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Forum topic by Jeff_in_LSMO posted 01-29-2015 04:17 PM 689 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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347 posts in 2339 days

01-29-2015 04:17 PM

In my haste to start checking off my honey-do list I decided to tackle the counter top above the washer and dryer that my wife has been asking for. I glued up some tongue and groove oak flooring to make a large (32×72) top. After gluing, it still had a fair amount of flex because of the taper on each board.

Wanting to make this “stronger,” I glued a sheet of 1/8 plywood to the bottom. It worked to fix the flexing issue, but then I thought, “What will happen when the oak expands?

My guess is it will bow if it were left to its own devices, but does anyone have any advice about how to keep it from bowing?

I haven’t mounted it yet. My plan was to make a basic “frame” (i.e. board) screwed into the three walls, and then screw the counter top onto that, and then add a basic truss in the middle to give it some more support.

4 replies so far

View JayT's profile


5631 posts in 2210 days

#1 posted 01-29-2015 04:28 PM

The standard way to prevent bowing on large panels for furniture, such as a table top, would be to use breadboard ends. No reason that wouldn’t work for your countertop, as well.

You could also do cleats underneath that are screwed to the top with elongated holes to allow some movement, while helping to keep it flat.

I agree that gluing the plywood is probably just asking for some issues later on.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2970 days

#2 posted 01-29-2015 04:53 PM

If glued with a product like construction adhesive (Liquid Nails” there would be a little flex built in; probably enough to prevent any bow. Don’t know this for a fact, just an educated guess based on 50 years of figuring it out as I go.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3333 days

#3 posted 01-29-2015 05:09 PM

I agree with crank49. If the adhesive can move a bit that might prevent differential movement. Sometimes we obsess too much on problems which theoretically can happen but never do. Personally I would just wait and see what happens, unless the consequences would cause a huge problem or cost. You might have to do some extra work if it does go wrong, but that would happen either way.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View vonhagen's profile


534 posts in 2363 days

#4 posted 01-29-2015 10:14 PM

most counters are 1.5 inches thick so by using a good ply substrate and just nailing thru the tongue with a staple gun at a angle would be just fine. if it is veneered oak with ply substrate it can be glued with pl400 as it will stretch. my advise would be to use pl400 and apply it to a subtop and if need be run some saw kerfs on the bottom so it can flex and let it do its thing then pl the sub top down with added weight then edge with 1-9/16 oak and sand.

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

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