Edging Plywood Work Bench Top On All Sides?

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Forum topic by johnnySmith posted 12-19-2016 01:58 PM 837 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 980 days

12-19-2016 01:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plywood top

I’m completely new to woodworking (haven’t really done any since shop class in high school), and want to make a top for an electronics/computer workbench. I want it to look pretty nice, and it’s going to be for light duty work, so I’m thinking veneered plywood should be OK. I think I want to glue 1 inch of hardwood on all four edges of the top to prevent the plywood edges from getting banged up too easily, and to improve appearances.

Is it practical to edge plywood with hardwood board on all four sides? My concern is that the miter cuts have to be near perfect to allow all boards to butt up against the plywood edges and each other; and that the slightest wood movement may rip the joints apart. Are these valid concerns? How should this be done properly to make a long-lasting, rigid top?

4 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5648 posts in 2949 days

#1 posted 12-19-2016 03:16 PM

It’s done all the time, and there are no problems with it. Your miter cuts do need to be well done to look nice, but they won’t separate with slight wood movement.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Robert's profile


3486 posts in 1936 days

#2 posted 12-19-2016 04:23 PM

No problems doing that plywood is not supposed to move ;-)

You can also consider iron on edge banding.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bondogaposis's profile


5497 posts in 2807 days

#3 posted 12-19-2016 04:38 PM

allow all boards to butt up against the plywood edges and each other; and that the slightest wood movement may rip the joints apart.

No, that is not a valid concern, plywood is stable and doesn’t move. Edging plywood is done all of the time and yes getting the miters right is tricky.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4103 days

#4 posted 12-19-2016 04:59 PM

In theory plywood moves a little bit but for
some reason this sort of edging application
doesn’t usually cause problems with the
miters gapping at the corners.

For practical purposes plywood can generally
be treated as free from movement.

Wood moves a tiny bit in length and perhaps
this small movement compensates for
any movement in the plywood bound by
mitered edging.

If the mitered edging is wider than perhaps
an inch it may show seasonal gapping from
the width of the edging expanding and opening
the outside of the miter.

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