Welcome to the thread. Depending on what you're looking for in the way of edging plywood, HD & Lowes have some possibilities. HD has iron on birch edging which worked out fine for me. I also believe I saw some cherry or alder/basswood (?) edge molding there, but it was ¾" shelf molding and contoured. If you have a tablesaw, you can buy some solid ¾" wood and cut strips. I was looking for a contemporary style, so I didn't want any rounded or detailed trim... so I had to settle for the oak. But the end result worked out fine with my dark stain. The oak grain isn't as predominant as one would think.
As far as staining birch plywood/solids goes... take it from me, it's not easy but it can be done. After struggling to get a particular shade (rosewood), I finally learned that you should try some samples and assume nothing. But assuming
you have the cabinet built, and you might be using a water-based dye stain, here's the general process that worked for me:
1. Sand and vacumn the wood and only use a long hair brush to vacumn. Anthing rubbing on wood can leave a hidden mark that will show up later.
2. With a damp rag, wipe down the wood to raise the grain, then wait for it to dry and repeat the sanding/vacumn process.
3. Apply a Wood Conditioner with a brush (not a sealer), and while wet/damp, you start applying the stain doing a section at a time.
4. Let the stain set up but wipe it up to get the desired look, and let it dry overnight. Don't let it sit on the wood too long or you won't be able to keep it even-looking.
5. Get some _crystal clear_ Bullseye pure Shellac and dilute it 50/50 with denatured alcohol, and brush it on.
6. Use a water-based urethane and apply 2-3 coats, letting each coat dry maybe 4-6 hours. In between coats, use a fiber pad to lightly scuff the surface and remove any irregularities.
Again, this worked out OK for me. My stand is made with birch plywood and oak trim (horizontals) and birch banding on the verticals. You can go back in this thread and see just about every (agonizing... just ask Pablo) step and mis-step I went through. But definitely do some sample pieces to get color and finish before diving in.
Originally posted by stale
I think I've decided to go for birch plywood. We've done some staining tests and I like the results.
The only problem is HD, Lowes, and DixieLine do not seem to carry birch molding. I wanted to use a little to coverup the horizontal edges, and birch edging tape (?) to do the verticals...