Welcome to the forums!
If your cabinet is floor to ceiling then, those little bits of ply your referenced wouldn't be seen. If, you're going to see the top, the easiest way is to attach a solid top over the ply top. You can let it overhang a bit and give a nice visual to the piece.
As for gluing the ply, that's what I'd do on this piece. Ply is much more stable so, you don't have to worry about wood movement like you do with solid. On that note, if you attach a solid top over the ply, simply oversize a the screw holes in the ply only when you attach the top. This should allow for ample wood movement.
It's my first time on the forum, though I've been watching Wood Whisperer videos for a while (thus how I knew to come here). Hi everyone!
I'm pretty new to this in practice, but I'm the type who studies up for a very long time before taking the plunge. That of course means that I'm not at all an expert, but I have lots of ideas for ways to get in trouble...which is why I'm coming here for some advice
I'm turning a room in our house into a library, with shelves inspired by Frank Howarth. Before starting on the built-ins though, I plan to make one or two freestanding units, using a similar design. I'll add a strip to the faces to hide the layers, just like in the video. I've attached a picture of a quick Sketchup mockup of the box, without one side (for clarity), the center verticals, or the base. Oh and I'm not sure on the finish yet, so I'd like to keep my options open
There are two problems I've encountered in the planning phase, one stemming from the other. Frank's shelves didn't really have to account for plywood layers at the ends, but a freestanding set does...and I haven't convinced my wife to like the look of 13 layers of birch (though I think it's pretty cool). That means that a rabbeted end matching the dado in the middle, showing off the layers at the very end, is out. I don't want to edge-band such a small spot (it'll either hang over, or I have to precisely account for it while cutting the rabbet). I feel like I'm stuck going with miters...so my first question is, is there any better option?
My second issue comes from the thought of the miters: strength. If I glue the center panel into the dados, it'll massively increase the strength. However, given that it's a large panel, I'm hesitant to do it. I know plywood is more stable than solid wood, but that's part of what I just don't know! I'm also not sure about gluing in the middle vertical supports. Alternatively, I considered a spline like this, perhaps with a metal flatbar instead of wood (because it might be easier than cutting the thin strip for the spline)
Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks!
I set up to do a little calibrating and found the machine was out more than I thought it would be. The first test on the Y axis was 0.014" out in one inch. In the full travel of the Y axis, 50", that is almost 3/4" off (0.700")! So I used a dial indicator and did a little tweaking to the motor configuration and the Counts per Unit in Mach4. Now when I tell it to move an inch it moves an inch - poifect!! The only drawback is that the DRO on the screen in Mach4 is off by 0.0002" which isn't very much at all but I just don't see why it isn't 0.0000".
Here's a video to better show what I'm seeing -