Building Conference Table (Questions)

generic90909August 1, 2009

I will be building a conference table 4'x7' soon and have questions about construction. I am interested in using Cherry wood and I am debating using a plywood core with a Cherry veneer or locating a solid plank of Cherry if possible. Does anyone have any suggestions on which way I should go?

I would like the table top to be in the area of 2 1/2" thick and will band it with solid wood. I cannot seem to find solid planks anywhere and if I go with a plywood core I am concerned with wood movement/shrinkage.

I figure I will be attaching plywood with liquid nails and/or screws.

Any suggestions?

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You will have significantly less movement/shrinkage with cherry veneer plywood than you will with solid cherry.

You will have a difficult time finding 2.5" ( 10/4 ) cherry anywhere, and if you do, sit down before you hear the price.

If you really want a top that thick, I suggest you read up on "torsion box" construction.

I am concerned that you are even considering "liquid nails" as an adhesive. You are building furniture, not a dog house. Liquid nails has no place in this project.

Find a reputable dealer of _domestic_ hardwood core plywood. Expect to pay about $100 for a sheet of 3/4" cherry veneer, flitch cut, bookmatched or slip match (i.e., not rotary cut). Don't even think about buying some Asian crap plywood from a home center. Most of the plywood I've seen from offshore lately is not fit to build shipping crates.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 10:56PM
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+1 on what bobsmyuncle said. I have to ask, why do you want a finished top that is 10/4? That's going to be a massively heavy table, with the top so heavy that it will break the base of the table if not property made. if you want the appearance of a 10/4 table, there are visual tricks to do so on the skirt of the table edge, rather than making the entire table that thick.

You need 12/4 lumber if you want finished 10/4 top. There are plenty of places to buy 12/4 stock (its what most bed posts are made of) but like bobs said, you best be sitting down when you get the price quote and better not plan on more than 8" widths.

Sorry to be so brash, but you do not sound like a woodworker ready to take on this task. If you're not careful, you'll wind up with $ 1,000 worth of ruined stock and no table to show for it. Liquid nails and screws are not used in the furniture industry. Shrinkage can be controlled in solid wood construction if the wood is properly dried and the cabinetmaker knows his craft. I have to say from your post I think you are in over your head from lack of knowledge for a project such as this. Better to contract it out and take a basic wood working course to get started in furntiuremaking.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 11:19PM
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It is without question that I am a Wood Noob :) I have been looking at conference tables online and I am currently trying to decide what style I am going to build. I like the look of a top that is around 2" thick and was hoping to get something solid vs. layering together sheets of ply. I had heard someone mention that a wood slab for a door (without the cuts) could be a source of material however, I don't think I will find one 4'x7'. I have sourced a local lumber outlet which has Cherry veneered plywood 4'x8' sheet @ $110.00.

I will also look into the "Torsion Box Construction" prior to my build. I, as is obvious am not a furniture builder of any kind.

Question: What would you guys use to "Glue" or keep together the sheets of plywood?

You mentioned not to purchase plywood from local Home Depot's etc... due to quality. What type of wood would you recommend to use for the core?

P.S. I do not know what 10/4 or 12/4 relates to please advise.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 1:54PM
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