If I made a 3/4 plywood table with simple metal legs from amazon, do I need to add more supports?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by Jimothy posted 05-18-2022 05:00 AM 859 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jimothy's profile


137 posts in 2434 days

05-18-2022 05:00 AM

Hey, I am making a simple 48×78 table out of 3/4 baltic birch ply, and simply screwing on metal legs from amazon.

What I am wondering is, do I need to make a sort of apron, or battens underneath to prevent warping is this not an issue with ply wood? I was also considering doing a sort of “X”

This is for indoor.

Let me know what you think

11 replies so far

View Dutchy's profile


4399 posts in 3662 days

#1 posted 05-18-2022 05:23 AM

Baltic birch is strong. If you first drill a hole and turn the screw in it then this will suffice in most cases, and a apron isn’t necessary. With heavy loads however you make it much stronger with an apron. In short: With light use direct screwing may be sufficient.


View MPython's profile


435 posts in 1306 days

#2 posted 05-18-2022 06:36 AM

I agree with Dutchy, but I would add that where you position the legs is critical if you want to avoid additional support for the top. If you place them near the ends of the table, you will almost certainly see your plywood top sag in the middle, even under a light load: I’m sure there is data available on leg placement on such tables, but I don’t have any at my fingertips. You might want to do some research or simply run some tests to determine which placement works best for you.

View JIMMIEM's profile


262 posts in 2335 days

#3 posted 05-18-2022 12:25 PM

Check the Sagulator. It does not specifically give Baltic Birch as a choice but might give you an approximate idea of sag, etc.
I built a 4 ft x 8 ft table from 3/4” ply (not BB). I put a 2×4 apron all around. Used for a dining room table for a large crowd….no problem with sag.

View controlfreak's profile


3871 posts in 1095 days

#4 posted 05-18-2022 12:36 PM

Plywood alone IMO will sag. You will need some support for the length and the width.

View CommonJoe's profile


59 posts in 416 days

#5 posted 05-18-2022 12:59 PM

Isn’t this the same question that has been answered?

View Phil32's profile


1802 posts in 1397 days

#6 posted 05-18-2022 02:02 PM

Never design a table for the lightest possible use. Consider also the side forces on the leg screws. Will they rip out?

-- You know, this site doesn't require woodworking skills, but you should know how to write.

View bondogaposis's profile


6193 posts in 3845 days

#7 posted 05-18-2022 03:00 PM

Plywood is more “bendy” than solid wood. For a table of that size I would brace it, if it was mine.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MrRon's profile


6333 posts in 4737 days

#8 posted 05-18-2022 06:45 PM

If you are going to build a table, do it the right way. An apron all around will prevent the plywood from sagging in the middle. Keep the apron about 3” in from the edges of the plywood and add a cross brace halfway on the long dimension. The edges should also be edge banded if appearance is needed.

View bigblockyeti's profile


8585 posts in 3214 days

#9 posted 05-18-2022 08:07 PM

How far in from the outer edge will the legs be installed, what will the load be and where will it be located. This is a simple statics problem but all variable need to be established before an answer can be determined. This would sag very little under its own weight but could be quite a big more if you’re using it to rebuild marine engines upon.

-- “I never in my life thought I would have to say this, but the proper role of government is not to fund the distribution of crack pipes,” Lauren Boebert

View Jimothy's profile


137 posts in 2434 days

#10 posted 05-19-2022 02:22 AM

damn that guy copy pasted my entire question, and stole my username

Isn t this the same question that has been answered?

- CommonJoe

View ManySplinters's profile


49 posts in 273 days

#11 posted 05-19-2022 03:42 AM

I’ve got a 40”x72” 3/4 CDX table with a 1×1.25” fit around it (hides edge of plywood in a rabbit). But my “legs” have always been 16” wide boards or angle iron set in 12” from the ends. No warp or sag after daily use for the last 30+ yrs.

Obviously your numbers are different, but believe that leg placement will matter greatly in your design…

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics