What type of wood for a desk top.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by thespeakerbox, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. thespeakerbox

    thespeakerbox Platinum Member

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    I picked up two bases for standard resteraunt tables and want to put a large piece of wood across the two in order to make myself a worktable/desk.

    What kind of wood should i buy?

    What about thickness?

    Would you pick homedepot or lowes?

    Whatever type i get, i plan to sand and stain it.

    Anyone know an estimated cost of the wood. I guess around the size of a standard door would be comparable?

    I've tried to do some research online, but all i get is exotic woods and flooring. lol
     
  2. notfred

    notfred Lifer

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    Get some 2x4s and build a frame, then attach a peice of plywood to the top. If you just throw a peice of plywood up there by itself, it will flex and you'll have a desk that sags down in the middle.
     
  3. Biggerhammer

    Biggerhammer Golden Member

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    If you want a good-looking desk, look into Luan (a door blank is traditional and fairly cheap). Oak is nicer but more expensive... your call.

    If you're going to use a piece of plywood as the desktop, 3/4" at least. Thicker would be better.

    Home Despot vs Lowes? No opinion.

    Cost? No idea, really... I've only got a very vague idea of what you're buying so any amount I mentioned would be guesswork.
     
  4. mugs

    mugs Lifer

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    Get plywood with a hardwood veneer. $40-50 for a sheet (4x8). Then get a nice looking moulding to put around it.
     
  5. cKGunslinger

    cKGunslinger Lifer

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    Plywood + formica is a nice, workable solution. Or a veneered plywood sheet.
     
  6. loup garou

    loup garou Lifer

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    Exactly what I was going to say.
     
  7. mugs

    mugs Lifer

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    If he puts the legs 4 feet apart with a 2 foot overhang on each end, I think it'll be alright. Otherwise, a full frame of 2x4s wouldn't be necessary, just a single 2x4 running across the width (at the middle) should make it sturdy enough.

    (My desk at home had to fit into a small space, so I made it out of a 2'x4' precut sheet of plywood. The legs are close to 4' apart and no sagging. When he says restaurant table bases, I assume they have a wide base - 2+ feet - so putting them that far in wouldn't be a problem)
     
  8. thespeakerbox

    thespeakerbox Platinum Member

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    I've never seen any veneered plywood at home depot. Is this all one piece, ready to go or do you have to do the veneering yourself?
     
  9. mugs

    mugs Lifer

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    I know I've bought the precuts at Home Depot, so I imagine they have the big sheets. I've bought big sheets at Lowe's before. It's not a laminate veneer if that's what you're thinking of (like furniture you'd buy at Ikea), it's two very thin sheets of actual hardwood with lesser quality plywood sandwiched in-between. It's suitable for staining. Or another option is to get a less expensive sanded plywood and paint it (~$33 at Lowes around me)
     
  10. loup garou

    loup garou Lifer

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    You can also just buy plywood and hardwood veneer separately and glue it. It's not especially difficult if you're careful. Just have an extra piece of 2/4 wrapped in paper to push out air bubbles as you work.
     
  11. OdiN

    OdiN Banned

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    I'd just get a nice piece of red oak.
     
  12. jkersenbr

    jkersenbr Golden Member

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    I'd vote for Oak or cherry faced plywood with moulding around the edge....you'll want 3/4" thick for a desktop. It would be $50-75 I imagine.

    I'm partial to Oak with Pecan stain, then 2 coats of polyurethane.

    Just plan on sanding for hours....even with a power sander, it takes a while to get wood smooth enough for a desktop (a writing surface)

     
  13. Armitage

    Armitage Banned

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    They ussually have oak & birch faced plywood in 1/4", 1/2" and 3/4" Take a careful look at it though - you may go through a good portion of the stack to find a nice piece. Probably bout $45/ for a 4'x8'x3/4" piece. You'll need to add some kind of mulding around the edges - a biscuit joiner is very useful for that.

    And I think you will need stringers running the length & width of the table to get good stiffness out of it, regardless of where you put the supports under it.
     
  14. Armitage

    Armitage Banned

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    If you use birch, you get a smoother surface easier. For open grain woods like oak, try using a grain-filler.

    And be careful using a power sander - the veneer can be very thin and easy to sandthrough if your not careful
     
  15. Phoenix15

    Phoenix15 Golden Member

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    I don't know about venered, but you can get what they call "cabinet grade" plywood that is pre sanded and very nice looking. It is expensive though, at about $40-$50 a sheet. I used 2 solid core doors that I found at a closeout place locally. They make GREAT desktops. They can be sanded, stained and glossed up real nice. I'll try and get some pics of my semi completed desk up so you can get a idea of what I'm talking about.