Using plywood as a cleating material is a common practice. Plywood strips are lighter and thinner than most cleats made with lumber, which can be beneficial with shipping costs.


Your material is added into the LUMBER category.


In the Lumber tab enter the dimensions of the material when cut into strips. Crate Pro uses the actual values of each component to determine dimensions of the other components. Below is only one example of components that are affected by the actual dimensions of the dimensions , in this case the framing cleat dimensions. (see red arrows)


Actual values for Thickness and Width are affected by a few factors, so depending on your desired precision. 

  • Consider the kurf when entering actual width - Your saw blade removes a portion of the ply panel with each cut. Based on the thickness of the blade it determines how much material is lost. When deciding the width of each strip also consider how much material will be lost with each cut so you can get the greatest number of strips from your panel. Example: To get twelve 4” strips from a 48” wide panel – each strip must be just less than 4” to account for what is lost from the width of your saw blade.
    1. The formula: (Kurf x # of pieces) - 1.  is the amount of wood that's lost when you rip a sheet of ply 
    2. Enter the adjusted width in your "Actual Width" field


  • Plywood goes through a final sanding prior to sale, which can reduce the actual thickness by 15/32 of inch or even twice than amount. For thinner ply panels, it may not matter to enter an exact thickness value. But with thicker plywood, the true thickness could be a factor.
    1. Example: If you enter 1” for a 1” thick panel in your 'Actual Thickness" field, and you need to stack two pieces together, the actual thickness could end up being as much as ¼ to ½”” less than what Crate Pro would calculate because of the 1” value entered instead of the actual dimension. Which could affect how other components are calculated.
    2. Generally, for thinner ply – such as up to ½” the named value is used because the actual thickness is not significant. So ½” ply thickness is entered as .5


Nominal Settings


Nominal thickness values will be what the material call out is just like standard lumber.  So 1/2 ply the nominal is .5.    3/4" ply the nominal is .75

Nominal width will be your intended width without considering the kurf. So if your intended width is 4” even if actual is 3.635, enter 4”. This identifies your board foot usage and ensures total cost is accounted for.


See example values below


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Entering Costs


To get your cost for this material since you’re most likely to have your cost based on the plywood sheet, the following website has an excellent calculator to get your values.  (courtesy of Timbercreek and FCA company)


In the example below I’ve entered .5 x 4” x 8 ft strip (Lumber Dimensions). The plywood sheet was cut into 12 pieces (Quantity). The full sheet cost $12 and I have 12 pieces so that is $1 a piece (Known Pricing). You do have to do a little math, but it’s a simple formula:


Total Sheet Cost / Number of Pieces you were able to cut from the sheet = Known Pricing


The calculator will provide the Total Cost (Total Price) which should match your per sheet cost, and also provide the per board foot cost (Output Pricing) to enter into Crate Pro 6


Make sure you check the drop down options as this tool is very flexible for use.




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