View Full Version : Having a table built need advice

01-05-2006, 05:44 PM
Ok I found a local man that has taken his knowledge from two local table building companies and is now building tables on his own. Very low key in the basement at this point. Most of his work is as a table mechanic now.

So here is my delemia. On the basic table cabinet he joins two 1" thick oak plywood and the outter layer has an finish grade oak exposed. When he puts the oak trim on, it looks real nice.

Or for $200 more he will make the cabinet out two 1" thick solid oak pieces glued together. Basically the same stuff he's using for the rails.

This table is solid I mean solid so either way for the price of a cheap import I"m getting what appears to be a well built table.

My wife says get the base table and I'll never know the differnce and in 10 years I can get a top of line table.

The tables should play the same but I sitting here thinking will I always wish I had the solid oak cabinet.

01-05-2006, 06:45 PM
Listen to your wife. You gotta sleep with her. Look up "Anatomy of A Pool Table" In ten years you can buy a Chinese Brunswick Crown Four made by Brunswick.

01-05-2006, 07:53 PM
With that said "Brunswick being outsourced to asia" then I ask myself why not make this table all oak and then there won't be any reason to update it.

01-05-2006, 07:57 PM
If you think you will always regret not getting the solid oak...then you'll never really be happy with the table.
I had my table built...it plays well, and was money well spent....but he did use some plywood in the construction.

01-05-2006, 07:59 PM
Or "Go for the gold"
A used Gold Crown should hold it's value....

Rich R.
01-05-2006, 08:06 PM
What benefit do you think you will get by having the solid oak? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

I'm not sure if there is any benefit at all, but, if you feel there is, $200 is not much for peace of mind. Go for it.

01-05-2006, 08:12 PM
I feel like it would be stronger

Last longer


But it seems the logical stand point is take the cabinet made of plywood with oak veneer.

Anyone have anything negative to say about plywood.

Rich R.
01-05-2006, 08:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote kyhogan:</font><hr> I feel like it would be stronger
<font color="red">I'm not a wood expert, but the plywood may actually be stronger, especially if it is high quality, furniture grade, plywood. </font color>

Last longer
<font color="red">As long as the plywood doesn't get wet, it should last as long as the solid oak. </font color>

<font color="red">Ah, the truth. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif </font color>

But it seems the logical stand point is take the cabinet made of plywood with oak veneer.
<font color="red">The final decision is yours to make. </font color>

Anyone have anything negative to say about plywood.

<hr /></blockquote>

01-05-2006, 09:35 PM
Plywood because of reduced internal stress.

01-06-2006, 01:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote kyhogan:</font><hr>The tables should play the same but Im sitting here thinking will I always wish I had the solid oak cabinet. <hr /></blockquote>
Get the solid oak. Peace of mind usually can't be bought but here you have a chance to get it for only $200. You'll never regret your decision and the oak will never let you down. Plywood has many things going for it but in terms of quality furniture and artistry it has nothing on solid oak.

01-06-2006, 06:03 AM
Go for the oak. You will never be happy if you think you went cheap. $200 is nothing compared to you being happy with the end product.

Brian in VA
01-06-2006, 06:11 AM
As an advanced woodworker, I can tell you that the plywood is much more stable than the solid oak. A piece of solid oak, unless it is quarter sawn and of a species other than white or red oak (the most common species found in the US) will change width nearly 1/4" from the driest time of year to the wettest while the plywood doesn't change. Unless you live in a very temperate climate where the relative humidity remains very stable, the plywood is a better choice.

The only consideration may be in how the product looks. Cabinet grade oak plywood has a slightly different look than solid oak if both are treated with the same stain. This is because of the way the oak veneer is cut, it's thickness and the way it's applied. If your friend is going to finish them naturally (i.e. no stain, just top coat) there shouldn't be any issues. Remember also, the cabinet of a pool table tends to become invisible as it's below the playing surface. Just my two cents. If you have any further questions, feel free to PM me.

Brian in VA

01-06-2006, 06:43 AM
Brian I'll have to agree with you, the building trade has plywood beams that are as strong as steel beams. Using them as the frame would give a much sturdier frame with little expansion. Most tables used Rosewood,Birdseye Maple veneers for the rails and sides. ####

01-06-2006, 11:23 AM
I agree with Brian as well. The only reason to go solid oak is for the "perception" of higher quality. And this will only matter if you sell the table later on.

01-06-2006, 12:51 PM
While Im a all solid hard wood snob in my heart I would rather have the best way the table can be built (for the reasonable amount of money I'm paying).

So if plywood frame with veneer is the most stable then thats the way I'm going and won't regret it a bit.

Now time for me to go pick out what stain color I want.

Looks like it's gonna be cherry with camel simonis 860.

I'll share pictures with you all when it's done!

Thanks for the input.

01-06-2006, 01:10 PM
Even if the table with plywood is cheaper, how much will you pay to be happy? I'd pick the oak, personally.

01-06-2006, 01:16 PM
200 is a small amount. It wasn't about the money for me it was about what offered the best table. The table builder said the plywood was the best way to go. I always felt solid wood was better. If a advanced wood craftsman tells me the oak will swell and the plywood would be stable then I'm going plywood (bare in mind this is oak plywood not composite or mdf). Humidity will be an issue in this area.

Not concerned about resale.

01-07-2006, 08:09 PM
Go with the plywood because it maintains its integrity better and if you just have to spend $200---Tell your man to put Rosewood veneer on the rails. Now that is class.

01-12-2006, 06:33 AM
I don't know how much you are paying but have you looked into buying a used table? Also at this time of year a lot of table dealers have close outs because the christmas season is over and they are getting ready to sell swimming pools.