plywood table-top

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 04-11-2013 11:11 AM 2298 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 2346 days

04-11-2013 11:11 AM

I’d like to make a large table from a full 4×8 sheet of plywood, with solid wood trim covering the edges…

1. Will this type of table-top hold up, as long as I put enough finish on the top?

2. What types of thing should I keep in mind when designing the support structure? I’m going for simple, but not something that looks like a work table.

3. Would good bracing be better than doubling-up the top thickness to prevent sag?

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

3 replies so far

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790 posts in 1855 days

#1 posted 04-11-2013 11:04 PM

1. If it’s not a super-thin veneer sided plywood, then it should hold up to general light-medium use, but not abuse. Douglas fir plywood is a good candidate in this respect.

2. ”. . not something that looks like a work table” = subjective. Hidden fasteners, adornment, pleasing proportions, beautiful finish and good looking legs will help.

3. I’ve seen beautifully made solid oak 7’+ long tables sag a little after a few months. These should’ve been made with a trestle, thicker aprons, more bracing or more stiffening support like hidden metal flat bar attached along the inside length of the apron – these tricks among others are much better than doubling up the top thickness to prevent sag.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

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2894 posts in 2382 days

#2 posted 04-11-2013 11:29 PM

If I were making a plywood table, I would use MDO plywood.
It is an outdoor grade plywood used for street signs and the like. Super durability, uniformity and strength.

Even still, always remember to make balanced panels when veneering to avoid warping.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View AandCstyle's profile


3023 posts in 2219 days

#3 posted 04-12-2013 12:44 AM

Check to be certain that it is square. You may need to cut a bit off each side and end to eliminate any dings and to end up with square stock.

-- Art

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