Can I do this? Laminating question

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Forum topic by JRPortman posted 05-09-2012 04:22 AM 1480 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 2590 days

05-09-2012 04:22 AM

Topic tags/keywords: laminate plywood strips glue help pine question advice

I’m trying to build a table top out of some thin old red pine wood strips i salvaged, and have been racking my brain for ways to make it work. The strips, once planed, jointed and ripped are only 1/4” thick and 1-1/4” wide; too thin to T&G. I need the table top to be at least 1/2” thick, so i think my easiest option would be to glue the strips on a piece of 3/8” ply. This looks great, and i can edge band the exposed ply edge, but can i do this and expect the top to be reasonably stable, or will wood expansion lead to problems in the future? I want the top to be 15”x15”, and i don’t want to spend an eternity on it, so any suggestions? below are pics of the plywood method.

-- J.R.Portman, New Orleans,

6 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3789 days

#1 posted 05-09-2012 04:33 AM

Well, what have you got to lose by trying it out?

After all, the wood is interesting but not fine and it’s likely
to look kind of rustic any way you use it due to the holes.
There’s a market for reclaimed stuff, so I’m not saying the
holes are bad.

I think gluing it to the ply as you have pictured at that
thickness has a good chance of controlling the movement
of the solid wood on top. I think it may cup if you don’t
put some support underneath. A couple of battens
running perpendicular to the top boards would do.

View canadianchips's profile


2606 posts in 3138 days

#2 posted 05-09-2012 10:15 AM

1/4” thick CAN be tongue and grooved.
Suport battens will work just as well as plywood.
Thin plywood may bow after awhile ! (I would use 5/8 or 3/4 ply.)

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2705 days

#3 posted 05-09-2012 11:27 AM

Welcome back to LJ RJ. Can you try laminating pieces of the wood back and forth basically making a 3 layer ply? Then when you are done use some sort of sturdy edge covering/banding? Is this more lath?

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2831 days

#4 posted 05-10-2012 02:38 AM

I have done that with 1/4” strips glued to 1/2” plywood and it worked fine. I would put some support under the ply to keep it from sagging if any weight will be on the top. Mine is 1/4” strips/ply on a nightstand top and no sag holding a clock radio.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JRPortman's profile


17 posts in 2590 days

#5 posted 05-10-2012 04:54 AM

Ben- my first attempt was what you suggested, but i was wasting all my lath strips to build what was essentially plywood, thus the strips on plywood idea.

So, thicker plywood and more support underneath and I’m good to go, it sounds like. I would eliminate the ply all together and just add battens underneath, except i think the 1/4” thickness would just look a little out of proportion by itself as a top and needs a little beefing up.

Speaking of proportion, is there a nifty skirt width to top thickness ratio I should know about? I always just do it by sight for lack of a better way, but i’ve always wondered how others do it.

-- J.R.Portman, New Orleans,

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2496 days

#6 posted 05-10-2012 05:16 AM

I’d suggest 3/4 ply, but yes this will work and shouldn’t have to be tounge and groove. Use plenty of glue, and as long as you don’t put breadboards at the ends, the movement of the wood should not be an issue, as long as your lumber is already stable.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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