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 Post subject: Desk/Floor/Chair mat
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:33 pm 
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I am using a 45in x60in x 1/2 in baltic birch as a chair mat at this computer desk. I want to band the ply with some oak and make the band 2 in wide so that it can be sloped so the chair will more easly get back on the mat.
Question 1 how to securely fasten the banding to the ply. I have thought of biscuits and maybe a spline but the size of the ply will make grooving the ply difficult. Yes I will be using glue.
Question 2 given that I want to slope the banding, how to treat the corners? Mitre will look good but maybe weak, add a biscuit? or ???
A M&T joint will be strongest but then sloping the end to match the long rail will be interesting to say the least.

Any Ideas??

Thanks

Duan

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:55 pm 
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My suggestion for both problems is to use pocket holes. Strong and reliable. You will need to be a little careful with the holes while going into 1/2" ply but it can be done.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:11 pm 
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If this "mat" is laying on carpet with much pile at all, I'm afraid you will be having problems with the edges and corners no matter what you do.
I think that biskets and glue will be strong enough to bond the oak to the ply but, with the "give" in a pile carpet, I don't think the oak sloped down to even 1/8" thick will hold up to the flexing of a chair being rolled over it.
Now, if it is on a solid floor (wood, concrete, or tile) why would you need a mat?

Rog

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:55 pm 
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I agree with Roger. However (and this may be a little radical) there may be an alternative if you have carpet to deal with - which will likely also have a pad under it. If you don't plan on rearranging you could, could mind you, remove the carpet from the area where your plywood and oak mat will go. You'd need to nail the carpet down at the edges using a transition piece or something, but you would end up with a pad that was level with the carpet instead of riding on top of it. If you were careful it would look pretty good, I think, and would avoid many of the other problems.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:24 pm 
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Hey Duan,

I would propose a hybrid solution, something between Roger and Gene's idea, and Chuck's suggestion.

I think that if you are making this a permanent installation, that replacing the carpet with the plywood pad is a good idea. I also think that using pocket screws to secure the transition molding is probably the best choice as well. Normally, I'm not a big fan of pocket screws, but I have admit that they do have their place.

I have done similar transitions between flooring and carpets and I'm quite sure that you can buy the necessary transition piece, with a hollowed back, off the shelf. I would consider that before making my own. If you insist on making your own trim, at least take a good look at how the commercially available produced is made, you may see something that you hadn't considered.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:07 am 
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PS: Following up on my previous, you could also lay down a hardwood medallion/inlay design instead of bordered plywood. A small area like that wouldn't cost much and would give an opportunity to be creative. I'm sure you've seen such patterned hardwood installations and they can be very beautiful. Here's a few

http://www.hardwoodfloorandinlays.com/index.htm

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:52 am 
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Make the edging 3/4" thick x 2" wide.

Route a rabbet 1/2" x 1/2" for the ply to sit into. The remaining 1/4" will be absorbed by the carpet.*

Bevel the outer edge. 45* would be ok, but I think 60* would be better (may have to widen the stock; measure to be sure).

I would leave at least 3/16" at the outer edge to provide "lip" protection.

*If you're not using carpet, then go buy a plastic mat.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:44 am 
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Thanks

Good suggestions all. Some a LOT more work than I am planning.

I like the pocket screw suggestion, Will have to purchase the new Kreig adaptor for 1/2 inch but what is woodworking for if not new tools.

Will have to use biscuits to keep the banding straight and maybe they will help with the flexing.

The concerns about the carpet are well taken.

Thanks again

Duan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:37 am 
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DennisS wrote:
My experience with such casters on desk/drafting chairs and stools is that it will beat the cr@p out of any wood flooring, plywood more than solid wood flooring.


Amen. The stuff delaminates regardless the glue or the species.

This is not an answer to the question posed, but I'd make the thing out of fully glued hardwood flooring if I were interested in the look of wood. I'd also make the edge taper at much less than 45 degrees.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:11 am 
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NB George wrote:
DennisS wrote:
My experience with such casters on desk/drafting chairs and stools is that it will beat the cr@p out of any wood flooring, plywood more than solid wood flooring.


Amen. The stuff delaminates regardless the glue or the species.

