Desktop construction question


The original plan calls for a solid oak top with 1 1/2" thick edges. However, to save money I was planning on using 3/4" oak plywood and breadboard the edges with 3/4" doubled up oak boards to stiffen the edges up. I guess my question is, is it satisfactory to do this or should I go ahead and bite the bullet and use the solid boards? The size of the top is going to be 32 to 36" wide and about 60 to 65" long. I was concerned as to how it would look when I applied the light stain and poly finish to it. I am building Norm's computer desk. Thanks for your suggestions.
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Make it as light or as heavy as you want. How about buying a hollow core or solid core door? You could buy an oak door with oak stiles or add your own edge banding. Commercial door are 1 3/4" residential doors are 1 3/8"
(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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If you do go with plywood for the top you can simply butt the solid trim pieces around the perimeter. The breadboard edging is not necessary as the plywood center is going to remain quite stable compared to a center that is made up of solid wood. That said, almost any plywood panel used on a desk top or table is going to be more vulnerable to dings as the plywood typically is much softer than solid wood.
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Leon wrote:

Attaching the skirt is a job made easy with a biscuit joiner. But it is important to not put the biscuit too close to the top surface as it can bulge a bit when the biscuit swells
You can run some supports under the plywood from front to back, even making them a full inch deep or deeper and just taper them to 3/4" at the front edge so they don't show. Depending on the construction, those 'joists' can be added later if you are unhappy with the stiffness of the top.

Maybe some of the epoxy finishes used in boat building would harden that writing surface. Using the same finish on top and bottom iwll minimize the tendency to cup or warp.
--

FF


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I always try to center the biscuit but with that in mind, I have never never never ever seen a biscuit swell problem. Let the glue cure before sanding and you should not have any problems at all. The biscuit should not stay swolen.
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IMO, the solid boards will give a much better looking desk over time. What is more important to you, a desk that will last 100 years and stilllook pretty or one that works but saves a few bucks? Neither one is wrong. I don't think you have to double up the boards though, just make a nice 1 1/2" trim for the edges.
The size of the top is

If most of the people here were to look at the desk, we'd know it was plywood. Most others would never know the difference. In any case, it is many times better than vinyl covered mdf from Staples.
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Plywood usually looks like plywood. But it is much cheaper and more stable. It is a judgement call; your judgement.
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Not if you buy the right stuff. <G>
Rotary cut ply looks like plywood. Rift, quartersawn, etc... Look like solid wood.
I've even ripped rotary cut plywood and reassembled it to create a more authentic look for built-ins. It sounds funny, but it works...
Barry
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wrote:

I said "usually" because there is better plywood made, but just try to find it.
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That's a local thing.
I have 3-4 good sources within an easy drive.
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All you have to do is look.

find
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"Dave" wrote in message

Rift sawn oak plywood, a bit more expensive, but will look more like a glued up panel.
--
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Last update: 10/16/05
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Plywood would actually be more stable. I'd use it for a desk as you describe.
Barry
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