Heavy wood table top support design - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-14-2014, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Heavy wood table top support design

I have two black walnut slabs 20"W x 96"L x 2"t and then I want to put another piece of wood between them to get a roughly 4 foot wide table. I will be gluing them all together but being a big table top i want to make sure its supported really well.

First question would be what tone wood should I put in the middle, really dark, really light, or try to match the black walnut tone?

Secondly I have two train of thoughts for supports. Either make a couple dado cuts about 3/4" deep width wise and nail in a hardwood board OR just make a 2x4 support system underneath the top. If I was going with the 2x4 route I would make them out of 1x4 oak boards and glue together for nice straight supports?

I'm really new to big woodworking so any help would be much needed? Thank you.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-14-2014, 08:56 AM
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Whatever you decide on, you must allow for expansion/contraction of a solid wood top. Hard fastening (gluing/nailing/screwing) without allowing for movement will cause problems down the road.

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-15-2014, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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I'm thinking the dado cut and insert wouldn't allow the top to move so I will probably scrap that idea.

I'll be using z-clips for the middle supports to the table and slotted holes any where I use lag screws to secure directly to top.

I guess my biggest unknown is the color and tone of the 3rd middle board to flow nice with the other two black walnut slabs.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-15-2014, 09:40 AM
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If you like contrast...

Maple and Walnut look nice together.

Or you could join with more Walnut for a more consistent look.

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post #5 of 11 Old 01-15-2014, 10:06 AM
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Like a farm table?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtroilak View Post
I'm thinking the dado cut and insert wouldn't allow the top to move so I will probably scrap that idea.

I'll be using z-clips for the middle supports to the table and slotted holes any where I use lag screws to secure directly to top.

I guess my biggest unknown is the color and tone of the 3rd middle board to flow nice with the other two black walnut slabs.
Too much contrast in the center board will make it stand out, but that can also be a plus. If you can find some bird's eye Maple or curly Maple that would add some interest. Woods of the same value/constrast will blend in better, more Walnut for example but the grain should be as fine/close as the Walnut. I would not use Oak personally.

The next issue is how to fasten the top. Z clips are a tried and true methods as are elongated holes in the cross member at the outside edges. The center hole can be a tight fit, with room to contract or expand on the edges.


A useful thread here:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f5/jo...g-table-56502/


Some farm tables have aprons on the side, other are just heavy planks with no support, only a cross member at or near each end, depending how the seating is arranged. Here's some examples:
http://images.search.yahoo.com/searc...m+table+design

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; 01-15-2014 at 10:09 AM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-16-2014, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Ok Maple is a great idea so building off of that I think I will do a combination. What Im thinking is that I will sandwich another black walnut board in between 1" wide strips of maple which are sandwiched between the large black walnut slabs.

Is this too many different pieces of wood to glue together strength and wood movement wise? I'll make some nice looking side skirts so I can have a few cross members to support the weight between the legs.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-16-2014, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtroilak View Post
Is this too many different pieces of wood to glue together strength and wood movement wise?
What you described will be fine.

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-16-2014, 10:09 AM
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I really like the idea of the legs and aprons supporting the wieght and mass of a large table top. I have learned that joinery of aprons to legs is very important. Mortis and tenons, or full or half lap joints work good for me. Here is the table I finished a while back. It's a modern farm table built from construction lumber.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-17-2014, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Hey that table looks great, I like the aprons so I think I'll use some maple boards. I just have to figure out a good way to join 2x4 boards to round logs for legs. Im thinking of lag bolts in a slot in the board.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-17-2014, 09:15 PM
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Or good old fashioned mortise and tennion with a chisel
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-19-2014, 07:30 PM
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Here is the set, pics taken from customer they have fell in love with it
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