What to Know When Measuring Plywood

What to Know When Measuring Plywood

Sarah Rainwater
Feb 7, 2011

Humble as it is, plywood is a useful, durable and affordable material for DIY projects, especially for the beginner. But as a friend recently learned, measuring plywood to be cut is a little trickier than it might seem, because lumber is often labeled differently from its true size.

Despite carefully drawing her plans, my friend Jackie discovered that the thickness of the plywood stocked at her local hardware store was 1/32-inch off. That is because while plywood is often sold or referred to as being a thickness of 1/2 or 3/4-inch, the actual thickness is 15/32 or 23/32-inch. While 1/32 of an inch may not seem like all that much, it's enough to slant a shelf and that can render a piece of furniture virtually useless — or at the very least, extremely annoying. After re-calculating her plans based on the actual thickness of the wood, Jackie's bench project came together impressively — check back tomorrow to see the final result.

• For more information on plywood sizes, read this helpful post on About.com.

The Many Uses Of Plywood

Images: Jackie Zahora

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