Solid Wood Face Frame to Plywood Joint

      Tips for detailing a plywood-to-solid-wood joint. December 14, 2005

How do you finish face frames that butt up against finished plywood at the 90 degree point? I sometimes wrap the plywood with a return. Once I biscuited the frame to the ply glued and clamped which worked but I had trouble spots where I sanded through the veneer where it was a little uneven.

Its a Problem because I am building a wall unit around a fire place with mahogany plywood and African mahogany frames/doors and I dont know what method to go with. I've seen on a lot of furniture there is a small 1/32 or less line where the front hardwood meets the sides. Do you bevel the plywood a hair? I could use some help. I want it to look good. Also, one of the cabinets is a 45 degree tv cab and I'm a little lost on finishing the edges off. Any help is appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor B:
I'm a finisher and not a builder, but from my experience if you can use the quirk line on the hardwood ascetically, then that is a nice way to go. If not, then our shop leaves the hardwood a hair bigger, then goes back over it with a flush cut router bit and uses hand scrapers to bring it flush with the plywood before sanding. I like the quirk line because if your environment and material are not stable the hardwood will either shrink or grow. In our environment, south Florida, it usually shrinks once it hits the AC home. The quirk alleviates some of that concern.

From contributor K:
If you are referring to the cabinet sides meeting the face frame in a butt joint scenario there is a "v" grooving router bit that you use to flush trim the frame to the cabinet. It leaves a groove that acts as a detail as well as hides any imperfections there may be. Should the frame ever bow (and some may say it never happens) then the gap will be hidden by the groove or it will not be as noticeable. The bit can be found at any router bit supplier. I prefer Woodline Arizona as they are inexpensive and have a huge selection.

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