Creating a dining table using 2 kitchen bench tops
First and foremost I'm complete novice at anything remotely related to woodworking (it's far from my professional field), but for a fun home project, I was interested in creating a dining table by using two kitchen benchtops and pre-made metal steel legs.
Each kitchen bench top
Material: Solid oak
Each metal leg frame
Material: Engineering grade steel powder-coated in black
Frame: 75mm x 25mm
Weight capacity combined: 160kg
I have attached two photos:
1) showing the table legs
2) showing a rough visualisation I put together in photoshop. The photo is upside down with the benchtops actually lying on the floor, and I've just put the metal legs over it. Please note that the metal legs are upside down (so the thin metal bar would actually be in contact with the timber)
I have very little tools on hand but my intention is to screw the metal legs into the bottom of the benchtops as pictured.
Complete dining table
Width: 1260mm +/- the gap between benchtops
Seat: 8 (hopefully)
I was wondering if I may ask the community for some advice regarding the following:
1) Without joining the benchtops together with glue, will the metal frame itself be enough to hold the weight of the benchtops?
- From my rough maths, it seems that there will be roughly 280mm of overhang, and 350mm of coverage by the metal legs (i.e. 700m/2) so it's just past the centre of gravity?
2) Would there be enough stability in the longitudinal axis? i.e. will it wobble if I stood at the end and rocked it?
3) Would this be enough to seat 8 people? (3 on each long end and 1 at each short end)
Again, very happy to take any feedback and criticisms on the whole design to begin with.
I think structurally it would be fine, with the right screws (like lag screws) and no less than 2 screws per leg per side. How thick is the thin metal part? Is it rigid or does it have some flex to it?
My concern would be with 45% overhang increasing the chance of the table tipping over should one lean on the end of it. I'm no expert, but that's just my 2 cents.
Basically your design would be OK. However, I would want more bracing/support for the metal legs. This could just be a large plate welded to the top of the legs, or angled supports running from the legs to the table top.
A few things:
1) Don't the thin metal go against top???? It may not make a difference BUT I think that's it by design....IF the thin is against it may not be enough support.
2) No one mentioned the normal moisture controlling issues so I will...ALL wood moves as the humidity/moisture content (MC) in the air does. You have to build according for wood movement. There ARE many threads here for your research and I will only highlight what you need for your situation. A) near the center joint approx 1" from joint you will need a single hole to put a screw in to keep that joint as close together during movements ( IT WILL MOVE!!!) B) I would split the difference for 2 additional screws out for each board WITH elongated holes/slot in the metal and screw with washer placed at slot center for movement in or out.
3) already advised BUT I'll second is more metal bracing whether larger plates or braces and also I'd advise at least one pin/dowel between the 2 tops to stop shifting of joint and leg racking ....one near center is enough to stop movement and doesn't require as much headaches re: lining multiple dowels up.
4) Have fun AND post us Pics of project.
5) Of ALL the things you can do, #2 is a constant in ALL projects WOOD WILL MOVE and it WILL affect yours in time (READ the many threads whom people asked AFTER they skipped learning about MC and wood movement)
2) Would there be enough stability in the longitudinal axis? ................
Either the top plate of the legs will bend and break the metal joints or the screws will pull out of the underside of the table.
The leverage against the height of the table coupled with a heavy person bumping into the end of the table will spell disaster. You will have to figure out what you think is aesthetically pleasing in the way of cross bracing or as stated earlier, larger plate/plates welded to top of legs. That will spread to forces.
Your idea as it presently is proposed would work fine on a coffee table but not on a dining table. I certainly would not build that table design for a customer as presented above.
Anyway, that is just my opinion
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