What to use for an ofice desk top

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Forum topic by chickenguru posted 05-10-2012 11:39 PM 2578 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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45 posts in 4328 days

05-10-2012 11:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip

I want to build a desk for my self at my work. It will be U shape approx 5ft x 7.5 ft. My old desk was 5/8” legs,drawers ect and 1” top all partical board. Other desks I see are all 1”. I dont want to spend too much money on this but want it to look good too. I was going to use 3/4 oak ply or maple with solid wood banding where its needed. Any input would be great.

18 replies so far

View Bobmedic's profile


383 posts in 4136 days

#1 posted 05-11-2012 12:16 AM

Your plan sounds good to me. I would sandwich two pieces of the plywood together for a thicker top.

View rdjack21's profile


268 posts in 4261 days

#2 posted 05-11-2012 01:54 AM

Sounds good to me too but like Robert I would glue two pieces of the plywood together for a thicker top.

-- --- Richard Jackson

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1730 posts in 4402 days

#3 posted 05-11-2012 02:32 AM

Almost all of my tops are 3/4” ply with a thicker band.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View chickenguru's profile


45 posts in 4328 days

#4 posted 05-11-2012 11:56 AM

Thanks for the great ideas. I just want to make sure I do a good job in design even if it’s for a wharehouse desk. Thanks again

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45 posts in 4328 days

#5 posted 05-17-2012 01:12 PM

Well thanks Lucystars that was the perfect feedback I was looking for. I think not!

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Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4190 days

#6 posted 05-17-2012 01:42 PM

2×3/4” plywood shhets thick then

I’m putting flooring vinyl on mine

I tend to repair things on my desk

I’m a slob really. :)


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4200 days

#7 posted 05-17-2012 01:47 PM

You’d be surprised how well the right kind of door will work and they’re almost ready to go and sometimes you can find them for next to nothing.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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Lee Barker

2172 posts in 4184 days

#8 posted 05-17-2012 02:53 PM

I see no virtue in doubling the plywood, unless it’s to brag about the thickness. If you do that, you’ll need three men and some ancient Egyptian techniques to get it in the door and atop the pedestals.

Oak makes a poor top because of its inherent roughness. Any plywood top will end up vulnerable and difficult to repair.

Plastic laminate is a consideration.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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45 posts in 4328 days

#9 posted 05-18-2012 01:12 AM

As far as the thickness goes I’m not thinking it will be weak but want it to look like it was not just slapped together.

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 4325 days

#10 posted 05-18-2012 01:11 PM

I would second the suggestion of plastic laminate, i.e.formica. Nothing against plywood but if you’re using it as a desk, it’s going to see a lot of abuse and laminate is tough and easy to clean. It is also really easy to get flat and smooth. You could sandwich two layers of 3/4 MDF and put laminate over the top.

View ajosephg's profile


1901 posts in 4895 days

#11 posted 05-18-2012 02:01 PM

Re: double the thickness. I’d just double it for several inches around the outside so it looks thick but doesn’t weigh so much.

-- Joe

View chickenguru's profile


45 posts in 4328 days

#12 posted 05-18-2012 06:24 PM

Thanks for the ideas all. If I did plywood I would have to put a few coats of poly or something similar on it to make easy cleaning. I think i’m going to use sandwich 2 1/2” pieces and put formica on top.

View Bobmedic's profile


383 posts in 4136 days

#13 posted 05-28-2012 08:56 PM

@Lee Barker, The virtue of two pieces of plywood or MDF sandwiched together is it not bowing under stress over a greater distance. And the dimensions the OP was talking about is just slightly heavier than a full sheet of plywood. It really has nothing to do with bragging about the thickness. You could also use 1-⅛ melamine with a solid wood edge. It has a smooth easy to clean surface and is very stable and flat. It is also cheaper than plywood and formica, yet less durable.

View roofner's profile


146 posts in 3617 days

#14 posted 05-29-2012 02:12 AM

How about some of the new hardwoood flooring panels and glue to plywood? Anyone try that idea yet I have been think of trying this idea?

-- Gary New York

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Fred Hargis

7354 posts in 3827 days

#15 posted 07-18-2012 02:47 PM

I’ve made a few desktops out of solid core door blanks (no hardware holes) and they were fairly inexpensive, very sturdy, and finished up nicely. Be aware, some “solid” core doors have a core of particleboard (or MDF) and can be awfully heavy.

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

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