ALTHOUGH there are many ways to build good furniture, some requiring skills and equipment well beyond the reach of the average home workshop hobbyist, advanced techniques are not absolute musts in the construction of sturdy and attractive furniture. Here are the basic considerations in home projects, and some special tips to make your job easy and inexpensive.
To build a piece of furniture of solid hardwood throughout would be an expensive deal. However, you can get much the same effect without sacrificing strength by using plywood or lumber core having an outside veneer of the wood you want your piece to be. Plywood is a laminated product consisting of 5 or more plys of thin wood bonded together with glue and pressure to form a panel of uniform thickness and considerable strength. The strength is due to the plys being laid with the grain patterns alternately set at right angles to each other.
The top ply is a veneer of select wood and this is the surface that will show in the finished piece of furniture.
Lumber core differs from plywood in that it has a thick center core of butt-joined strips of solid wood sandwiched between four thin plys of veneer, two on each side. The top plys consist of the finish veneers which can be of any type of fine furniture wood while the plys directly underneath are laid with their grains running at right angles to the core and top plys. Lumber core is much lighter than plywood and is highly resistant to warping. The glass-hard glue that bonds plywood and lumber core tends to dull tools, and since less glue is used in bonding lumber core, that material will be found to be easier on tools than plywood. For the same reason, it is easier to work with and is less inclined to splinter.