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Valleyslim

1x4 boards vs plywood

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so i bought the work bench plans from shop nation and his frame for the work bench is made out of 24 1x4x8 boards. i was thinking about just buying 2 sheets of plywood and cutting my own 1x4 to make 24 1x4x8 strips instead of going to homedepot/lowes and going through a pile for 24 straight pieces, i remember being in there for about an hour just looking for 8 2x4 that were decently straight. anyways my question is will the plywood be stronger or weaker than the 1x4 pine boards? i can get decent 3/4 plywood for 47 a sheet and a 1x4 is 3.53 at home depot so were talking about less than a 10 dollar difference thanks

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Plywood will be stronger but there is a down side unless you purchase something like cabinet grade ply you are going to have a number of small void throughout you bench top.

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So you’re going to laminate 3 pieces of 1/4” ply, 24 times? That’s a bunch of glue  and time involved, regardless of how many clamps you have. I bet there’s another source somewhere close for decent 1x’s. 

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Consider that plywood is made from layers with alternating grain direction. This helps prevent warpage from expansion or contraction with changes in humidity. It also equalizes strength in to directions. But it doing so, it becomes weaker than an equal thickness solid board, at least in the direction of the grain. A benchtop laminated from solid boards, having grain all running parallel, will be considerably stiffer that a similar lamination of standard plywood. A plywood top of laminated strips will be strong enough, but really no stronger than if you saved effort and  just layered full sheets.

LVL, on the other hand, looks like a plywood lamination, but the grain is all parallel, so it would be super rigid.

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9 hours ago, Larry Moore said:

How is the frame held together?

Plywood will not hold fasteners as well as solid wood 

i will be laminating the ply wood  or 1x4 together to make a poor man's bridle joint

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Mys son built a cabinet out of 2x4s and plywood, using the metal corner connectors, etc. from Lowe's. Why not use 2x4s instead of laminating and gluing 1x4s. Seems like this would take a lot of time to build. Maybe I'm not reading this post right?

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On 8/17/2019 at 9:05 PM, wtnhighlander said:

LVL, on the other hand, looks like a plywood lamination, but the grain is all parallel, so it would be super rigid.

I've used LVL for a number of things that need to be strong & stay straight & it's great stuff. Cost considerably more than dimensional lumber, but when all the waste is considered, it can be lots cheaper.

 

On 8/18/2019 at 6:54 AM, Larry Moore said:

Plywood will not hold fasteners as well as solid wood

 

13 hours ago, kamuiqon said:

I heard that Plywood will not hold fasteners as well as solid wood

This is only true if screwing into the edges of the plywood. When screwing into the face, the opposite is true; It holds very well, is consistent, and doesn't split.

Popular Woodworking published a good article by Megan Fitzpatrick on building a bench out of LVL. Not sure if it's behind a paywall though.

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On 8/26/2019 at 6:57 AM, Bankstick said:

Mys son built a cabinet out of 2x4s and plywood, using the metal corner connectors, etc. from Lowe's. Why not use 2x4s instead of laminating and gluing 1x4s. Seems like this would take a lot of time to build. Maybe I'm not reading this post right?

This is what I was trying to accomplish with 1x4, maybe 2x4 could have worked but I'm just following a plan I bought

20190902_154605.jpg

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