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Old 08-29-2011, 12:56 PM   #1
freddyaudiophile
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Default Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

Hi folks:

I am putting together the lumber order for my future workbenches and cabinets and was curious as to how others would connect two 8' foot sheets of 3/4" G1S plywood together to form a workbench top that is approx. 16' long. x 28" deep.

I have a Kreg pocket hole jig and was planning to use that along with some good wood glue. The join will be directly on top of one of the workbench frame supports as well so I will screw the two sheets into the frame support.

Any other methods?

Last edited by freddyaudiophile; 08-29-2011 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

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Old 08-29-2011, 02:17 PM   #3
regguy1
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

Maybe you could laminate 2 sheets of 1/2" plywood together, you'd have a super solid 1" top and could stagger the seams. If you don't want to use screws you could glue and clamp them together. Just a thought......
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Old 08-29-2011, 02:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankLee View Post
There's lap joint, slot, biscuit,
All of these, plus pocket screws, assume you have solid, not laminated wood. If I had to choose one, I would go slot&spline.

My "gut" says put a 1x4-6 underneath the seam. Glue and screw (countersunk) to each piece of plywood. Fill the crack and counter sinks with wood putty and sand.

Last edited by theoldwizard1; 08-29-2011 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 08-29-2011, 02:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

The easiest would be to buy 3/4 plywood that's got the tongue and groove on it already. They sell it for flooring. Some wood glue in the joint and you're in business.
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Old 08-29-2011, 02:31 PM   #6
freddyaudiophile
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

Two pieces of 1/2" plywood sound like a good idea with staggered seams. I can use some PL Premium to hold them together along with screw from 3/4" long screws from underneath... sounds like a potential plan to me.

anybody have any thoughts on the 28" depth? i plan to put a peg board behind the middle portion (about 7' long or so) and then have two plywood cabinets (4' wide x 3' tall) on the ends.
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Old 08-29-2011, 02:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

Quote:
Originally Posted by freddyaudiophile View Post
Two pieces of 1/2" plywood sound like a good idea with staggered seams. I can use some PL Premium to hold them together along with screw from 3/4" long screws from underneath... sounds like a potential plan to me.

anybody have any thoughts on the 28" depth? i plan to put a peg board behind the middle portion (about 7' long or so) and then have two plywood cabinets (4' wide x 3' tall) on the ends.
Just use wood glue...the adhesive is very thick and it might not end up very flat.
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

Quote:
Originally Posted by freddyaudiophile View Post
Two pieces of 1/2" plywood sound like a good idea with staggered seams.
+1 ! You might even get away with 3/8"
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindViper View Post
Just use wood glue...the adhesive is very thick and it might not end up very flat.
+1 !!

Don't skimp on the glue ! Cover the whole surface. Use a foam roller to spread it.
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

I went 36" wide as you always seem to end up with something at the back on the bench. I used 5-2"x8" boards. I have seen them built like that then coverd with thin plywood for cheap replacement or metal. Depends on what will be happening on them.
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

I built this bench 32 years ago, it has a wood laminated top under the metal. I used 2 sheets of 3/4"
(1 1/2" total thickness) flakeboard, the top is 30" deep x 8' long, the top is soild and has held up to lots of heavy use. The bench is 1/2" plywood and 6 upright 2 x 4's for the legs. Everything is dadoed and glued together so it's all interlocked and very strong
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bench Top.jpg (142.9 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg Bench Perspective.jpg (136.0 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg Bench front.jpg (135.5 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg Shop S 8100.jpg (146.8 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN0041.jpg (145.9 KB, 64 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN0923.jpg (127.7 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg Bench Inside.jpg (132.3 KB, 60 views)

Last edited by regguy1; 08-29-2011 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

Instead of using 2 thicknesses of 3/4" to end up with 1&1/2" you could always use 3 thicknesses of 1/2" & still end up with your desired 1&1/2" thickness.
+1 on the PL Premium between everything too!
With the 1/2" you can stager the joints making the whole top sturdier.
And you would only need to buy 2 pieces of G1S the other 4 pieces could be the cheaper stuff.

Why wouldn't you go 24" or 32" deep for your bench top? That way you would use full sheets with no leftovers. I figure you must have a reason.
Whatever you do, we want pics!

All using 1/2" ply x 3 thicknesses & all 16' long
1) 24" top depth = 3 sheets (1 being G1S)
2) 32" " " = 4 " (2 " " )



Steve

Joining
Top pic is with 3/4"
Bottom pic is with 1/2"
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File Type: jpg untitled.JPG (17.9 KB, 9 views)
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Last edited by R6 Racer; 08-29-2011 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

Nice bench you have there regguy1. Question -- how did you make the metal top? Good use of peg board on the wall as well in your shop... (I am seriously thinking about doing that in my shop when it is done in a few weeks...)
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:51 PM   #13
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

My new 22' w x 28' d second garage is mostly for storage (snowblower, lawn tractor, mower, winter tires and wheels, kids outdoor toys (for all seasons), etc. Since it does have a storage loft, some of the stuff will go up there...

However, I do dabble in woodworking, so I had it wired with a dedicated 100A service and a whack of 120V and 240V outlets. I have quite a good assortment of woodworking tools now but want to get a few more...
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

You could use dowels pins to align the wood up, if you go with pocket holes. So the seems well stay align.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

If I did the 1.5" thick top, any ideas as to how I could trim out or enclose the edges of the work surface?
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

For an end to end butt joint I would use biscuits or a spline to keep the surface consistent. As others have stated I would prefer laminating some thinner sheets together overlapping the joint. You don't need to roll the adhesive, just regular wood glue, zig-zag the pattern of glue about 5-6" between "streams", then screw the top down.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

Quote:
Originally Posted by freddyaudiophile View Post
If I did the 1.5" thick top, any ideas as to how I could trim out or enclose the edges of the work surface?
I would get some nice wood (cherry, oak , maple) rip it to the 1.5". Then either glue/screw/plug it to the edge or biscuit it to the edge. Then use a 3/8" round over and ease the top and bottom edge. Then stain and finish with what ever you want.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

If you are placing the seam on top of a substantial support, I would glue the ends together, glue both sheets to the support, and screw both sheets into the support. It won't go anywhere.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:43 PM   #19
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

I personally hate plywood for a workbench top. It tends to splinter over time. I don't know how many time I have got a splinter under my fingernail. Talk about pain. It is okay as a sub surface. I just recently purchased a 24" X 96" X 1 1/2" thick laminated maple top from Sears. I am going to cut it in half and make tops for two carts. Maple top is the best surface for a workbench in my opinion.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:51 PM   #20
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Default Re: Joining 3/4" plywood end-on-end

Plywood joint connectors, of course!
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