Hire the best Handyman

Desk build with plywood. Can I use 12mm?

Results 1 to 33 of 33
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default Desk build with plywood. Can I use 12mm?

    Hi,

    I am going to be building a permanent desk in my home office. I have decided on plywood for its durability. I have been having trouble finding 18mm thickness in the size that I need and was wondering if I would get away with 12mm? I was looking at this from bunnings. It's very overkill but it's the thickest they have for the size I need.

    Here is the desk in question

    desk.jpg

    It will be running the whole length of one wall and about half the other. There will be two 70mm x 35mm lengths of structural pine screwed into the walls for back support along with the legs and drawers.

    I honestly don't think it will be thick enough, but thought I would ask the question anyways
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails desk.jpg  

  2. #2
    NZC
    NZC is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Not if you plan on putting anything on it. Try these guys, I'd put 25mm on the top, 18mm for the rest. If you want a really good finish ask for the price difference to hoop ply.

    Bendigo Timber - Plywood

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NZC View Post
    Not if you plan on putting anything on it. Try these guys, I'd put 25mm on the top, 18mm for the rest. If you want a really good finish ask for the price difference to hoop ply.

    Bendigo Timber - Plywood
    Thanks for that. I figured as much. I haven't worked with enough wood to know what can handle what yet. What are your thoughts on MDF?

  4. #4
    4K Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Geelong
    Posts
    6,506

    Default

    12mm should be more than adequate providing the edges are strengthened appropriately using a hardwood batten but 18mm would be insurance plus peace of mind; still with the hardwood edge batten tho.
    One thing tho is the lack of drawer space, I would need a set of drawers on the R/H side also and I would be using a curved 45 degree join in the corner to make movement easier and making that corner support bracket at 45 into the corner with a 90*45 on top
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

    Legal disclaimer denying responsibility to be inserted here.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Thanks Moondog. I'm limited in my tools and knowledge still, so wouldn't be confident in my skills to complete a nice clean curved cut. I am am assuming any seams where the desk top joins could be hidden with putty fill (I will be painting the desk). This wouldn't be an option with MDF as the fibres always stick up.

    Can the batten edge be set back a bit? I would think it would support just as well without being so obvious

    I could make an angle cut across that corner, though. It might solve my sizing issue at the same time, although that corner might look a bit too big. I will see if I can make the changes in Sketchup tonight.

    As for the drawers, I only wanted the three. There will be a bar fridge under the left hand side

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    311

    Default

    you could also laminate two sheets of 12mm together. glue them. some heavy weights for a day or so. cut afterwards as a single sheet will give you clean lines.

  7. #7
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sydney, north
    Posts
    16,606

    Default

    what about this:
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/plyfloor...oring_p0390075
    Floor ply generally has a good finish.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by davegol View Post
    you could also laminate two sheets of 12mm together. glue them. some heavy weights for a day or so. cut afterwards as a single sheet will give you clean lines.
    This is a good idea actually. But if I can get a lower grade, I'd be fine with it as I'm painting it. Save some dough, you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    what about this:
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/plyfloor...oring_p0390075
    Floor ply generally has a good finish.
    I was looking at C Grade at Bendigo Timber, which was suggested earlier in the thread, so this would probably do it. Pre-sanded and what-not. I might change the depth of the desk to 600 so i can can cut it clean down the center and save some dosh.

  9. #9
    3K Club Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    3,585

    Default

    I bought a standup electric adjustable height frame desk, but with no top - the top was made out of chipboard with vinyl etc covering and didn't like it. Thankfully, the supplier was happy to supply the frame with no top. Mobel Height Adjustable Frame DM15.

    Went to bunnings and bought a piece of 25mm ply - smooth on one side, a bit rough on the other side, cut to 1800mm x 800mm, and routed the edges into a nice curve. Sanded and clear coated with 3 layers and have been using it since August 2013. Perfect. Wouldn't use 12mm thin ply on my desk.

    Those who want to ignore the science are increasingly alone. They are on their own shrinking island.


  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Alright, here's my MK2 design. I'm going with this from bunnings. So 25mm thick, going with 600mm wide and CD grade plywood. Might be a bit rough, but some building bog should sort it out.



