Making a table.. How big? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 11-02-2016, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Making a table.. How big?

Is there a rule of thumb for how long of a table per person? I.e. 2-foot per person, 3-ft per person, etc?

Need to make a table that sits 10. Was thinking 10-ft would be a good size but could really use some input.

Also..secondary question. This table is going outside.. Should i go pressure treated and try to stain and seal, or go cedar with a stain and seal, or is pine sufficient with stain and seal? I'm okay with reapplying every few years. Also, will be out of sun but not out of weather.
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post #2 of 17 Old 11-02-2016, 11:30 PM
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If you seat a person at each end that just leaves 8. If you have the space I would make the table 10' long. I think 24" is too close and 36" is too much. I think 30" per person would be better.
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post #3 of 17 Old 11-03-2016, 07:58 AM
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That is a really personal choice. It also depends upon how often you need to seat this many people and of course on how big an area you have for the table o live in. How large are the people that will use this table?

Go to a furniture store and look at various size tables.

George
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post #4 of 17 Old 11-03-2016, 08:15 AM
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In my opinion, most tables are too small. Nobody in my family is overly large, but it's still unpleasant when your bumping elbows with the person beside you.
More importantly, if you're setting food on the table in the middle ... there's always a few food dishes within spitting range of someone.
Sit down at a table, spread your elbows as if you were cutting a nice thick steak. Measure that distance and then give everyone at the table that much space. But make the table wide enough to keep the food in the center, away from everyone.

It's okay if only one person can reach an item in the center. "Please, pass the potatoes," seems to have gone out of style, with everyone just reaching for whatever they want. I nice large table brings that little bit of civility back into the lingo.
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post #5 of 17 Old 11-03-2016, 03:17 PM
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Do a search for common table sizes and how many people they will sit, there is somewhat of a standard which is important when it comes to purchasing table cloths that fit them properly and not look out of place.
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post #6 of 17 Old 11-03-2016, 04:00 PM
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There are standard heights and overall sizes for tables. A quick search will answer most questions.
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #7 of 17 Old 11-03-2016, 05:23 PM
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My dining room table gives about 28" to 30" per person. You can go tighter (and I have) but people need to have some room to eat.

I would stay away from pressure treated lumber. Cypress left natural is always nice and works well out in the weather.

Good luck with the build.

Red

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post #8 of 17 Old 11-03-2016, 09:49 PM
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Go to a nice furniture store with your tape measure, pencil and paper. You have many tables to look at and an unlimited number of chairs to stick under them. Ask the staff to sit with you as well to get a real feel for elbow room.

I've done it more than once (especially with sectionals). It drives em nuts too!

Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,
Mark
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post #9 of 17 Old 11-03-2016, 11:37 PM
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For adults, 24-26" is doable but tight, 32" is comfortable for family and friends. In a setting where you are side by side with strangers 36" would be my minimum.

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post #10 of 17 Old 11-05-2016, 01:41 PM
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For my recent dining table build I wanted space for 6, but most nights it's just 2. When we have people over we plate up nearby so there isn't a need for platters of food on the table, and I deliberately wanted a longer, thinner table to bring people closer together, like a refectory table.

("A refectory table is a highly elongated table used originally for dining in monasteries in Medieval times. In the Late Middle Ages the table gradually became a banqueting or feasting table in castles and other noble residences")

I built it 7' x 28", and that was fine for 6, 3 to a side, with 28" per person it feels not at all tight to us. Then, due to a marriage etc, we had to start seating 8 by adding chairs on the ends. This has also turned out to be fine, for us it's cozy in a good way. Based on all that, I believe that the minimum for 10 people is 9' 4" x 28". Then, I would add to that depending on the other factors if needed. I also like the look of a very long and thin table and would build it to that minimum myself, clearly others would go bigger.

I would build the table out of Ipe (Ironwood), unfinished. I've got an Ipe deck I just hit with a pressure washer once a year in the spring and it looks fine. Pressure treated wood is the worst possible choice for so many reasons, my opinion.

If you want to see the 7'x28" table I think you can click on the My Photos link, and in one of the photos you can see the Ipe deck a little in the background. The table's on wheels so we can roll it out onto the deck on nice days.
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post #11 of 17 Old 11-05-2016, 01:57 PM
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Restaurant seating figures 30 inches per person; 30X30 table for dining. Anything smaller is a bit crowded. Smaller sizes would be more for a cafe or cocktail lounge where there is not a lot on the table. As suggested, check out the furniture stores.

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #12 of 17 Old 11-07-2016, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
Restaurant seating figures 30 inches per person; 30X30 table for dining.
In my opinion, a 30"x30" table is woefully insufficient room ... for the reason I stated above. Yes, you might be able to seat four people there, but there's no room for anything on the table. I hate restaurant tables when there's more than two people at it. By the time you get drinks, a group appetizer and the spices and salads, there's no room left. Then the main course comes, you HAVE to let them take the appetizer, even if it's not finished, because they need to room to put your dishes down.

Ah, just another of those things some people notice and others ignore.
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post #13 of 17 Old 11-07-2016, 10:24 AM
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30" X 30" would you not be big enough to lay dominos IMO.
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post #14 of 17 Old 11-07-2016, 11:08 AM
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30X30 would be the minimum. mikechell, you guys really chow down when you go out to eat.
After reflecting on your replies, 36X36 would be a better choice for restaurant seating. 30 inches linear for seating minimum. A rectangular table would seat six- 36X60 or 35X72. Make sure the table is rectangular. We have an oval table that was given to us and it limits family gatherings. Use a card table for the overflow that won't fit around the table.
Again, check out furniture stores and take measurements there. BTW, are you going to provide a table leaf or two?

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #15 of 17 Old 11-07-2016, 03:01 PM
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"30" X 30" would you not be big enough to lay dominos IMO."

It's hard to slap down a tile on a 30 by 30 without bouncing the rest of the tiles out of place !!!!



"mikechell, you guys really chow down when you go out to eat."
Isn't that the whole reason behind going out to eat ???
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post #16 of 17 Old 11-07-2016, 05:09 PM
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Hey, mikechell, know what you mean! Doctor told me to watch what I eat. So...........I got a bigger chandelier for the dining room table.
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post #17 of 17 Old 11-07-2016, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
Hey, mikechell, know what you mean! Doctor told me to watch what I eat. So...........I got a bigger chandelier for the dining room table.
Perfect solution !!! Don't forget to visit the eye doctor, too. Can't watch it as well if it's blurry !!!
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