Ply wood top to a metal cabinet

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SamG340

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Picked up this metal cabinet cheap, I'm planning on fitting a 12mm plywood top , makes it the right height to outfeed my table saw

Trouble is its had something heavy on top and it's pretty bowed in & I'd like the top flat . Any ideas on flattening it out ? Drawers have a plate underneath so I'm going to struggle getting a hammer in to bash it out

Any help appreciated
 

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Jameshow

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I'd put a piece of timber cut just longer than the height and tap it until vertical and the bow is removed then glue on a sheet of 18 or better still 25mm plywood with loads of slkaflex / 3m 5200/ ebt polyurethane sealant / glue.
 

dephill

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Maybe overkill/ugly but you could rivet or screw a piece of 25x25x5mm thick angle iron along that front edge and have the top cover it ie overshoot the front by 25mm. This would help keep it straight in the future also.
Of course you’d need to straighten it first which is actually your question but you may be able to remove the drawers and stand on it as you attach the angle thereby taking out the bow and fixing it in place.
 

SamG340

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Maybe overkill/ugly but you could rivet or screw a piece of 25x25x5mm thick angle iron along that front edge and have the top cover it ie overshoot the front by 25mm. This would help keep it straight in the future also.
Of course you’d need to straighten it first which is actually your question but you may be able to remove the drawers and stand on it as you attach the angle thereby taking out the bow and fixing it in place.

Ugly doesn't matter look at the thing lol :LOL:Not a bad idea but the edges are all square and true only bowed in the middle
 

SamG340

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I would leave the dip as is and run beads of caulking across it to fill the gap, along with a few screws along the edges.

Pete

Do you think the caulk would stop it dipping in the middle with a bit of weight on top ? I'm not planning on sticking an engine or a gearbox or anything like that on it but maybe a small Piller drill or the odd heavy tool box
 

Jameshow

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Do you think the caulk would stop it dipping in the middle with a bit of weight on top ? I'm not planning on sticking an engine or a gearbox or anything like that on it but maybe a small Piller drill or the odd heavy tool box
You could put a piece of 4x2 under the top and screw through the ply / steel and into the 4x2??
 

Lons

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There's an easier way to flatten it if it's what you want to do though I'd suggest that's a waste of time as it's clearly just thin sheet and wont support the ply in any case so whatever ply you put on top needs to be strong enough to carry the span. If a single sheet of 18mm won't do it then use 2 and double the thickness.

To flatten the metal top just drill a few small holes and use self tappers or a bent rod to pull the metal up, you could even screw timber to the top and pull that or like car body repairs use a suction puller, they're cheap enough and useful around the workshop, double ended bathroom sucker handles are strong.

Other ideas will come if you think laterally. I have a couple though smaller than yours with scrap laminated chipboard on top, been there years and I can and do stand on it regularly.

Edit
If you want to strengthen the metal assuming you have room under above the drawers you can slide in some lengths of angle iron, maybe 25mm angle and use self tappers from the top to secure it underneath, you would then need to drill small clearance holes in the ply to accommodate the screw heads but that's simple enough
 
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dephill

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Ugly doesn't matter look at the thing lol :LOL:Not a bad idea but the edges are all square and true only bowed in the middle

Hi Sam,
I meant one length of angle all the way across the front.
The back and sides of the cabinet should support the top fully so you just need a bit of strength up front.
I did think you might be able to put it inside but I assume there is a bit more internal structure in the middle to support the two centre drawer runners. This might be partly why it’s bowed if they were also overloaded.
Nick
 

SamG340

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You could put a piece of 4x2 under the top and screw through the ply / steel and into the 4x2??

I think I might put a few pieces of 4x2 over the table then ply on that !

All good ideas thanks everyone appreciate the help . I'll probably post pics when it's done
 

Fergie 307

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I doubt you will ever get the top flat as it's too thin and will have stretched, it will just pop in and out like a wobble board. I have a similar arrangement but with a piece of 40mm kitchen worktop on top of a long row of cabinets. Just drill holes in the top of the cabinet and then screw up into the worktop from underneath using some penny washers under the screw heads to pull the metal up against the bottom of the worktop. It's the sides that will bear the weight so the screws are just really to hold the top in proper alignment.
 

Inspector

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Do you think the caulk would stop it dipping in the middle with a bit of weight on top ? I'm not planning on sticking an engine or a gearbox or anything like that on it but maybe a small Piller drill or the odd heavy tool box

If you push on the centre and it dips more then probably not. If it doesn't flex when you push on it the caulk will help hold the plywood in place and flat. If you can easily lift the pillar drill or tool box I think you will be okay.

The reason I didn't suggest a thicker top was I presumed to use as an outfield table you were limited to the 12mm plywood. I also didn't suggest reinforcing from under the metal because I again presumed there wasn't room between the top and the drawers.

Pete
 

SamG340

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height is definitely an issue , with 12mm ply would have lined up perfectly 1mm below the saw . But I agree with you lot 12mm won't be strong enough. So I'm going to stick some planks under the tablesaws feet & then plane them down until it's the perfect height .
 

SamG340

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I doubt you will ever get the top flat as it's too thin and will have stretched, it will just pop in and out like a wobble board. I have a similar arrangement but with a piece of 40mm kitchen worktop on top of a long row of cabinets

Yea that's true good point , I'm going to forget the metal top all together & slap something thick on it

Thanks for all the help everyone appreciate it (y)
 

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