Will it be sturdy enough? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-01-2020, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Will it be sturdy enough?

Hello!

I'm hoping someone with some more experience can help me with my table design. I want to build a 36"x96" table for our patio. An acquaintance has some leftover teak deck boards I'm hoping to use, but they are only 7/8x2. A lot of the teak tables I have seen look very light and minimal, but I haven't been able to find any exact specs. Here is a picture of the type of table I'm going for: http://www.douglasnance.com/uploads/...-5296_orig.jpg

My question is would 7/8x2 be too thin for the legs and apron? I could glue 2 boards together to make 2x2's for the legs if needed, would 2" be too narrow for the table apron? Any thoughts would be appreciated! Or if anyone knows of plans for a similar table that could orient me, that would be great! Thanks!

~Aliza
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-01-2020, 05:17 PM
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7/8 x 2 x ?

What length are they?

Yes, legs would be better at 2 X 2" even 2 X 3".

That's very long table, so heavier legs will not only work better, they will look better.
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-01-2020, 06:29 PM
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Aliza, Legs could be laminated 2" x 2" as you suggested, or even in an 'L' shape. The goal is stability. This brings us to the apron. The stability gained from an apron is found in the amount of wood that is fixed firmly up against the leg, because the more you have, the greater is the resistance to any amount of torque exerted against that joint when any sort of sideways pressure is applied to the table. Such as bumping against it, scooting it over a bit, even just sitting there leaning on it. Over time, that pressure wears on a weak joint and it has a good chance of failing. A 2" apron will work, but for how long?



My suggestion is to build it up near the leg joint. Do it in some decorative shape, but effectively double the apron's length against the leg. This will greatly increase your overall table strength without adding undo bulkiness to the design. This is an example of what I mean:
Will it be sturdy enough?-image.jpg
I would also suggest at LEAST 2 cross braces between the two long aprons, if not 4. This will give added structural stability to not only the top, but the entire table.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-01-2020, 07:27 PM
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That wood would be thick enough for the apron, but not the legs. Laminating 2 planks together for the legs would work fine though. Ive made a few shaker-style tables with 1-1/2" square tapered legs and 3/4" aprons, no issues with strength on the thickness.

The width could be a problem though, for a table that size, 2" wide aprons are probably going to look way out of proportion to the rest of the table, as well as not be particularly stiff. Might be doable, but personally id want closer to 4" wide, though thats just my stylistic preference
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-01-2020, 07:49 PM
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As noted above, I think the wood would be wide enough for the apron, but would look too small on that big of a table. Glue up a 3" or even 3 1/2" wide board.



I would go for the "L" shape on the legs. Again, for esthetics, put the long side on the front and back.


You are also going to need cross support in the middle of the table. I would put two.



George
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-01-2020, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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That is super helpful, gentlemen! And I really like that idea of making the apron thicker at the leg joints. Most of the teak tables seem to have very thin aprons, so I wondered if maybe Teak was rigid enough to be more stable with less material. But I definitely want this table to be sturdy, especially with it being outdoors. I will have cross braces, especially since the slats on the tabletop will have gaps between them to let water drain through. My inspiration table appears to have 4 cross braces.
http://www.douglasnance.com/uploads/...5296a_orig.jpg

Most of the tables and cabinets I've built thus far have all been done with pocket hole joinery. Any reason why that would be an unwise choice for this project?
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-02-2020, 09:06 AM
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I think pocket hole joinery has been used for things it was not intended for. This is an 8' long table and will be under a lot of stresses with people sitting at it. I would at minimum, double the thickness of the apron and make the inside board longer and act as a lap joint.
Now for the shorter side aprons, to make a substantial joint such as the lap joint, it would require the legs to be thicker, or use a mortise and tenon instead. Similar to what mmwood_1 said.
Other than running a beam down the middle from left to right, I dont know what else to suggest. Eight foot long is a very long table especially with the design with the break in the middle.
If you are talking about deck boards from other than on a boat, they are probably from second or third growth trees which dont have the same qualities as first growth trees.
I hate to sound pessimistic, but I would not build a table of that design that long even out of teak.

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post #8 of 19 Old 01-02-2020, 09:54 AM
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small pieces can be glued together ........

If you know how, you can glue any number of small pieces together to form larger ones, even a table top. In the design, keep the top build as separate from the support frame. The top sits on the support frame independently, but does not offer any additional strength, in fact it requires support.


There are many ways to make a table frame, typically a rectangle with aprons all around and cross pieces for support:
https://www.woodshopdiaries.com/diy-...-dining-table/


As was mentioned, the leg to apron joint is critical. If you know what you are doing, and use proper construction, this joint can be made strong. Lots of examples here:
https://www.google.com/search?client...4dUDCAY&uact=5


By the very question you have asked, this project may be above your woodworking skill level ... I donno? It is certainly doable with some assistance, a large, flat assembly table, some specific hand and power tools and a knowledge of wood movement. I have never built such a table in all my 50+ years of woodworking, but I do have the skills and equipment. It would still be a bit of a challenge.

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 #9 of 19 Old 01-02-2020, 11:14 AM
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IMO the design you have there the table is going to eventually sag.



It needs a more substantial apron & along with that, legs big enough to accept a substantial tenon.


I would be looking at 3x3 legs, 2x4 apron and 2" pinned tenons. And it still may sag. You should probably shorten the length.

Robert
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-02-2020, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliza View Post
Most of the tables and cabinets I've built thus far have all been done with pocket hole joinery. Any reason why that would be an unwise choice for this project?
Because pocket holes, and screws in general, aren't joints. At best they're a substitute for clamps, something to hold the wood together while the glue dries. Now, screws have their uses, but for the purposes of furniture making they add very little strength to joints and have a high tendency to fail over time

If you want something almost as easy as a pocket hole jig, grab a self-centering doweling jig. A dowel joint will be way, way stronger than a pocket screw, nearly as strong as the more traditional mortise and tenon, and that extra strength will make for a more sturdy table

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post #11 of 19 Old 01-02-2020, 11:00 PM
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Looking at all the responses,and being a wood worker of over 50 yrs, my suggestion would be to rethink the whole project.
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post #12 of 19 Old 01-02-2020, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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The table in the photo is 8ft long, so I know it can be done, but sounds like it would need substantially bigger legs and apron. I'm very grateful for the dowel joint idea, as that sounds very doable. I have a good Bosch table saw and am slowly adding tools and skills with each new project, but have done little beyond rabbet joints and some tongue and groove.

I can't shorten the table, as we need to seat 10 people. But is there a different base structure I should consider that would be more stable than 4 post legs?
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post #13 of 19 Old 01-02-2020, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
If you are talking about deck boards from other than on a boat, they are probably from second or third growth trees which dont have the same qualities as first growth trees.
I hate to sound pessimistic, but I would not build a table of that design that long even out of teak.
No, I had that same thought and concern. The owner told me they were "top quality" but didn't say grade or whether it was heartwood/sapwood. I will need to look into that more...
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post #14 of 19 Old 01-03-2020, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliza View Post
The table in the photo is 8ft long, so I know it can be done, but sounds like it would need substantially bigger legs and apron. I'm very grateful for the dowel joint idea, as that sounds very doable. I have a good Bosch table saw and am slowly adding tools and skills with each new project, but have done little beyond rabbet joints and some tongue and groove.

I can't shorten the table, as we need to seat 10 people. But is there a different base structure I should consider that would be more stable than 4 post legs?
Theres nothing about the base structure that will be inherently prone to sagging, 4 legs and an apron is all you need to build a table you could park a tank on. I think the problem that most people are concerned about, myself included, is dimensions of the parts. The size pieces that you said you can get are on the small side for such a large table, were i building something those dimensions id be making it with 2-1/4" square legs and a 4 inch wide apron made from 4/4 stock, and thatd be on the light duty side of things. Doable with what you have, but with each laminated joint you add in you add another possible point of failure, really youd want those aprons to be one solid piece and not 2 glued together pieces of 2 inch wide stock.

Again though, nothing inherently wrong with the design, just needs to be well constructed. Honestly, i missed the proposed dimensions when i suggested dowel joints, for an 8 foot long table id actually prefer to see a drawbored mortise and tenon joint. There is the possibility of sag in the center of the table, but the question is if it would be noticable sag. Id say 3x3" legs, and a 4x1.5 thick apron and youd never be able to notice the sag in the center, but thats a very heavy, surprisingly complex build, especially if youre new to the craft.

Also worth remembering, 2 3x4' tables will seat just as many people as 1 3x8' table. Be easier to build too

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post #15 of 19 Old 01-03-2020, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Also worth remembering, 2 3x4' tables will seat just as many people as 1 3x8' table. Be easier to build too
Or, I suppose, adding a leg in the center on each side
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post #16 of 19 Old 01-03-2020, 05:13 PM
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laminatios in general ......

There's nothing wrong with laminations for the top, as long as you overlap or stagger the joints. You can end butt two pieces, but the piece next to that joint must run for at least 6" on either side and so forth all the way across and all the way down the length.

The legs are less critical because the loads are vertical or downward, so they can be side by side and the more pieces the stronger the entire assembly will be. It will be stronger in fact than solid wood!



I like the table as proposed with the legs at the far ends. That will provide more flexible seating.... no center posts to straddle. It's like a "library" table if I recall:
https://www.schooloutfitters.com/cat...BoCAp8QAvD_BwE


or this one:
https://www.wayfair.com/school-furni...e-wdn1643.html


The aprons need to be double laminated, with staggered joints and they will also be quite strong. So, the real challenges come from these issues:
How to glue up the entire top from your smaller pieces
The leg to apron joinery.


You will need to decide before hand if you feel capable of attempting both of these challenges. If not, I would bow out gracefully and no guilt feelings needed. Like I said even I would find it a bit challenging, but certainly doable with my skills and equipment.... hand tools, planes and chisels, table saws, bandsaw, jointer, thickness planer, drum sander, router table, drill press, dust collection ... etc.

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 #17 of 19 Old 01-03-2020, 10:55 PM
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Bill
You must be slipping
In both of the above links, the tables are not nearly 8' long and the frame material is steel.

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post #18 of 19 Old 01-03-2020, 11:59 PM
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I was going for the look, not the construction ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
Bill
You must be slipping
In both of the above links, the tables are not nearly 8' long and the frame material is steel.

I'm not slipping, the ice is off the driveway.

My point was having the legs at the far ends of the table top. I also noticed how "cheap" the price was on the Wayfair table. Personally, I would also like a steel frame table in this length as in the library link.
You get a lighter looking table but maybe even stronger. I don't mind mixing steel and wood at all. I even have a welder......

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 #19 of 19 Old 01-04-2020, 05:33 AM
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If and when I get a shop again, I would like to take up welding. Always thought it would be fun and useful. I too like mixed media.

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