Pondering a kitchen table from cherry plywood.

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Forum topic by Derek Lyons posted 04-09-2012 04:47 PM 2527 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3767 days

04-09-2012 04:47 PM

My local Rockler has some 24×32 sheets of 3/4 cherry plywood on sale, and I’m pondering using them for building a dining room table. I’m thinking of setting them into some kind of frame (where the frame and the plywood surface would be the same plane), but haven’t decided on the wood for the frame yet.

Thoughts? Comments? Would this be a workable design?

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

11 replies so far

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Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2560 days

#1 posted 04-09-2012 04:51 PM

Not worth it.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3122 days

#2 posted 04-09-2012 05:44 PM

Don’t think you will be happy with the results.

-- Life is good.

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Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3767 days

#3 posted 04-10-2012 12:22 PM

Edited and bumped because I forgot to specify that it was cherry plywood.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Jeff's profile


489 posts in 3393 days

#4 posted 04-10-2012 12:40 PM

Depends on your need for quality. As an often used table it’ll get dinged and a ding in veneered plywood will show through and look bad. Therefore, as a kitchen table it might be OK. But for a formal dining room table, if that’s what it’s for, go with a solid wood top.

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Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3767 days

#5 posted 04-10-2012 12:43 PM

Well, that was another edit then… :) Because it will be a kitchen table, and generally covered with a tablecloth other than for formal/nice dinners. (Covered because, like many folks, our kitchen table is also the household office/workcenter.)

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3122 days

#6 posted 04-10-2012 09:54 PM

If you are set on using the pw you might want to think more about rail and stile construction. That would give you center support and border support plus you can make it any length you want. Maple or walnut would look good.

-- Life is good.

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Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3767 days

#7 posted 04-10-2012 11:33 PM

I was definitely planning on some kind of center support as coolers, groceries, and such like often end up on the table.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View jaidee's profile


51 posts in 2978 days

#8 posted 04-12-2012 08:24 PM

Another issue to consider is wood movement. Plywood won’t move, but the frame wood may, depending on where you live. Plus it’s in a kitchen. In my house the humidity level rises and falls with each cooking endeavor. All that boiling and steaming stuff. Over time you might be disappointed as joints open up. I like the frame and panel idea, perhaps just leaving a small reveal on the panels, just creating a shadow line. My two cents…....

-- I used to be all thumbs......'til I got a tablesaw!

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Mainiac Matt

8549 posts in 2527 days

#9 posted 04-12-2012 09:59 PM

I have a buddy with a beautifull Chery dining room set… well, it was beautiful…. all dinged up now and he’s quite disappointed.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3872 days

#10 posted 04-12-2012 10:07 PM

I dont think plywood would hold up for a dining room table top.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3249 days

#11 posted 04-12-2012 10:08 PM


Even on sale, plywood is going to be nearly as expensive as solid wood. Given the difficulty of securing solid wood edgeing and getting it to stay tight against a plywood that won’t move, and the very real danger that you may sand through the top ply, not to mention the dinging possibility, I would use solid cherry. As to movement problems in the kitchen, cherry is very stable and normal woodworking precautions will be enough to keep it stable.

You won’t like the end result and you won’t save anything in the long run.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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