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Tips for Adding a Back

A back isn't required, but can add strength and enhance the design and functionality of a piece. 

  • Adding a back can reduce or replace the need for bay supports
  • The most basic back is 1/4" plywood nailed and glue on with 3/4" brad nails or staples.  1/4" Purebond Plywood is available at Home Depot and is an exact match to our Shelf Help plywood. You can also have it custom cut to fit.
  • The easiest way to cut the back plywood is with a circular saw on a piece of styrofoam or scrap wood boards to elevate the panel off the ground (so your saw blade doesn't cut into the ground).
  • Use the back plywood to square up your project when attaching.
  • Cut your back slightly smaller (about 1/4" on each edge) so the raw back edge isn't visible from the side.  Or your can later trim out the back sides with a piece of moulding or a 1x board.
  • If your project is larger than a 4x8 sheet of 1/4" plywood, splice pieces on vertical dividers to hide the seam, or use a shiplap edge paneling to hide the seam between sheets of backing.
  • A back can add beauty to your piece.  There's nothing stopping you from planking the back with shiplap, beadboard, reclaimed wood - it's all up to you!  Just adjust your fastener to fit the material.