The first time I ever purchased "door skin plywood" was at a lumber store, probably 30 years ago. I was recommended to me for what I  was building at the time, and in that period, the material came in door-size sheets. Now when I purchase it, it comes in 4 x 8 foot sheets, which gives much more material, and each sheet of plywood is still very reasonably priced. 

Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/Df748qOXMvc

One of my main reasons for wanting the plywood right now is to try to make my small workshop more efficient by making some wooden trays that are the correct size for the drawers and for what I want to put in them to help economize my space ....

I started off by cutting my 4 x 8 foot sheet into more manageable sizes, and for ease of use I just cut it up with a utility knife. 

Remember too that when you buy this stuff it is almost always sold and "good one side" which means the best side is sanded and prepared and is often in very fine shape. The backside will also be in good shape but maybe not quite as fine ... check the wood, you can often easily tell.

I have always thought that this material would be ideal for woodworkers who don't want noise, minimal sawdust and maybe not even a real workshop but can still do woodworking and make some very nice items from this ultra-thin plywood. 

Cutting thin plywood

I had figured out ahead of time the size of the wooden trays I would need so to keep things square and parallel, and uniform pieces I cut the components up using my table saw. 
Before I started cutting, I carefully checked to make sure my plywood would not get caught between the table saw fence bottom and the table saw deck. I have had this happen in the past and it results in a faulty cut and ultimately a bit of a waste of wood, so this time I knew to check this.

Thin woodworking cuts

Having worked with door skin plywood in the past, I knew that joining the sides required other support material, so after deciding on a size, I also ripped some scrap wood into 5/16 square, by 20" long strips that I could use as reinforcing strips on the corners of the box. There are other ways of reinforcing the sides, but for this build, the boxes are "utility" for my workshop so strength was more important than looks. 

Thin Plywood Box

The assembly that used was simply to use masking tape to secure the sides, then use yellow glue, applied to 2 sides of the reinforcing sticks and simply push them into place. No clamps, no air nails, just friction from the glue ... and it works quite well most of the time ... most of the time. I would choose another system for boxes or trays that I needed to look better and probably would select a different glue.

It doesn't take long to put together a few boxes, then just let them sit while the glue dries and hardens. 

Small plywood box

 In the past, I have used this door skin material for many things like birdhouses, yeah they only last for 2 or 3 seasons, but by then they often need to be taken down and burned anyway because they become inhabited with nasty little critters and the birds won't nest in them anyway. I have used them for scroll sawing projects, for lawn figurines, for picture frame backing, for rigid support for other craft projects like painting and modeling and I have often used it for panels for cabinet doors. They make excellent panels for  Shaker Style doors ... so lots and lots of things can be done with this plywood.  

Small plywood Door

If you have never worked with this plywood, it is something to at least keep in mind and if you are looking for something to do, this plywood is a great place to start with all the things you can do with it.

Copyright Colin Knecht
woodworkweb.com

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Woodworking with Thin Plywood

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