    Anyone have any constructive criticisms or tips? Will the design hold do you think?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails desk-mk2_top.jpg   desk-mk2_bott.jpg  
    Last edited by Triodz; 28th Sep 2017 at 08:37 PM. Reason: added url

  11. #11
    3K Club Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    3,585

    Default

    When you go to Bunnings, you can select the plywood sheets with the best finish with a good surface. When I did mine, it took about 10 sheets to find the best with no filled holes on the better surface and no bog required.

    Those who want to ignore the science are increasingly alone. They are on their own shrinking island.


  12. #12
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    13,955

    Default

    25 mm plywood for a desk ... what do you do with your desk park the car on it?
    Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance
    Confucius

  13. #13
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sydney, north
    Posts
    16,606

    Default

    Agree.

  14. #14
    NZC
    NZC is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    283

    Default

    I just think they look better at 25mm.

  15. #15
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sydney, north
    Posts
    16,606

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NZC View Post
    I just think they look better at 25mm.
    Absolutely agree, though you could trim it with thinner ply before cutting it. I would go for a varnished finish and feature the ply edge.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    25 mm plywood for a desk ... what do you do with your desk park the car on it?
    Ah man, everyone is telling me 25mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodbe View Post
    When you go to Bunnings, you can select the plywood sheets with the best finish with a good surface. When I did mine, it took about 10 sheets to find the best with no filled holes on the better surface and no bog required.
    Yeah man, I saw it said different grades on the description too. One of the reasons I decided on it
    Last edited by Triodz; 28th Sep 2017 at 11:36 PM. Reason: changed 5 to 25

  17. #17
    NZC
    NZC is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    Absolutely agree, though you could trim it with thinner ply before cutting it. I would go for a varnished finish and feature the ply edge.

    Yes the ply edge is a must. The problem with trimming it is that unless you use A grade ply it will eventually go wavy.

  18. #18
    2K Club Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jarrahdale
    Posts
    2,123

    Default

    My concern would be the exposed edges of the ply...are you going to use a solid timber edge?
    I did 3 walls of a design studio in 18mm MDF. Once cut to suit I glued and screwed another strip about 70mm wide underneath the front edge. Then rounded over the top and bottom edge with the router. Couple of coats of tinted stain/varnish. Job done. In the corners used a few of the large steel brackets to support. Front edge supported on some Ikea legs where needed.
    And.....your point is.....what exactly?

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David.Elliott View Post
    My concern would be the exposed edges of the ply...are you going to use a solid timber edge?
    Well, I was going to use timber edge strap, but the ecoply I want to use is all in weird sizes! 17, 19, 21, 25mm - wtf? I only found one at bunnings that would fit any of them and it's 8mm thick! Might have to get a wider sheet of 3mm ply and cut it to size. Which will be a pain. Really wanted rounded edge, but not a terrible loss. MDF bothers me for some reason.

  20. #20
    3K Club Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    3,585

    Default

    I just used the ply without an edge. Why hide the edge?


    Those who want to ignore the science are increasingly alone. They are on their own shrinking island.


  21. #21
    2K Club Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jarrahdale
    Posts
    2,123

    Default

    So far my exposure to ply has not been such that I trust an edge to not splinter...I agree, the exposed edge is a great feature, and if the ply is good, do it!
    And.....your point is.....what exactly?

  22. #22
    4K Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Geelong
    Posts
    6,506

    Default

    25mm plywood is way overkill as far as strength goes
    How-ever design wise I like iteration #2 but I would put the supporting timbers under the joins in the ply and these can be on the flat and really only need to be 70*35 if that. Clear epoxy on the edges works to stop splintering
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

    Legal disclaimer denying responsibility to be inserted here.

  23. #23
    3K Club Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    3,585

    Default

    Ours came from Bunnies: ECOply 2400 x 1200mm 25mm CD Structural Plywood. Current cost here is now $95.00

    Prefer a solid desk than a toy drum desk

    Those who want to ignore the science are increasingly alone. They are on their own shrinking island.


  24. #24
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    I would put the supporting timbers under the joins in the ply and these can be on the flat and really only need to be 70*35 if that.
    Sorry, mate, not sure what you mean by supporting timbers under the joins. Did you mean the battens to go right under the joins in addition to what is already there?

    As for thickness, I might just go in between at 21mm CD Plywood on top and 18mm for everything else. Because I'm going to paint it, I am going to get some curved edging and plane the bottom level with the desk (there are none that are the right size already).

    I really appreciate the feedback from everyone on this thread. It has been most helpful for me in working through to a solution and I've learned a few things along the way!

