laminating two sheets of plywood for a desk top - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 Old 06-04-2009, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Jesup, Iowa
Posts: 375
View kjhart0133's Photo Album My Photos
laminating two sheets of plywood for a desk top

I am presently in the middle of making a new desk for my home office. It will be approximately 6' x 3' in overall dimension. There will be two tapered legs on the left and on the right will be a three drawer pedestal. I have the legs, the apron and the pedestal almost finished and am now thinking about the top.

I would like a sturdy, thick top and am considering laminating two pieces of plywood together: a 3/4" sheet with oak or walnut ply on the top, and beneath that a 1/2" sheet to bring up the top's thickness to about 1-1/4". I'd square off the top and put a nice hardwood edging around it. I don't have access to a planer or jointer so nice plywood is my only solution for a suitable top.

My question concerns laminating the two sheets.

1. Should I glue them or screw them together? Will I have a problem with different expansion/contraction rates on the two pieces -- I guess there's no guarantee they'd have identical expansion properties, though they should be similar.

2. How's the best way to glue and clamp two 6x3 sheets together? Are there clamps that can reach the center of the tabletop?

3. Is this just a bad idea? Do you have a better one? I suppose I could live with just a 3/4" thick top, but it seems kind of skimpy.

Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Kevin H.
kjhart0133 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 Old 06-04-2009, 11:24 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Park Forest, Il
Posts: 775
View Julian the woodnut's Photo Album My Photos
I would just use titebond 2 and use the small 3-4" wide disposable rollers to roll it on uniformly. Clamps are not the way to go, a vacuum bag is. I'll assume you don't have a vacuum setup, so just screw the two sheets together. There is no problem with expansion and contraction with plywood, so it won't be a problem.
Julian the woodnut is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Julian the woodnut For This Useful Post:
needmorecoffee (09-23-2015)
post #3 of 14 Old 06-04-2009, 12:06 PM
Senior Member
 
Roger Newby's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Syracuse, Nebraska
Posts: 510
View Roger Newby's Photo Album My Photos
How about a 1 1/4" or wider walnut strip all around the 3/4 top. Gives the illusion of extra thickness without the hassle.

Roger
Roger Newby is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 14 Old 06-04-2009, 12:06 PM
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,062
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
If you have to have it that thick, just glue and screw from the bottom. As it was said there is no expansion/contraction problem.

You don't really need to glue two pieces. Use just the 3/4" and glue and clamp a 3/4" x 1 1/2" edge all the way around. It will stiffen it up and give it a thicker look.






cabinetman is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to cabinetman For This Useful Post:
needmorecoffee (09-23-2015)
post #5 of 14 Old 06-04-2009, 12:20 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,468
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
Consider this:

I've made lots of workbench and desk tops from solid core doors. I use birch, but I know oak is also available. They come in 36" widths as standard and you'd just need to cut down to 72" for your length. I believe that thickness is standard at 1 3/8 " and 1 3/4 ".
If you are using only one 3/4 ply you will need to glue on local attachment blocks for your legs to provide sufficient screw depth.
If you are glueing up 2 pieces you must start with a flat surface to glue on. That might be a problem. Heavy weights in the center such cement blocks will work instead or in addition to screws from the backside. You probably will trim the edges in a matching wood to hide the end grain and plys. Keeping these pieces properly aligned during glue up is important since any sanding or planing afterward should be minimal to flush out the surface. Crossing the ends where the grain runs the length will require careful sanding as well. Do not use the cheap thin veneer plywood, HD etc, since it will sand through quickly. It's not forgiving in that regard. Good luck, bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-04-2009 at 12:24 PM.
woodnthings is online now  
post #6 of 14 Old 06-04-2009, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Jesup, Iowa
Posts: 375
View kjhart0133's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks all for the helpful replies. I will consider using only a 3/4" sheet and trimming the edges with 1-1/4" hardwood to strengthen it and make it look thicker.

Kevin H.
kjhart0133 is offline  
post #7 of 14 Old 01-03-2010, 05:25 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 401
View wsommariva's Photo Album My Photos
I have the same situation. Making a workbench. I'll look for a solid core door, but if I use two 3/4 inch pieces of plywood, 30" x 80", I'll use yellow wood glue and screw from the bottom. Wood screws, 1.25" Question is how many screws and where do I place them?

Second question: what do I use for the edge to cover/protect the exposed plys?

Thanks
wsommariva is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 01-03-2010, 09:13 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,468
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
If you use plywood

Make 3 hash marks on an angle on one end when you purchase it. This will help determine how to reverse and flip it when you glue it together. You want to counter act any warping forces by having them in opposition when you glue it. Yellow glue rolled on, 1 1/4" screws on an 8" grid. The screws are just to hold it together lacking a suitable flat surface and weights which you could also use. They can be removed after the glue sets up. The glue is the strength. Let the plywood acclimate to the room temperature and humidty for a day and keep them separated. A good quality hardwood plywood will not be so temperamental, but construction grade will be. You can glue on almost any hardwood for a perimeter banding, 1/4" to 1/2" thick.
That's my advice for Ya. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to woodnthings For This Useful Post:
needmorecoffee (09-23-2015)
post #9 of 14 Old 01-04-2010, 09:11 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 401
View wsommariva's Photo Album My Photos
Didn't think glue was so strong. Thank you for this advise. I learned a few good things that I will use for a lifetime.
wsommariva is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 01-11-2010, 02:41 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 401
View wsommariva's Photo Album My Photos
Well, I ended up buying a solid core door at Home Depot for $54. Has a hardwood veneere although I don't know what kind it is. Worked great. I think cheaper than two pieces of 3/4 plywood, so I'm very happy with the final result.

Would anyone put a finish on it? I'm thinking no since right now the legs match the top colorwise.
wsommariva is offline  
post #11 of 14 Old 01-11-2010, 02:45 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,468
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
A work bench surface

Could be a piece of 1/4" to 1/2" hard board or plywood that you can reverse when it gets worn, painted or drilled into, etc or you just want a fresh look. Mine is 1/2" from HD. 2 sided sticky Carpet tape holds it in place or a 1x frame around the perimiter will hold it in place on the door. Just a thought. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is online now  
post #12 of 14 Old 01-11-2010, 03:29 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 401
View wsommariva's Photo Album My Photos
Ok, I'm going to leave it as is. After years of use I can always add a piece of hardwood as you suggested.

What does "1/2 inch from HD" mean?
wsommariva is offline  
post #13 of 14 Old 01-11-2010, 03:32 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 401
View wsommariva's Photo Album My Photos
Home Depot.
wsommariva is offline  
post #14 of 14 Old 01-11-2010, 10:06 PM
Used Wood Equip & Repair
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Indian Trail, NC
Posts: 1
View TheMachineWarehouse's Photo Album My Photos
There are always different ways of doing it. I have had good luck by hand of using contact cement to bond the (2) pieces together and then you can use a 1-1/4" piece to finish up the edges like everyone else suggested. If you also seal the table with a stain or clear coat, it can help avoid warping. You won't have a problem with shrinking with plywood due to it's design, but you can have some serious warping problems when moisture is added.
TheMachineWarehouse is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Finding Shellac bond mica sheets Tommy V Trim Carpentry & Built-Ins 7 02-26-2017 10:49 AM
Cross Cutting full 4x8 plywood sheets. Sleeper General Woodworking Discussion 26 05-27-2009 02:30 PM
Laminating question b00kemdano Joinery 5 02-28-2009 03:42 PM
Laminating Melamine Bob Willing General Woodworking Discussion 4 08-29-2008 11:39 AM
4x8 sheets camelback123 Design & Plans 15 10-11-2007 01:20 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome