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Table top, solid wood or Ply?

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  • Table top, solid wood or Ply?

    I make poker tables. And they are extremely heavy using 2 pieces of plywood. A customer asked me if there was anyway to make them lighter. I was thinking about using hardwood, it would be more expensive...but would it be lighter?

  • #2
    That's tough to say. Typically, I would expect a solid hardwood table to be heavier than plywood (depending on several factors of course).
    Kevin
    Scrollsaw Patterns Online
    Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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    • #3
      Im thinking it would be a little lighter, but dont quote me on that. It would be way more expensive to build. It would be a lot more work. It would be beautiful, and worth the extra effort. Dale
      Dale w/ yella saws

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      • #4
        You're just going to have to start making them out of balsa. They won't last very long but at least they shouldn't complain about the excess weight.
        Mike

        Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
        www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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        • #5
          I don't know how you'd make a poker table and I've never seen one so I'm talking from a position of complete ignorance (as per usual ).

          Could you make the top using thinner plywood and a torsion box construction method?

          Gill
          There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
          (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

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          • #6
            Table Tops

            If you elect to make the tops out of hard wood you should glue the top together in 6"-8" strips. Also, any solid wood is prone to warping. Gluing together in the smaller widths helps a little bit. Also, you can alternate the grain pattern in gluing it up. After gluing there is a lot of sanding to flatten joints and remove glue squeeze out. Plywood is much easier to work with and more stable than solid wood. Don't think you would gain anything in the weight department. And I am not totally familiar with poker tables either. If you could upload a picture of one with the approximate dimensions, perhaps the warping problem would not be a factor.
            Buzz
            We Danes are very even tempered. We're always mad about something!

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            • #7
              I'm with Gill..a proper torsion box construction would allow you to make it out of relatively thin plywood (I'm thinking 1/4"-thick), which would weigh at least 1/3 less than 3/4"-thick (that's what I would use if I were making one without the torsion box.

              Now for those of you who don't know what a torsion box is...it's basically a grid of thin supports (again, I'd use 1/4") that fit together like the cardboard dividers in a case of beer bottles (simplest image I could come up with). They provide an enormous amount of support.

              Gill...do you have an easier description...it's Monday morning here in the states, and my words are failing me!

              Bob
              www.GrobetUSA.com

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              • #8
                Torsion box....like a hollow core door, with really cool skins on the outside
                CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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                • #9
                  Good analogy!

                  Bob
                  www.GrobetUSA.com

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                  • #10
                    I think you've described it admirably, Carl and Bob. You could even use hardboard to construct the support grid! That should help to reduce costs.

                    Gill
                    There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                    (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

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