Need help here as to whether or not this is a good idea:
Got a line on 1/2 inch maple that I thought I would laminate to some
and build a table top for a crafts area the wife wants. Figured I'd
join it with
biscuits and glue/screw it on to the ply to come up with a 1 inch
top. I'd mount it on top of a 2x4 frame. The top would span a wall in
a small room in the downstairs, (a bit, just a bit more humid). The
span is about 6 or 7 feet and the top would be about that with a
depth of 3 feet.
However read in a mag that someone tried to do something similar
and ended up with cupped boards. The recommendation was just
to mount the hardwood to the frame without the ply substrate.
A 1/2 inch is not strong or thick enough, in my opinion for the
top I want to build. So I thought I'd double up on the maple, in that
I'd laminate two boards and then join the doubled boards with either
splines or biscuits and then mount that to my 2x4 frame.
Good idea or bad? Alternatives?
Sounds like a good application of vacuum clamping or maybe vacuum bagging. Your
success or lack of such will be heavily
influenced by what sort of clamping setup you end up using because of the number
of pieces you need to put together at one
time, rather quickly. A vacuum press is ideal for things like this, a lot
easier than hand cranking clamps for hours.
(IMHO, of course...) regards. Joe.
I made some doors, about 21in wide by 70 in tall by gluing 3/4 in think
poplar to some birch plywood. The plywood was not quite flat. I made sure
my gluing was clamped to a flat workbench. The result was the flatness I
desired. I also tried to match pieces of the poplar which were bowed in the
opposite direction to the plywood.
With 1/2in stock, you are more in need of the plywood to be flat, or else
you will need to glue strips of the maple as edging to keep this from
If you have good surfaces for the maple and plywood (clean, no voids, etc.)
then screwing and biscuits are not going to help with any future stiffness.
I would only consider screws if you do not have enough clamps. If you have
sufficient clamps, then once the glue dries, the screws would be redundant.
Biscuits would only assist in alignment. With 1/2in stock it would be
easier to put weights on the strips to get them to align with the plywood.
You may need some clamping side to side.
Grizzly also has maple laminate tops. If you are within driving distance,
these are reasonably priced.
You'll get cupping if you only laminate one side of the plywood. The maple
will expand/contract at a different rate than the substrate. So either:
A. Use Two layers of the maple, and skip the plywood, or
2. Laminate another 1/2 inch thick hardwood to the other side of the
plywood. The same maple would be the best choice, but another hardwood
would be better than any softwood, or nothing.
Feel free to ignore the voice of experience ;o)
If you have a router, you could put a tongue and groove edge on these
boards, then mount them to ply with nails hidden in the grooves, just
like flooring. I would use 3/4 ply for more heft and do something nice
at the edges. This is how flooring is done and you won't get any
cupping. The nails will float enough to to take care of that just like
in flooring. Just make sure the edge detail allows for some
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