This is not an answer to the question posed, but I'd make the thing out of fully glued hardwood flooring if I were interested in the look of wood. I'd also make the edge taper at much less than 45 degrees.


I like the glued hardwood flooring suggestion but would also consider laminating a piece of the heavy vinyl chair mats to the bottom.

rick


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:37 am 
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Hope I'm not too late, been on the road. :D

Here is what I was thinking.


Image
See ""


It was easier to draw it then try to explain it. This will allow more surface area to be a glue surface and make the plywood bend more when putting pressure on the banding.

This should give it a better chance of staying together when rolling on and off.

Just occurred to me as I was writing this. I'd flip the half lap joint so the banding is on the top. I say this because the edge of your plywood is probably beat up by now and the new cut would make it clean.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:07 pm 
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Again Thanks.

SHE wants wood so that's what it will be. Then comments on wear are a good warning of what to expect.
The reason for going wood is that vinyl or plastic mats have not held up so from the comments neither will the ply.

Thanks

Duan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:50 pm 
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It would be cheaper and easier to make your chair mat out of cheap laminated flooring. Glue it together and then add a 2" X 1/4" frame edge. A panel groove in the frame will accept the tongue from the flooring on 3 sides and you'll have to add a tongue to the frame on the 4th side. (Just use a floating tongue strip in the groove.)

I think you can get the flooring for < $1 sq. ft at home depot right now. And, the flooring will last longer than your baltic birch ply under the use intended.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:49 pm 
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R. Peterson wrote:
It would be cheaper and easier to make your chair mat out of cheap laminated flooring. Glue it together and then add a 2" X 1/4" frame edge. A panel groove in the frame will accept the tongue from the flooring on 3 sides and you'll have to add a tongue to the frame on the 4th side. (Just use a floating tongue strip in the groove.)

I think you can get the flooring for < $1 sq. ft at home depot right now. And, the flooring will last longer than your baltic birch ply under the use intended.


Great idea, Rob!!! Too bad Clipper lives so far from me because I have two kinds of left-over laminate :roll:

Verna

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:10 pm 
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A little OT here but i kept some of the cutoff's from my Pergo Laminate flooring install in my old house....great to hammer, glue, sit the can of stain on... and the flooring i have has the thin foam backing on it so its sort of non slip. i have several full pieces i can snap together make a larger surface for whatever i may need and then i can take it back apart. Really is useful stuff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:35 pm 
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Verna wrote:
R. Peterson wrote:
It would be cheaper and easier to make your chair mat out of cheap laminated flooring. Glue it together and then add a 2" X 1/4" frame edge. A panel groove in the frame will accept the tongue from the flooring on 3 sides and you'll have to add a tongue to the frame on the 4th side. (Just use a floating tongue strip in the groove.)

I think you can get the flooring for < $1 sq. ft at home depot right now. And, the flooring will last longer than your baltic birch ply under the use intended.


Great idea, Rob!!! Too bad Clipper lives so far from me because I have two kinds of left-over laminate :roll:

Verna


The only other thing I can think of would be to glue the laminate to a 1/8" ply substrate if the carpeting is deep/thick. Otherwise the seams could split under the chair casters PSI load due to the "give' in the carpet/pad.. Rabbet the "frame" on the underside to let the ply extend almost to the outer edge of the "frame" to keep everything "solid."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:42 am 
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I like Rob's idea. And I like Jeff's idea for the edges.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:24 am 
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Jeff Fox wrote:
Hope I'm not too late, been on the road. :D

Here is what I was thinking.


Image
See ""


It was easier to draw it then try to explain it. This will allow more surface area to be a glue surface and make the plywood bend more when putting pressure on the banding.

This should give it a better chance of staying together when rolling on and off.

Just occurred to me as I was writing this. I'd flip the half lap joint so the banding is on the top. I say this because the edge of your plywood is probably beat up by now and the new cut would make it clean.





Here is what I was thinking.

That! is a keeper

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:00 pm 
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You guys/gals are too much.
All I started out to do was put a simple piece of ply down in place of a piece of plastic.
Now look.

Any way I do appreciate the thoughts and suggestions. If it warms up enough for the glue to work maybe I will get a picture.

Dennis: I know Rockler sells a soft castor which I have used twice and they work well. I will look and see if they will fit the chair. Need 5.

Thanks

Duan

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