How do I handle a large tabletop? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-04-2019, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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How do I handle a large tabletop?

I am looking for ideas here. I have been hired to build a solid walnut trestle table, 5' wide x 11' long, with a 2" thick solid walnut top. I have calculated the approximate weight on the top and it will be somewhere around 275#. So once I get the top made, handling it is going to be a trick.



One obvious solution is to try to find someone who lives nearby to help me each time I need to flip it over. That might be possible. Availability and waiting time will then be the issue, but if that's the only feasible solution, then I will have to live with that.


I am wondering if anyone has faced this situation, and how did you solve it? Or if anyone knows of any devices or methods which would make this something I could accomplish myself. It is NOT an option to make a thinner top and just build up the edges. Just so you know.



Anyway, anybody have any ideas that would be workable?
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-04-2019, 02:40 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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Heavy object "flipping" .....

After welding all the spring perches and stake pockets on our tandem axle trailer upside down, we needed to flip it over to finish welding them. I thought "Why not make a rotisserie out of it, like the car builder guys do?" So I strapped some pipes to the bottom on the centerline and here's what happened. By lifting one end in the "A" frame and the other in the tractor bucket, we could turn the trailer over, BUT it was not a perfect balance because the axles were on the bottom side. I estimate this to weigh about 1,000 lbs +, so compared to your table, a heavy lift.



A table top would be a balanced load, and therefore much easier to flip. A means of clamping some boards with pipe flanges shouldn't be that hard to come up with. If you have exposed floor joists or trusses, just make a strap sling and use a come along to lift it at one end. Depending on how high it needs to go to clear your support, saw horses or a workbench top that should work. If you can lift both ends then you can spin it from the center of the length.



I think you are a bit "light" on your weight estimate, but it certainly will be too heavy to take "lightly".......
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-04-2019 at 02:44 AM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-04-2019, 05:43 AM
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Make it a bit lighter, like this fellow?

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/h...-table-214263/
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-04-2019, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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woodnthings, that is exactly the sort of idea I've had floating around in my head, but couldn't figure out a way to do it. Thanks for the input. As far as the weight goes, I just plugged in the numbers on this lumber weight website: https://www.inchcalculator.com/lumbe...ht-calculator/
It gave me 275#.


Ducbsa, Please refrain from offering suggestions until you have read and comprehended the post. I quote "It is NOT an option to make a thinner top and just build up the edges. Just so you know"
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-06-2019, 01:31 PM
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I dont know exactly where u live, but when i was in town I would go to the local unemployment office around 7am.and offer min wage for around how many hours I would need someone. Several were trying to get into my truck at the same time.
Now in Texas, in Houston area, I would go, again round 7am, to a local Mexican Grocery and there were lots of day laborers looking for work. By around 8am, all were gone.

This could be your emergency back-up plan.

Tony B



Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-06-2019, 01:55 PM
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I built a rotisserie for restoring my MGB using 2" pipe and a pair of 2" pipe unions. Don't know if you have welder available, but it's a pretty easy affair welding a piece of angle to one side of the union, and welding the other half to the T post (X2). I rolled my car over quite often, so I also welded a piece of half inch pipe to the union nuts so I could loosen and tighten them easily.

Three or four hundred pounds is heavy to the human, but not very heavy when using mechanical means of support. So a couple of lags through the angles into the ends of the top for the duration of the project would be plenty of holding power. Then, when finished, simply make four pretty matching plugs for the ends. It'll look like it was designed that way.

You could also securely clamp a piece of, say, 3"x2" angle to each end of the top with a heavy bolt drilled in the center of the opposing angle. Then simply rest the axles on a pair of sawhorses. Not as sexy as a full blown rotator, but also no holes in table top.

Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,
Mark
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-06-2019, 03:30 PM
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Cool That's exactly what I had in mind ^ ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shop_Rat View Post
I built a rotisserie for restoring my MGB using 2" pipe and a pair of 2" pipe unions. Don't know if you have welder available, but it's a pretty easy affair welding a piece of angle to one side of the union, and welding the other half to the T post (X2). I rolled my car over quite often, so I also welded a piece of half inch pipe to the union nuts so I could loosen and tighten them easily.

Three or four hundred pounds is heavy to the human, but not very heavy when using mechanical means of support. So a couple of lags through the angles into the ends of the top for the duration of the project would be plenty of holding power. Then, when finished, simply make four pretty matching plugs for the ends. It'll look like it was designed that way.

You could also securely clamp a piece of, say, 3"x2" angle to each end of the top with a heavy bolt drilled in the center of the opposing angle. Then simply rest the axles on a pair of sawhorses. Not as sexy as a full blown rotator, but also no holes in table top.

The clamps will be in the way for some operations and the lag holes will show on the ends, but a small price to pay in my opinion.

Maybe a large wood dowel would work if supported close to the end, say 1" or 1 1/2" at most. Even a 1/2" or 3/4" steel rod which would be removed afterwards and then plugged with the same size wood dowel.



The heaviest top I have had to deal with was 36" X 2 1/2" X 84" of laminated Maple and it was a bear to carry. I ended up sawing 6" off the width to make a back board for the workbench it was to sit on. That did make it lighter, but I still needed to move it around in the shop by myself. No flipping involved however.


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-10-2019, 07:24 AM
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-11-2019, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the video, it's exactly what I want to accomplish. I have designed a gizmo that I believe will accomplish the same goal, using the same principals, but different material and a different method of securing the tabletop as it is turned. I won't begin this job until mid-October, but when I do, I will post pictures or video of what I come up with. Thanks for all the input and ideas, it's the most helpful response I've ever gotten from a post.
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