half lap joint w/particle board?

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Forum topic by Simons44 posted 12-13-2010 07:37 PM 2984 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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93 posts in 3449 days

12-13-2010 07:37 PM

Will a half lap joint work with particle board (melamine top)?

I am planning on building an out feed/assembly table tomorrow with a melamine top.

I am planning for the table to be 40X48, however I drive a 2 door Honda civic and can’t fit a 40” board in my car. I can only fit 32”. I was thinking that i could create a half lap joint to make the table top dead flat. I did not want to butt joint it.

Will this work or should I make the table 32X48?


7 replies so far

View MatR's profile


17 posts in 2863 days

#1 posted 12-13-2010 07:48 PM

How thick is the board, 1/2”, 3/4”, etc? It’s probably not ideal but if it’s well reinforced underneath it’s probably ok.

View MattD's profile


150 posts in 3969 days

#2 posted 12-13-2010 07:58 PM

Hi Jeremy!

Have you thought about tongue and groove? You can do those on your table saw easy.


-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2855 days

#3 posted 12-13-2010 08:04 PM

Most melamine I have worked with is less dense towards the center, therefore more prone to splitting. As MatR said, brace it well from below to prevent any failure at the joint, be it a lap, butt, or tongue & groove.
Any friends with a truck/SUV? That would solve any

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Simons44's profile


93 posts in 3449 days

#4 posted 12-13-2010 08:07 PM

I just really need a truck.

@ MatR It’s a 3/4” board. I was thinking about putting 1/4” or 1/2” MDF on the bottom of it to help reinforce. In the plans I have a center brace to help prevent sag.

@MattD-I wasn’t sure of the strength of a particle board tongue and groove joint. It’s something to consider.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2996 days

#5 posted 12-13-2010 09:36 PM

Don’t know if this is legal everywhere, but I put a couple of those foam noodles, like you use in the pool, on top of my Suzuki and haul plywood, 2×12s, 2×6s, etc. on top of the car. For plywood I put a couple of 10ft 2×4s under the sheet and a couple on top and duct tapped the ends together, then lashed the whole affair down with rope tied from the front to rear bumper and to the top of the car by going through the windows. Also important to tie it down in such a way that it cannot turn. May be a redneck solution, but hey, it worked. Probably wouldn’t want to go too fast, especially on a windy day. I got the idea from those kits to haul a kayak on top of a car. They essentially do the same thing.

If you really want to splice the top, I would suggest 2 layers of the same material with staggered joints. The melamine surfaces could be glued together with contact cement.

View traupmann's profile


124 posts in 2812 days

#6 posted 12-14-2010 12:58 AM

For what you will pay over the long term with particle board – swelling, warping splitting, consider a plywood A-C or A-D. You can put a laminate on it if you want, but a couple of coats of polyurethane is all you need, and that will not absorb moisture or disintegrate over time.

You may have your heart set, this is only advice…

-- chas -- looking for Serta sponsorship to go Pro...

View Simons44's profile


93 posts in 3449 days

#7 posted 12-15-2010 04:58 AM

I finished the out feed table. I took traupmann’s advise and made the top of 1/2” birch plywood and am waiting for the 2nd quote of acrylic poly to dry.

I will post in projects tomorrow.

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