Veneer tabletop with hardwood edges

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Forum topic by Neil Davis posted 05-01-2011 09:40 PM 2929 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Neil Davis

40 posts in 2796 days

05-01-2011 09:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question biscuit joiner veneering joining modern traditional

I have seen a technique that is used on some table tops where the field is veneer plywood and the hardwood edge which is about 3 inches wide and mitered at the corners meets the plywood field with a decorative groove about 3/32 wide maybe as deep.

What I want to know is how is the hardwood attached to the plywood. Will biscuits work in the plywood? And then also what is protecting the exposed edge of the plywood veneer top at the groove? Will the groove provide a place for the veneer to get snagged and peeled up or chipped?

I have been looking for a close up example of this technique and most of the pictures of tables are at a distance to great to really see detail.

6 replies so far

View bigike's profile


4055 posts in 3487 days

#1 posted 05-01-2011 10:37 PM

as for the firs question biscuits will work in ply, the second is no the veneer will not peel or chip as long as the groove is a smooth cut. they put the veneer on at the factory and use a real good glue so this will not happen.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


601 posts in 3106 days

#2 posted 05-02-2011 04:55 AM

and you guys are saying the veneer is staying glued down along the groove…...and not chipping or peeling?

I would really like to build a big kitchen table using this method, but have been hesitant because of this very issue.

I was even afraid of using the groove instead of a totally matched up joint with a good hardwood ply.

I am encouraged by this discussion.


View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3049 days

#3 posted 05-02-2011 05:33 AM

Biscuits will work.

I am concerned about the exposure of endgrain in the substrate when that groove exists. Is it possible to make it a net fit?

Just wiping the top down with a damp rag would be a negative, not to mention the upended tumbler (I just realized why they’re called that) of water.

If you were to veneer the field yourself, you could edge the ply with 1/4” strips of your trim material and I’d sleep better at night.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


601 posts in 3106 days

#4 posted 05-02-2011 06:44 AM

What a great suggestion, Lee. Edge the ply/veneer and then making the joinery.

You are a wealth of knowledge and common sense.


View Neil Davis's profile

Neil Davis

40 posts in 2796 days

#5 posted 05-02-2011 08:20 AM

I was reading a really old Woodsmith magazine about edging plywood and they suggested cutting a spline into the edge of the plywood and then a groove into the hardwood edge. Do you think this would be a better way? I was recently using biscuits and had several of them installed into one edge and had glue on them, ready to install into the other edge and noticed that they had started to swell. Almost to the point of not being able to get them in the mating bicuit grooves. I was wondering if the hydraulic action of the moisture in the biscuit could potentially cause the plywood to split along plys causing a high spot on the ply top?

View MinnesotaMike's profile


28 posts in 2839 days

#6 posted 05-02-2011 08:10 PM

Neil -
I, too, like the table top banding/edging treatment you’re talking about. It looks really sharp. Also somewhat supprised our LJ veneering experts haven’t disclosed how it’s done, though I like Lee’s suggestion. Wondering if a multicoat laquer finish wouldn’t provide enough edge protection to prevent splintering the veneer? Keep us posted on your project.

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