Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 4
March 2009
Printing On Plywood

Editor's Note: While the author did not damage his printer when using the following technique, it cannot be guaranteed that it will not damage or break other printer models. Please proceed with caution. A rear- or top-loading printer, as opposed to a front-loading printer, is recommended.

These eggcup holders make a fun and easy Easter-themed project.
These eggcup holders make a fun and easy Easter-themed project.

I recently bought some sheets of 0.8 mm (1/32") birch plywood to use for making Easter ornaments. I was planning to draw some egg and bunny shapes on the wood, cut them out and then use crayons to color them in. I noticed how smooth and flexible the sheets were, so I wondered whether I could print directly on the wood instead of hand drawing each individual item. If I could put the sheet through my inkjet printer, I could print all kinds of patterns and colors on it and it would be easy to cut afterwards.

The wood is mainly flexible in one direction, so when cutting out a sheet to fit the printer, I had to make sure that it was aligned in the direction of maximum flexibility. The plywood comes in 25" square sheets, each of which divides nicely into six sheets of 8-1/3" x 12-1/2". That's just a bit narrower and a bit longer than letter-sized paper (8-1/2" x 11") and leaves no waste. When cutting, I put some MDF under the sheet. I found that for long, straight cuts, it was easier to use a Stanley knife than scissors.

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