Finish the Pieces
- Rip four 1x21" strips from the 1/2"-thick birch plywood. Face-glue two strips together using a water-resistant adhesive to create each stake (D), as shown in the Drawing.
- After the glue sets, remove any excess and sand the edges smooth. Now rout a 3/8" round-over on all four edges of each stake.
- Mark a line around each stake 4" up from the bottom, where shown in the Drawing. Then form a point on each stake using a disc sander. (A rasp, followed by sandpaper, also works.)
- Finish the stakes and horseshoes. You can create pairs of shoes for each of two players by using different colors. (We chose colorful red, green, and blue aniline dyes. See the Buying Guide for more information.) Now apply a couple coats of exterior polyurethane to provide long-lasting protection.
Baltic birch and Finnish birch plywoods both have a greater number of plies than standard domestic plywood. A 1/2" sheet, for example, has nine plies, as opposed to the five plies usually found in standard 1/2" plywood. These imports are made from slow-growing (and therefore tight-grained) birch trees harvested in the cool Baltic regions of Finland and Russia. Gluing thin, void-free veneers together results in a rigid, neutral-grained plywood that looks great, even on the edges. Baltic birch, the better-known of the two, works well for indoor use. Finnish birch plywood looks similar, but uses exterior-grade glue, making it suitable for use outdoors. An American-made version called ApplePly is also available for indoor projects. See the Buying Guide, above, for sources.
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