Plywood for coffee and end table tops?

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Forum topic by EWJSMITH posted 04-09-2013 12:32 AM 1274 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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156 posts in 3853 days

04-09-2013 12:32 AM

My wifes aunt would like for me to build her a nice simple coffee and end table set. Nothing elaborate, nothing expensive. She just really appreciates having things that are custom built by someone close – just so happens, that’s me :-)
To help with cost I was thinking of using 2 layers of 3/4” ply for the tops and edging with solid stock. Legs of course would also be solid stock. Not sure of the material yet – may be oak, may be birch, could be combinations of wood (birch top and cherry legs for example).

Anyone use 3/4” ply for coffee and end table tops. I’ve used it in all my cabinet builds but never on a stand alone piece of furniture.

Any info greatly appreciated.


6 replies so far

View kdc68's profile


2658 posts in 2303 days

#1 posted 04-09-2013 12:41 AM

Don’t see why you couldn’t use a good cabinet grade ply…You would eliminate expansion and contraction issues associated with solid wood

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View wlkjr's profile


10 posts in 1928 days

#2 posted 04-09-2013 01:05 AM

One layer of 3/4 with a 1” thick band around the perimeter works well for me. Two layers are probably overkill.

View AandCstyle's profile


3075 posts in 2283 days

#3 posted 04-09-2013 01:08 AM

I haven’t used it for a coffee table or end table, but I made this kitchen table with a 3/4” ply top. I kept the edge banding at 7/8” to give it a little visual weight. I also gave it as durable finish as I could. HTH

-- Art

View SamuraiSaw's profile


515 posts in 1991 days

#4 posted 04-09-2013 01:39 AM

Plywood is an excellent option, and helps with the cost. Band it out with solid stock and put a good durable finish on it (I’d use a good quality poly).

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2502 days

#5 posted 04-09-2013 02:11 AM

Before I got into woodwork I bought a desk I liked. The people who made it, used a miter frame around veneered MDF, it looked great. I am betting some nice beech plywood like you guys can get in the US would look wonderful.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2603 days

#6 posted 04-09-2013 02:13 AM

What others said, go for it.
A single layer is all that’s needed.
You can use thicker edging pieces if you want a thicker looking table top.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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