I have a small cabinet that I plan on wrapping in stained and wood and mounting on the wall as a liquor cabinet. The wrapped wood I plan on using 3/4 plywood with 5mm popular plywood on top of that. The thin plywood matches the shelving I have in my house, but I want the wrapped wood to be thicker, which is why I am planning on this.

What is my best way to glue the 3/4 and 5mm plywood together? Since the top is will be stained, I want to avoid any damage by using screws/brad nails and wood filler. The pieces are 26"x16", so nothing too big. Thanks for the thoughts!

1 Answer 1


Plenty of clamps for the areas they'll reach (i.e. around the perimeter) and for the centre sections clamping cauls is the way to bond sheet material together if you can't use screws or nails to tack the two pieces together. If you will be clamping the ply down to a worktable surface you can substitute heavy weights for the cauls, but cauls are much more effective (can apply more force) so are well worth the couple of minutes they take to make. For more on cauls and similar clamping strategies see the following, How to clamp where clamps cannot reach? and What advantages do F-style clamps offer for gluing up a thick laminate?.

Whatever you use as your standard woodworking glue will be fine for this. But if using any type of PVA (white or yellow) because of the large surface make sure you have everything needed to hand and have an efficient way of spreading glue over wide areas — an old credit card notched lightly with a file or a small roller both work well. I would advise applying adhesive to both faces to be joined, not just one.

Also a good idea to have practised the clamping procedure in a dry run ahead of time so you don't have any unforseen delays.

One last note, you must lightly sand the plywood faces just prior to bonding them together if you want to ensure a consistent, strong joint. See this previous Answer for more on why you shouldn't glue old wood surfaces together, What do I need to do to prepare wood for gluing?

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