those of construction, it is important to use frame-
grade panels that are designed for furniture manu-
Typical plywood and OSB panels are designed for
construction applications where uniform load conditions are the norm. In these applications, panels are
usually used full size or cut into pieces no smaller
than 24 inches wide.
Furniture frame applications, however, require
panels to be cut into parts, sometimes smaller than 6
inches wide. These narrow widths, coupled with loads
imposed on frames in use, require the use of frame-grade plywood or OSB to avoid overstress due to
concentrated loads being applied on very small areas.
With furniture-grade panels, the manufacturer can
realize a sturdier frame and significantly increase
Key panel characteristics
In order to have good frame performance, manu-
facturers need to consider three key characteristics
when selecting plywood and OSB panels: proper
panel grade, ply/layup considerations, and thickness.
• Proper panel grade: Use a plywood or OSB
panel grade designed for the particular demands
of furniture frames.
• Ply/layup considerations: Special frame-grade
panels allow users to specify the number of plies
and their arrangement in the panel. However,
composition of the panel should still match requirements panels need to meet for structural integrity, strength or stiffness, ability to drill holes
into the panel edge, and fastener-holding capability. Some companies find that parallel laminated
center plies help improve the holding strength of
edge fasteners and make drilling easier.
• Thickness: Individual frame parts must be thick
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