Q: I would like to build a top for my workbench with layers of plywood. I’d also like to install benchdogs. What type of plywood will work best for this situation? Jim Siefken, Fort Collins, CO A: Three layers of 3/4-in.-thick plywood are a good choice for a strong, stable benchtop. Choose a plywood with no voids and as many layers as possible, such as Baltic birch. Place the top sheet upside down, and glue and screw the middle sheet to it using lines of 1-1/4-in. Spax or deep-threaded drywall screws sunk flush with the surface. Locate these screws carefully to allow the third sheet to be screwed down and the dog holes to be drilled. Surround the top with a maple or other solid-wood edge, at least 3/4 in. thick and fastened to the plywood with the same type of screws. Miter the ends of the edging to give it a crisper, more professional look. Making square holes in plywood is difficult, so I suggest using cylindrical benchdogs (www.hartvilletool.com). The most common sizes require 3/4-in. or 1-in. holes. Chamfer the holes at the top to minimize the risk of chipping. Photo: Staff
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