Dominos vs dados...

  • December 29, 2021 10:16 AM
    Message # 12222758

    My wife wants a freestanding shaker style panty for which I'm planning to use 3/4" maple plywood.  My plan is to use dominos for the carcass.  As for the shelves, I'm not sure which to use; dominos, dados, or both.  

    Comments or criticisms?   All of which will be appreciated.


  • December 30, 2021 10:20 AM
    Reply # 12225615 on 12222758

    I'm not sure domino's are the strongest option for plywood. I've always understood that dado's are the strongest joint for plywood cabintry. However, their are professionals out there who subscribe to a butt joint and pocket screws for plywood cabinets. It's all in what you fell confident doing.

    Good luck 


  • December 30, 2021 11:45 AM
    Reply # 12225759 on 12222758

    For the carcass a miter joint with Dominos is excellent as it hides the plywood edge.  And it is really easy.  Previously I always used the lock miter joint cut on the router table for plywood carcasses, but they are difficult to do perfectly.

    The mitered domino is trivial.  Use an angle gauge to set the saw blade to 45° and cut the miters.  Then set the domino for minimum depth and 45° and cut for 5x30 dominos.  They will just fit the 3/4" thickness.  The joint will go together perfectly and will hold together for a dry fit.

    As for the shelves, dados are simpler than cutting dominos in a flat surface.  Get a straight cutter for the plywood thickness and rout the dados.  Infinity Cutting Tools Item 11-862 for 3/4" plywood. Perfect fit with no dado blade sizing aggravation.  

    You might consider 1/2" plywood for the shelves.  Plenty strong and the thinner shelf looks better IMHO.

  • December 31, 2021 7:28 AM
    Reply # 12227688 on 12222758

    How about adjustable shelves? 

    If you need a couple fixed shelves for the structure I'd say dadooes are a bit stronger but need more time.  In addition to exact width consider a smaller dado say 1/2 for 3/4 ply. Then cut tenon t fit. 

  • December 31, 2021 10:04 AM
    Reply # 12227965 on 12222758

    Dana's suggestion for adjustable shelves is an excellent idea.  You can rout vertical grooves for the metal strips and use the shelf clips to adjust them ad infinitum. And easier than fussing with a bundh of holes that need to fit in a plane.  Install the strips after gluing up and adjust so shelves don't wobble.

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