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    367

    Default

    I think Moondog is suggesting that you support the full with of the but joins in the top. Just so there isn't any movement between the two pieces.

    Design 2 is cool. have fun with the building.

  26. #26
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Ah, thanks for that.

    I'm starting to worry that the corner doesn't have enough support. I didn't really want to put a leg or desk-to-floor support if I could get away with it. I might use a hanger bracket and angle brackets for extra strength, and have the longest front edge batten recessed into the support where the computer tower is going to go.

  27. #27
    4K Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Geelong
    Posts
    6,506

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowMick View Post
    I think Moondog is suggesting that you support the full with of the but joins in the top. Just so there isn't any movement between the two pieces.

    Design 2 is cool. have fun with the building.
    Sorry if I wasn't clear enough

    I actually think you have way too much supporting timber and could reduce it, also it helps if you show timber sizes and grading in the drawings there being a difference between a 35*79 MGP 7 and the same thing in F17 hardwood
    You did say built in? In which case the rear batten is usually screwed to the studs in the wall
    A bracket front edge to the floor should be more than strong enough and I would put 2 of these from the point where the 45 joins the others sections; others may think a single front edge to corner would be enough
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

    Legal disclaimer denying responsibility to be inserted here.

  28. #28
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default

    For anyone interested in how this turned out, have some pics! I'm pretty happy with it, but didn't bring the top of the cantilevers out far enough. Moondog suggested above that I bring it right out, but forgot by the time I got to it. Oh well, post-fixing it is! I also ran a piece a of ply under the longer sections for extra support. It's strong and looks great in my humble opinion! Happy to hear criticisms.
    20171208_071940.jpg20171208_071829.jpg20171208_071833.jpg20171208_072243.jpg20171208_072312.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20171208_072243.jpg   20171208_072312.jpg  

  29. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    367

    Default

    love your work bloke. nice finish on the edge. Enjoy

  30. #30
    2K Club Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jarrahdale
    Posts
    2,123

    Default

    Really, really nice work... When I did my study I used a bunch of plastic retic saddles with one screw only in the bottom hole on the rail that runs along the back rail on the wall. That way I can drop in whatever cords are needed easily and keep 'em off the floor
    And.....your point is.....what exactly?

  31. #31
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowMick View Post
    love your work bloke. nice finish on the edge. Enjoy
    Thanks mate, appreciate it! Nice to have validation from people I don't know. People you know tend to think they need to be kind, so I don't think you get a true critique.

    Quote Originally Posted by David.Elliott View Post
    Really, really nice work... When I did my study I used a bunch of plastic retic saddles with one screw only in the bottom hole on the rail that runs along the back rail on the wall. That way I can drop in whatever cords are needed easily and keep 'em off the floor
    Thanks for that! That's actually my next challenge and you've given me some inspiration. I need to find something to hide the cables on top of the desk too. I was going to use the cable management spirals, but can't find them here in Bendigo. I could get them online I guess.

  32. #32
    2K Club Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jarrahdale
    Posts
    2,123

    Default

    How many will be on top?
    Really you should only have power to screens, and keyboard and mouse to tower.

    Although Bluetooth KB&M are cheap and reliable enough...
    And.....your point is.....what exactly?

  33. #33
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David.Elliott View Post
    How many will be on top?
    Really you should only have power to screens, and keyboard and mouse to tower.

    Although Bluetooth KB&M are cheap and reliable enough...
    I have wireless KB & M, but there are two monitors, a monitor switch to go between XBox and PC, and two sets of speakers with cables (one for PC and one for XBox). But I have an idea that I am going to work on later to hide it all and make it look nicer. I have a built in cupboard to build, then a workshed to put up, then two decks to build. You know - relaxing stuff.

Similar Threads

  1. build in robes: gyproc or plywood?
    By FiNaR76 in forum Doors, Windows, Architraves & Skirts
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 12th Jan 2017, 01:02 PM
  2. 6mm, 9mm, vs 12mm villaboard
    By organix in forum Bathrooms
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 20th Jun 2016, 09:22 PM
  3. Cheap 14mm thick Plywood / Plywood Pallets
    By Ben + in forum Buy, Sell n Swap
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28th Aug 2011, 10:03 PM
  4. 12mm t&g
    By 71 falcon in forum Flooring
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25th Apr 2008, 07:46 PM
  5. 19mm v 12mm T&G Oak
    By Shedhand in forum Flooring
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 29th May 2006, 11:25 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •