Hep needed for first project - table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-21-2018, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Hep needed for first project - table

Hi,

This is the first thing I will be building and would like some opinions about the basic design.
The table is going to be approximately 6 feet in length, 2 feet wide and 3 feet high, and will be used for a desktop computer, and occasional paperwork. Attached is a partial plan of the frame.

The way I intend it is:
  1. Planks 3, 4 and 5 are 1 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches of 'meranti' wood. This is an inexpensive, easily available local wood that has an open grain. I can get get some thicker teak but that would be very inconvenient to transport.
  2. 1 and 2 will be 1" square MS tubing.
  3. The top will be either plywood with some laminate, or stained planks.
  4. I should probably also add rungs near the base of the legs.
My reason for using iron tubing is to keep the weight low, and I don't know if my wood will be strong enough for 6'.


Does this sound like a good idea? Thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated.


Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-21-2018, 11:35 AM
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There isn't enough structure to prevent it from racking. #3 would need to be wider and would be better if doweled or mortised and tenoned to the legs. Then the tubular steel would need some kind of corner bracket to the legs to keep the angle between 1&4 and 2&5 at 90 degrees to the legs.



If you didn't want to make #3 wider you could put another rail between the legs close to the bottom.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-23-2018, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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I'll add another horizontal piece parallel to #3 near the bottom of the legs. Mortise and tenon are probably beyond my skill, but dowel sounds doable.

Do I need to account for expansion/contraction of the top if I use plywood?
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-23-2018, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieWorker View Post
I'll add another horizontal piece parallel to #3 near the bottom of the legs. Mortise and tenon are probably beyond my skill, but dowel sounds doable.

Do I need to account for expansion/contraction of the top if I use plywood?
You don't have to worry about wood movement with plywood. The only problem left is it racking lengthwise now.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-23-2018, 07:31 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Your design lacks "structure" ....

You may benefit from making a small model from 3 pieces of cardboard, two identical ones for the ends and one twice that size for the top, all taped together to form a upside down U. You will see there is no strength in the joints that are just taped together which act like hinges and allow the ends to fold over. When a design relies solely on fasteners for structure it will fail over time.



By placing triangular braces between the ends and the top, the structure will be greatly increased. The lower down on the ends the braces are attached, the greater the structural integrity. But this interferes with your legs getting under the desk top, so it's not practical. By increasing the width of the frame all around the top, you will increase the rigidity and resistance to "racking".

Braces can be hidden from view like this:

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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