Desktop - ply or solid oak?

I'm trying to decide if I should build an office desk with a 3/4 oak ply top or a solid oak top (30" x 5'). Any experiences or words of wisdom will be appreciated... Thanks, Denny
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In the past, i,ve use 3/4" base(pine) and nailed hardwood flooring to it (nailed in the grooves) sanding it, and used a poly-finish after i trimmed it out with oak molding. Looks good n is a solid desk on top of base cubboards.....

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Recently I've made a couple of cabinets in the Arts and Crafts style and have used 3/4" Oak plywood as the field and banded it with 2" solid oak (biscuit jointed). The reason is primarily that the plywood is much more stable than solid wood that is edge jointed. Once stained and varnished it looks quite good. The only time consuming part is sanding down the banding to exactly the level of the plywood.

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you are sanding down the banding? What do you use?
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plywood. I use one similar to this one http://www.alan.net/prgshoptips/cljig.html
or try one like this http://www.woodworking.org/WC/GArchive98/7_23mattjig.html
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Or use a smooth plane. I use a #4 1/2 to take it down flush. Just take fine shavings.
--
Ross
www.myoldtools.com
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Wouldn't hardwood flooring expand and contract with the seasons unless you're in the desert? Probably wouldn't be the best thing for a desktop.
I know my hardwood floor has some gaps in it during the winter when humidity is low.
Brian Elfert
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All wood moves. The trick is to fasten it in such a way that the top can move but will not split. Use clamping dogs into a slot or attach the center only and let the front and back float. I'm not an expert on this so consult a good book or better woodworker for details of how to allow for movement. Ed
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On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 15:18:30 -0800, "Dennis Spector"

I'd go with solid oak for the top. Oak plywood only has a thin layer of oak over somewhat softer substrate - won't stand up to much abuse such as hard objects being dropped on it. Also, solid surface can be refinished several times if need be.
Bill
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I'd second the choice of solid wood but....If you plan on using the desktop for writing I think you may find the open pored nature of oak to be small problem(pens/pencils move unevenly over solid oak tending to follow grain). This can be overcome with a bit grain filling which will make a much better surface.
wrote:

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That problem will be accentuated by rotary peeled plywood, minimized by flitch peeled.
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Any real wood desk should have glass or a desk pad for writing on it. Real wood will tend to dent where it was written on.
Brian Elfert
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