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How to Make a DIY Dining Table Using One Sheet of Plywood

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 04/12/2019

A high quality and useable table is something that very home can benefit from.

Making a table yourself is really simple.

You might never have thought about it, but it is far cheaper and more fun than buying a readymade table, especially when considering that it will only amount to a little time, basic tools and materials to build yourself.

The following article outlines how to go about it.

Read on or hit a jump link below to skip to a desired chapter:


Chapters

  1. Tools & Materials Required
  2. Preparation
  3. Measuring, Marking & Cutting
  4. Making the Legs
  5. Cutting the Table Top
  6. Attaching the Legs
  7. Finishing & Painting
  8. Conclusion
  9. See It In Action

Tools & Materials Required

You will need the following supplies:

  • sheet of plywood, with a recommended thickness of 19mm (¾ inch).
  • water-based protective topcoat
  • paint
  • sandpaper
  • screws
  • wood putty
  • glue
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • cordless drill
  • circular saw

Preparation

Gather the supplies and tools listed above.

Then use a space where there is enough room where you can work.

Remember that some cleaning up will inevitably be required since cutting wood is required.

Then decide on the preferred dimensions of your dining table and draw a plan with all the measurements marked.

Once the cutting is completed, it is recommended to seal the plywood with the water-based protective topcoat.

Measuring, Marking & Cutting


You will need to cut the plywood with the circular blade.

It is best to mark out the angles using a ruler and pencil.

In this way you will just need to follow these markings with the guide on the circular saw.

This will greatly reduce inaccurate cuts or any mistakes.

Once the cutting is completed, it is important to take the time to sand all the pieces.

This can be done with a 220 grit sandpaper.

Obviously if you use a fresh saw blade the cuts will be cleaner, however a light sanding is always recommended to ensure neater edges.

Making the Legs

The legs are an important part of the table.

Mark the areas where you intend to place the legs, as some will prefer not to place them right at the corners of the table top, but slightly inwards.

Make sure you measure well so that they are equally away from one another.

It is best to glue together four different sets of pieces, and to reinforce them with screws.

Clamp the pieces together.

Allow the glue to cure on the first set of pieces and then proceed to combine them together to form a leg.

Obviously this process will need to be repeated for all of the legs.

Cutting the Table Top


You will have decided on the size of the table before.

A DIY table can be as sturdy as a ready-made one.

You do not need to worry about the area of the table top as long as you use sufficiently thick plywood sheets and ensure that the assembling is carried out carefully.

Clamp down a straight edge and then start cutting strips off.

These will be put to good use as supports for the underside.

Assembling the inner support frame for the table is probably one of the most important steps.

To do this well it is best to use triangular pieces of plywood and glue them to the support strips you cut earlier.

Glue and screw these pieces to the inside corners of the table’s legs.

Then, also glue the pieces you had cut off from the top corners to one another so as to create a couple of triangular braces that will serve well as additional supports for the table’s frame.

Glue them together and screw them for additional sturdiness, and then screw to the inside of the frame.

At this point, since the pieces were triangular, you might happen to notice gaps.

In that case simply plug these gaps with scrap pieces that you will surely have gathered during the cutting of the inner frame.

Attaching the Legs


Once the base has been completed, you can then glue and screw the inner frame pieces, which will connect the legs together, to each of the legs.

At this point you will have the lower part of the table completed.

Finishing & Painting


The last step is to glue the tabletop to the base of the table.

At this point we can say that the table is ready to go.

All you need to do is to glue the table top to the base, and while doing so it is best to use weights so as to hold down the table top tightly to the base while you allow the glue to cure.

Any holes that were left by the screws should be filled up with some wood filler.

Allow it to dry, and then sand it until it is flush with the plywood.

This will ensure a neater result.

It is also best to take the time to smoothen off the edges with the sandpaper, as well as round over the edges a bit.

In case you opt to paint your table, then that is the final step.

Obviously prior to painting, make sure that the sanding is all completed, and that you wipe off all the parts with a moistened cloth so as to remove any dust residue that will have been left after the sanding.

It is best to give two coats of paint for a neater result.

Using a roller should give a smoother, streak-free finish.

And there you have it. Your DIY dining table is all done!

Conclusion

As you may have noticed you do not require any expensive tools and materials to build a dining table out of a single sheet of plywood.

