STL278: Fine Plywood – FineWoodworking

Question 1:

From Fred:
Is it of absolute importance to have a dead flat assembly table to glue up your work square and keep it square?

I ask because I built a dresser and glued it up checked it for square and move it to my floor which is steel plates rechecked it for square and it was fine. Came beck the next morning and took it out of clamps and out of square it was had to disassemble and re glue very frustrating. So now looking to build an assembly table that is flat and level so I want to know how flat does it need to be.

Thanks keep up the good work.

Question 2:
From Joe:
I’ve mostly used solid wood to date. I see some projects where plywood may make sense. I don’t know much about quality plywood other than Baltic Birch. Could you please be so kind as to educate me on the various options out there worth considering for fine furniture? What should I avoid? Thank you so much and may your tools remain sharp and rust free.

More information on Peder Moos.

More information on Dieter Rams.

Question 3:
From Luke:
I’m about to embark on my next project, building an “L” shaped desk for my wife’s home office. The wood will be solid maple from a tree we had taken down in our yard. She plans to work along the long side of the L, not in the corner.

I’m planning on using some variation of Chris Gochnour’s sideboard from Issue 277 under the short side of the L, with the third “bay” under the corner for IT gear that will be accessed rarely. However, I admit the aesthetics of a cabinet under the corner is concerning me. Any suggestions on how to treat the space under the intersection at the L?

Further, the design for the desk top at the L corner is throwing me off. The full 45 miter joint seems visually pleasing, but I fear it might be prone to opening up over the year at that length. The butt joint is a bit visually clunky, but easier to execute with a breadboard like joint moving in one direction.

Any expert guidance on how to approach an L desk in solid wood is very much appreciated.

Recommended by Rowan Woodworks:

Question 4:
From Paul:
In the first picture of Mike’s shop in his first book, I noticed a Tormek sharpener. For which tasks does he prefer to use the Tormek over the wet stones? I was lucky enough to have someone give me their Tormek when they shut down their shop, and I’m still learning the ways of it and its various jigs.

Every two weeks, a team of Fine Woodworking staffers answers questions from readers on Shop Talk Live, Fine Woodworking‘s biweekly podcast. Send your woodworking questions to [email protected] for consideration in the regular broadcast! Our continued existence relies upon listener support. So if you enjoy the show, be sure to leave us a five-star rating and maybe even a nice comment on our iTunes page.


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