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brokedownpalace 04-12-2013 11:58 AM

New TO DIY and building a plywood table
Hi everyone,

I'm new to the site and also to DIY'ing. I'm a poor grad student moving into my first place and to save money I want to try to DIY a cheap but functional dining table. And I'm a little stuck!

My initial idea was 2x12x5' douglas fir boards clamped together with back supports but after calculating the weight, it looks like it would be about 50 pounds to lift and that's too heavy on my own.

So, I am considering the next best option - plywood. I have never worked with plywood before but I'm told it is strong yet flexible and not heavy to lift. I've also been told that over time it tends to sag if too much weight is put on it and that I should use wood supports underneath the plywood table top to strengthen it. I was planning to use 1x3 furring strip boards - maybe 10 of them on the back - because they are so cheap. But I don't know - are they strong enough for something like this? What dimension and type of lumber would be best to use? Legs, I figured I would just buy store bought and screw into the bottom of the plywood. It doesn't have to look professional at all, I'm actually going for a beachy, casual look.

Thanks for any advice!

Smithingell 04-12-2013 09:49 PM

I would first suggest Craigslist, you can find something usable for free or really cheap, and then refinish or paint it as you want. If you are intent on building it, then the main thing to support the bottom is something running in the opposite plane (the plywood table surface is horizontal, so you want something that is vertical).
You could use strips of plywood to stiffen the table top. If attached in an "X" underneath, plus around the edge, it would stiffen it plenty. I'm not sure of an easy way to attach it though, so for that reason, I would suggest using 1x4, or something along those lines.
Either way, using 10 strips would be overkill. A band around the outside will make it look nicer, and help stiffen it, and an "X" underneath will add all the support you need.

jsbuilders 04-12-2013 10:12 PM

Sound like a beer pong table.

Do this, you will need 6 2x4x8 and 1 sheet of plywood and a pound of 3" deck screws and a pound of 1.5" screws. Cut 2 2x4s to 7'10" and 3 to 3'7" make a rectangle with the 3rd in the middle for more support. Now cut 3 legs 34" and screw it all together with 3' screws. Then put the plywood on top, you will have an inch overhang all the way around it. Screw that with the 1.5" screws

jsbuilders 04-12-2013 10:13 PM

Sorry I think you will need 4 legs :laughing:

Philly Master 04-15-2013 06:51 AM

Hello and Welcome to the Forum !! ...

PaliBob 04-16-2013 05:49 AM

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