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Splicing plywood for stained countertops11/30
Good day folks,
We're trying to lean-up our proces on making plywood countertops when they require a splice joint. I have two of them soon that are over 14' long, and occasionally have odd shapes that exceed what you can do with a 4X8 or 5X10.
These are almost always 38mm thick (1.5") so they do have a furrout strip underneath all edges and joints.
The main thing we're trying to do is to join the top 3/4" layers together flat and tight (glued) so that the clearcoat doesn't crack on the joint while we're carrying it in the house.
Pocket screws help, but are very frustrating as you tighten the joint, since even the low-angle Castle pocket holes tend to move the wood a little when the screws grab.
Anyone using Hoffman dovetails on the underside for countertops?
Any other suggestions? I don't like biscuits or dowels, since they offer no "pulling" ability. I cant easily clamp a 14' long countertop together and wait for glue.
Why not use draw bolts to clamp them up?
It's easy to clamp 14'. Just get long enough pipe and/or couplings to make up 15' clamps. But the more basic thought is that stained plywood just doesn't seem like a long term solution for a countertop. Doesn't the veneer end to end match look off? But, yeah, use draw bolts like Joe said.
Use an epoxy to join them instead of glue. That will keep the joint from cracking while you are moving them.
I've been using a 1/4 spline in the seam, and yes a wide 8" or so piece underneath the seam as well. I just keep a router set up do the cut. Haven't had a top crack in a long time.
Plywood makes a fantastic furniture grade countertop as long as you use good quality domestic A1 or B2.
Yes, the end-grain splice joint can be obvious if poorly done, and we avoid them when we can, but when the client wants a 14' long office built-in to have a matching countertop, you either splice plywood or find some 14' long veneer.
I had not thought about drawbolts, despite the fact that I've used them dozens of times on mitered post-form laminate tops. Thanks for the reminder.
You could always resort to solid and not worry about it.
I would be inclined to spline them. Its way more accurate than biscuits and its actually strengthening the entire joint.
We ship lap the joint 2" we do that on our CNC and we glue it together we excel glue or structan we made solid wood tops this way as well. we made a 3/4 solid Wenge top 21 feet long and installed it on a third floor with no issues good luck