Besides, as long as you follow the guide above, you will not need to worry about not being able to complete it successfully.

Anyone can manage to build a dining table as long as the steps above are followed carefully.

Always exercise caution when cutting the wood pieces, and try to be as precise as possible so as to avoid any mistakes that could mess up the final result.

Other than that you can have a nicely designed dining table at a fraction of the cost you would have had to pay for a ready-made one.

See It In Action

This DIY tutorial is based on the awesome instructional video by HomeMade-Modern.com

Go check out the video on their YouTube channel and see just how easy it is to make a beautiful dining table from a single sheet of ply!


How to Make Floating Shelves Using MDF Boards

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 08/11/2019

Most households tend to have one thing in common – not enough storage space!

There's just too many items to store into cupboards and closets and consequently, untidy piles of items start to accumulate in all the wrong places.

For those who are keen to keep everything organised and out of sight, practical storage solutions are a must.

For this reason, floating shelves are a godsend.

They can help to alleviate this problem without breaking the bank, without taking up additional floor space, which more often than not tends to be very limited.

Building your own floating shelves is fairly straightforward, and even a beginner in DIY can do a great job.

Here are some guidelines on how to go about making floating shelves using MDF boards, which are practical and affordable.

Read on to find learn more, or use a jump link below to skip to a desired chapter:


Chapters

  1. What You Will Need
  2. Building the Floating Shelves
  3. Helpful Tips & Ideas
  4. Conclusion

What You Will Need

You will need basic tools and supplies which will easily be found in any hardware store, including:

  • Hammer Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Wall Plugs & Screws
  • MDF Boards
  • Support Timbers
  • Tape Measure
  • Sandpaper
  • Spirit Level
  • Paint (optional)

Some of these may be substituted for other tools as may be noted hereunder.


Building the Floating Shelves

Step 1: Planning & Measuring

Start by measuring the space where you intend to install your shelves.

Consider what you will be placing on them so as to decide the space you should leave between one shelf and another.

This is important so that you won’t end up with unutilised wall space, and you would be maximising your storage space on the shelves.

Based on this, you can then calculate how many shelves can fit in that wall space, and their sizes.

Mark the top line of each shelf with a spirit level, and take note of the items you will need based on the number of shelves you will be making.

Bear in mind that for each shelf you will be needing two support timbers for the length and the width of the shelf, and obviously an MDF board in the desired size.

Step 2: Gathering Supplies

Next start gathering the supplies and the tools you will be needing.

As you may see from the list above there are no particularly costly tools and supplies can easily be gathered.

Step 3: Cutting

Supporting timber pieces are important as they will make your project safer and sturdier.

Each shelf will need four pieces, one on each side, and if you wish an additional one in the middle to provide extra support.

This is especially important if you will be placing rather heavy items on the shelf.

Cut your timber pieces according to the number of shelves you decided to build.

MDF boards will probably have been cut for you at the store where you bought them, so there is no need to worry about getting them.

Step 4: Attaching the Support Structure

Floating shelves are best built with a support structure.

The top of this structure should be in line with the top of the upper shelf.

Start by screwing the first part to the back wall of the alcove, always making sure that it is level.

Next start to fit the sides, and finally the front strip will be attached.

It is a good idea to pre-drill the holes in the timber as this will help to avoid any splitting or countersinking.

This process will need to be repeated for each shelf.

Think of this as the frame for your floating shelves.

Step 5: Final Fitting

Then fit the shelf cladding by screwing the bottom cover of the shelf to the supporting structure.

Place the top parts over and screw them for additional safety.

Finally screw the front panels to the shelves.

Step 6: Painting the Shelves

A coating of paint is optional.

Some people opt for this so as to have the shelves complement the rest of the furniture in the room where they are installed.

Others may stick to the natural look of MDF.

In any case make sure to fill in any holes and sand lightly so as to make your shelves look smooth and finished off nicely.


Helpful Tips & Ideas

Since it is a good idea to measure the angles at the sides and the back in relation to the front, it is a good idea to have an adjustable square at hand.

This will ensure more accuracy and ultimately a neater result.

Use the machined edge of the MDF board first as this will be flush to the front batten.

There are different thicknesses of MDF sheets that you could buy.

There is no need to go for really thick ones unless you are going to place considerably heavy items on the shelves.

You might wish to enquire which thickness is most suitable before buying.

It is really helpful to use the top sheet for each shelf as a template for the bottom one.

