Tops and Tables
What are your table tops made out of?
Our table tops are made out of 3/4" thick Grade A1 birch-veneered poplar plywood or 3/4" thick Grade B/BB Baltic Birch plywood (both of these grades are the best available for each type).
In descending order in terms of quality, birch-veneered poplar plywood types include: A1, A, A/B, A/BB, B, B/BB, BB, C/D, W/G, and X.
In descending order in terms of quality, Baltic Birch plywood types include: B/BB, BB, C/D, W/G, and X.
We purchase only the nicest-looking grades as they're specifically meant for furniture. We pay significantly more for the best grades but we believe this extra expense is worth the money; we believe you will too.
Why are you building table tops out of plywood?
Relatively speaking, plywood is probably the best-value type of material that one can build a table top out of. It's usually less expensive than most solid wood but, pound for pound, it's actually stronger. Once stained or painted, it looks just as nice as solid wood and doesn't expand and contract like solid wood does.
For the purposes of table tops, we believe plywood to be superior in strength, weight, and aesthetic appeal compared to other composite woods, including particle board, oriented strand board (OSB), low density fiberboard (LDF), medium density fiberboard (MDF), and high density fiberboard (HDF). Unlike many of these other composite materials, plywood isn't nearly as prone to water-absorption, swelling, mold, or mildew.
If it's 3/4" thick plywood, why does my top seem a little thinner?
Plywood tends to lose a little of its thickness (about 8-12%) as some of the moisture from the glued layers evaporates. So 3/4" plywood is probably closer to .68" and 1.5" thick plywood is closer to 1.40" (approximately).
I want my top to be a special shape - can you do it? If so, what would you charge?
It depends. We have done a few special shapes for some customers; some are beyond our abilities and others are not. Send us a photo or diagram with measurements to [email protected] and we will let you know. If we can do it, we'll also provide a quote.
Requests for top shapes resembling Justin Bieber makes you persona non grata (unless what you really mean is scrap pieces, which we do have).
Are your tops strong? The top I bought at store X can hold a lamp just fine, but can yours?
If the lamp is 500 lbs then I would say we have comparable tops. Otherwise I think you paid too much for glorified paper.
So if you think plywood is so great, what brand of furniture do you use in your office?
Actually almost all of the furniture in our office and shop was designed for and built with our own plywood (8+ main pieces); only a few saw stands and metal cabinets are not our own creations. As a testament to the strength and durability of our own furniture, most of this furniture predates our entire current staff (15+ years)! We really do believe that plywood is the best-value material to make table tops out of.
So if you think plywood is so great, why don't you marry it?
I think the FAQs are meant to be from the customers, not smart-aleck employees. But fine, I would if I could, but I can't; marriage to inanimate objects is currently illegal (and don't ask how my wife gets away with it).