Rail and Stile Construction - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-02-2019, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Rail and Stile Construction

Hello, I am drawing up a shoe rack (36” x 36” x 15”)
And would like to make it with rail and stile joinery for the sides.
The stiles will be 2 1/2” wide 3/4” thick and will run from the floor to the top with four rails, dadoed on inside to accept the shelves.
What size plywood should I use for a panel? 1/2” or 3/8”?

If I use 1/2”, would I be able to rabbet the plywood to fit the grooves in the rails and stiles (3/8” max), or just use 3/8” plywood?

I have seen the plywood panels glued into the grooves, and also have read that you shouldn’t glue the plywood panels. Which way is correct?

As for the shelves, I was thinking 3/4” plywood with iron on edge banding on the front of the shelves. Would 3/4” plywood shelves be strong enough across a 36” shelf without a brace in the center? Only going to be shoes on the shelves.
If plywood will not be strong enough for the shelves, I will use solid wood.

This is my very first commissioned piece for a client, and would like to do it right.
Thanks for any guidance or direction that you might offer.

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post #2 of 3 Old 11-02-2019, 09:28 AM
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With 3/4 inch thick frame and panel you should use 1/4 inch plywood.

With frame and panel, plywood should be glued in place to strengthen the door. Plywood is dimensionally stable.

Solid wood is NOT dimensionally stable and therefore needs to move so you do NOT glue in solid wood panels except some people glue the middle of the top and bottom which allows equal expansion side to side.

3/4 thick plywood is fine for shelves that size.
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post #3 of 3 Old 11-02-2019, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Terry,
I was thinking 3/8” plywood would make the whole thing more structurally strong. But I guess 1/4” would do the same. Plus save money.

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