Attaching the boards to the battens can be done by glue and clamping or by using a nail gun.

Clear any excess and fill in any gaps by using some decorator’s caulk.

This will make things neater.

In the case of any countersunk screws, particularly at the front of the shelves, you can use some filler to hide them off.

Then sand lightly to make it smoother and more flush.

Alternatively, you might wish to attach pine strips to that thickness so as to cover off any defects more neatly.

If you opt for painting the shelves always sand them first.

Keep some wall paint at hand so as to touch up any parts which might have ended up marked while you were installing the floating shelves.


Conclusion

And that’s it!

As you can see it is a really effortless and fairly simple project to build your own floating shelves.

Next start piling them up with that stuff that you had in mind so as to put them to good use!


What is Marine Plywood Made From?

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 08/10/2019

Most people have heard of plywood and will most likely own something made from plywood, such as a piece furniture.

But whilst it's a very commonly used material in the construction and furniture industries, many people are unaware that there are actually different types of plywood available for different uses.

These varying kinds are intended for different uses and purposes, and as a result they have slightly differing properties and construction.

Marine-grade plywood is one such example.

The term marine might give off the wrong impression that it is suitable to withstanding extreme moisture or contact with water.

However, do not be fooled as marine ply not strictly 100% waterproof.

Marine plywood is however, a reasonably high quality type of plywood.

It is constructed from hardwoods rather than softwoods, with each layer affixed using waterproof grade glue to prevent de-lamination.

Consequently, it is often used in exterior construction and outdoor furniture projects, certain types of boat, and it is also considered to be a good choice for use in coastal areas where natural air moisture levels are considerably higher.

So what is marine plywood made from that makes it a much stronger material than regular ply?

Read on to find out more, or use a jump link below to skip to a desired chapter:


Chapters

  1. What is Marine Grade Plywood?
  2. What is it Made From?
  3. How is Marine Plywood Made?
  4. What is it Used For?
  5. Is It Better Than Regular Plywood?
  6. Conclusion

What is Marine Grade Plywood?

Marine plywood is highly recommended for outdoor projects as it is more resistant to moisture than other types of plywood.

However, it is still made in the same manner as any other plywood sheets you'll find on the market, as it is still constructed from thin veneers of wood sealed together under high pressure.

In the case of marine plywood, that bonding agent is made for water submersion.

Like other types of plywood, marine plywood is also given different standardisations by manufacturers.


What is it Made From?

Marine plywood is constructed from water resistant tropical hardwood, and as these are naturally water resistant, they make marine plywood better than other types of plywood in situations where moisture levels are higher.

There are certain wood species, such as cedar, cypress and redwood, Western Larch or Douglas Fir, that have a natural resistance to decay.

Whilst marine plywood is not pressure treated to enable it to withstand decay, high quality grade veneers are used to increase its resistance.

As a result of this, it is made to withstand moisture far better than standard plywood as it will be well protected with water resistant materials.

How is Marine Plywood Made?

Marine plywood is available in different grades namely:

  • A-A
  • A-B
  • B-B
  • MDO
  • HDO

As with other types of plywood, marine grade plywood is composed of thin sheets of wood veneers, which are arranged in perpendicular layers so as to make it stronger.

Cross lamination is used so as to have the plies perpendicular to each other, so that the panel will be given additional strength in both directions.

Finally, the panel is bonded under high heat and extreme pressure.

When it comes to marine plywood, waterproof glue is used to bond the layers, making it ideal for use in areas where humidity levels or moisture is higher than normal.

Due to the waterproof glue, you do not need to worry about the layers de-laminating over time.


What is it Used For?

Marine grade plywood is good for exterior use, and as a result it is recommended for various projects such as external structures and outdoor furniture.

Some of the most popular uses of marine plywood include:

  • Patio furniture: such as benches, tables and chairs.
  • Pergolas: could very well be constructed from marine plywood, as it is a feasible but inexpensive option compared to other types of wood.
  • Planters: ideal as marine plywood can withstand the moisture and humidity from the soil.
  • Porches and Decks: a good staining and sealing, and you can have a great deck or porch made out of marine plywood.
  • Boats and Sailing Equipment: there are basic boats for sale made from marine plywood, which will serve well for those who have fishing or sailing as a hobby. Marine plywood is ideal to form simple boat structures, and as long as it is properly sealed inside and outside, it will be waterproof.
  • Boat Docks: marine plywood is taking over the traditional sanded lumber to construct boat docks as it can do well for quite a long time. After some years, its longevity can be increased further with some weatherproofing treatment.
  • Lake Platforms: building a lake platform where you can fish and suntan is a great idea, and using marine plywood to construct it is ideal. All it takes is gluing several marine plywood sheets together, protect them using a waterproof sealant, and bolt it to a weight at the bottom of the lake.
  • Bathroom and Kitchen Walls: kitchens and bathrooms are the rooms whose walls are most susceptible to splashes. Marine plywood is ideal as it can withstand such moisture quite well.
  • Bathrooms and Kitchen Subfloors: spills on bathroom and kitchen floors, and overflows from showers and toilets are common, but with marine plywood sub-flooring you can be safeguarded from deforming and rotting floors.

Is It Better Than Regular Plywood?

In short, marine plywood almost always performs better than regular plywood.

The main reason is that it can better withstand humidity and moisture, unlike the most basic type of plywood which would end up warping should it be exposed to high levels of humidity or moisture.

The main difference is that marine plywood, and exterior types of plywood, will be better sealed and treated.

On the other hand, plywood used for interior projects will be thinner.

To give you a basic idea, regular plywood sheets would typically have between three and five layered veneers, whereas marine plywood would typically have twice as many layers.

Despite this, never forget that at the end of the day this is still plywood, and though it is of a better quality, you should still make sure that it is well maintained from time to time.


Conclusion

If you are considering purchasing plywood for an outdoor project, or constructing something that will be used outdoors or placed in areas of high humidity, then it is highly recommended that you opt for marine ply.

This is because it is more suitable to withstand high humidity and moisture since it is bonded together with waterproof glue or phenolic resin.

The combination of water resistant hardwood that this plywood is made from, and this type of glue, will basically make this plywood waterproof and last longer.

Marine ply is also extremely strong and can withstand high levels of pressure.

So it makes for an ideal building material in a wide range of projects and applications.


How to Choose the Right Plywood for Various Projects

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 05/09/2019

Plywood is a popular building material because it is relatively affordable, yet very sturdy and durable.

There are however a number of different varieties of plywood, so knowing which type to use for various applications is essential to prevent problems occurring later on.

In this article, we explore the various types of plywood available and how best to use them.

Read on to find out more, or use the jump menu below to skip to your desired chapter:


Chapters

  1. How is Plywood Made?
  2. Grades of Plywood
  3. Plywood for Furniture
  4. Plywood for Exterior Use
  5. Plywood for Water Exposure
  6. Plywood for Walls
  7. Plywood for Flooring
  8. Cutting Plywood
  9. Key Takeaways
  10. Conclusion

1. How is Plywood Made?

Plywood is made out of thin sheets of wood veneers.

With many of these pieces pressed together using high temperatures, plywood is manufactured.

There are different types of plywood, as well as thicknesses.

Their uses vary depending on this, and a type of plywood may be more suitable for a project rather than another.

It is important to consider the type of project you will be using plywood for, especially in terms of the strength requirements, where the finished product will be placed and used, and more importantly, exposure to the elements.

2. Grades of Plywood

Plywood is classified according to its thickness, appearance and condition.

These factors determine the grade of the plywood, such as:

A Grade

This refers to plywood that is smooth, and with few imperfections. This grade of plywood does not have small knots either. Thus this is high quality plywood. This type of plywood is thus ideal if you intend to paint it.

B Grade

This is plywood that is still of a relatively good quality. Typically such plywood will have small knots and possibly some nicks.

C & D Grade

When plywood is graded C or D, it means that it is of a relatively low quality.

There will be several knotholes and defects in it, as well as void areas.

This type of plywood can still be used if your main objective is to save money, and when it will be used in a project where it will be used in interior parts, or when it will be covered up, and so imperfections will not be visible.

Softwood vs Hardwood Grades

It is important to consider the difference between softwood and hardwood grades of plywood.

Softwood plywood refers to plywood in which the face and back veneers are composed of soft types of wood. These include cedar, pine and Douglas fir.

These are then graded as noted above, from A to D.

Hardwood plywood on the other hand is of a higher quality and it is the most ideal choice if aesthetics are important for your project.

Birch and oak are most commonly used for the hardwood veneer faces.