July 2, 2022

Woody Woodworking

and its tools

Kerf Bending Plywood – DIY Ottoman Table Build

1 min read

My in-laws got a new couch and it came with a bunch of ottomans (ottomen?) which meant no room for a coffee table. Not ideal, especially for a family who plays a lot of board games. I decided to make a removable cover that would convert them into usable table space. An additional insert makes the two into another a contiguous flat surface.

The results are fantastic. The hidden splines give it plenty of strength along with the wood glue. They are removable in case you want to use the ottoman and can even stack 90° to one another if you want a stand-alone table.

That said, I’d recommend going the extra mile and doing bent lamination with thin plywood instead. Cutting so many kerfs in such a long piece of plywood was really high pressure; the blade set too high and it cuts through, the blade set too low and there’s little chance you’re going to run it through EXACTLY the same path to hog out just a tad bit more material. One small slip and that whole piece is ruined. Bent lamination isn’t easy, and arguably you need more to accomplish it, but it’s a little bit more forgiving and it’ll be much more strong than this.

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Kerf Bending Plywood

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