is done, you can very quickly make some excellent furniture pieces.
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/JG0G0-9o0nA
In my case, I was in need of an "open concept" TV stand. I need to be open to accommodate a couple of speakers that seem to be well placed under the Television to help conserve floor space. I decided to help match other furniture, a very light colored finish would be best and I found a nice clear top coat, in a very matte finish that I tested and liked ...
This stand is probably one of the easiest builds I have ever made. It consists of only 5 pieces of wood, all of which were double-sided, Unfinished, Oak Plywood in a 3/4 inch thickness. As luck would have it, I found a couple of offcuts at my local wood supplier that I gut for a wee bit of a discount, that would be perfect for the job.
First things first ... I jointer edged one edge of each of the boards, then began cutting to length and width based on that know straight edge I had created. My pieces of wood were smaller, so it was easy for me to handle these on the table saw. Larger pieces would mean breaking them down with my circular saw, but that was not required for this project. For the cutting to size of my plywood, and so that I would not get any tear out in either my ripping or crosscutting, I used my Freud 90 tooth Thin Kerf blade, which as usual, did an outstanding job.
There are a few ways of attaching plywood pieces together, but because I have the Dowelmax, Doweling Jig, and it does such an outstanding job, I decided that would be the easiest and probably the strongest holding power for attaching my TV stand together with.
Before I start cutting the dowel holes, I wanted to see just how strong the dowels would be and see how much effort it takes to break off a piece on some MDF with only 1/4 dowels that I created a week or so ago. You can see on the video it was a LOT of pressure, and that was MDF, not plywood which is even stronger, and I am using 3/8 dowels not 1/4 inch, so this cabinet is going to be VERY strong, especially once the back is installed.
MDF Strength Test with 1/4 Dowels
The best time to consider how you are going to attach your plywood pieces is before pre-finishing, so I set about drilling dowel holes as needed.
Drilling 3/8 Inch Dowel Holes
I decided to pre-finish my 5 pieces before assembly, I find it is just easier to do this and with my finish racks, I can finish both sides of any project quickly and easily which saves me a huge amount of time even if does take a moment to attach them.
After all the pieces were top coated and the finish was dry, the next thing was to edge the plywood to hide all those ugly plies. Luck for me, I still have the Maksiwa Edge Bander and Edge Trimmer on loan, to make the job quick and easy for me, but remember for those of you making small numbers of furniture from plywood, there is a supply of glue-backed edge banding that can be applied with a simple household iron.
Maksiwa Edge Bander
Maksiwa Edge Trimmer
After all the sides are edged, now comes time for assembly. I decided the easiest is to work on the stand while it is upside down, which also means there is less chance of damaging my pre-finished top. I carefully filled all the holes with glue, seated my dowels, then attached each piece as needed.
In no time the stand was together for everything except the back, which I would attach after the glue and dowels were firmly dry and hard, which I allowed 12 hours for.
The next day I used my router and a rabbeting bit cut a rabbet around the back of the stand and attached my 1/8 inch plywood. In this case, I both glued and tacked them back on to make sure it was very solid ... and it is!!
TV Stand ... Ready to Go !!
This was quick, fun project to make and reminded me how lovely it is to work with plywoods again for excellent, stable, solid wood furniture.
Copyright Colin Knecht