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This is my first post and I'm really excited to be here!

I am about to start a project to build a conference table for my new office. It will be 10' x 3.5' using Maple wood. I plan to use 7 2x6 pieces and 1 2x4 to get the desired width(assuming appx 1/2" lost from squaring off all edges). I will be joining these using a biscuit cutter, wood glue and clamps as would be expected for a project like this. I've included pictures of tables that I'm looking to style mine after. The legs will be industrial style, metal box legs.

I'm wondering if I should be worried at all about support for this table. Do I need more than 2 legs? The wood should be strong enough but I don't know if we need any support in the middle. Since these will be joined together, is this something I should be worried about? I could always buy another leg and put it in the middle as support but I would prefer not too.

I also considered routing a channel in the across the width in the middle of the table and securing a steel rod into that channel as support but I don't know if this is something that's even remotely smart to do.

So...should I be worried about bowing or breaking for a table of that length? Thanks so much everyone and I'm excited to be here more often!
 

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Scotty D
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If the legs are positioned correctly, It would be fine.

If you wanted to be certain, you could run a couple angle iron from leg to leg.

P.S. Loose the biscuits. They are not needed, and will actually weaken the joint in my opinion.
 

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if you are using 8/4 maple as you described, I don not believe you will need any additional support. it would support the weight of all who attends the meeting...


what needs attention in my mind is the installation method of that style of leg, minus any angled support brackets. I suspect that there is a considerably sized plate welded to the top of the leg to screw to the table? and remember to allow the top to expand and contract by slotting the screw holes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
if you are using 8/4 maple as you described, I don not believe you will need any additional support. it would support the weight of all who attends the meeting...


what needs attention in my mind is the installation method of that style of leg, minus any angled support brackets. I suspect that there is a considerably sized plate welded to the top of the leg to screw to the table? and remember to allow the top to expand and contract by slotting the screw holes.
Correct, there would be a plate welded to the top. I am currently looking at these legs that come with the hole cutouts. Slotting the screws is a great suggestion though!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/294113817/3x12-metal-table-legs-u-shape-set-of-2

Probably going 28h x 28w
 

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This is surprisingly similar to my next project: 8ft dining room table made of 12/4 walnut.

Are you worried about cupping/warping at all over the life of the table? That's my main concern, and I'm not sure what the best way to avoid that sort of thing from happening.
 

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P.S. Loose the biscuits. They are not needed, and will actually weaken the joint in my opinion.

I would not use biscuits either for this, but even though the top is thick, I would use a blind spline on the joints for the top. I would use a 1/4" thick X 1" wide plywood spline between the joints. It will add tremendous strength to the joints and help with alignment of 10' boards on glue-up.
 

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Scotty D
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I would not use biscuits either for this, but even though the top is thick, I would use a blind spline on the joints for the top. I would use a 1/4" thick X 1" wide plywood spline between the joints. It will add tremendous strength to the joints and help with alignment of 10' boards on glue-up.

How would a flimsy ass 1/4" plywood spline add any strength to that joint?

With today's modern glues, and proper stock preparation, nothing else is needed.

If you need help in aligning your joints, then an actual hardwood spline would be one option, although T&G would be much easier and faster...
 

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How would a flimsy ass 1/4" plywood spline add any strength to that joint?

With today's modern glues, and proper stock preparation, nothing else is needed.

If you need help in aligning your joints, then an actual hardwood spline would be one option, although T&G would be much easier and faster...
The biscuits are wood which the glue would bond to across the joint. They may not add a great deal of strength to the joint but would add some. I agree a spline would be better as well as dowels but as thick as the top is if the wood is jointed well I don't see it ever coming apart. Actually if equipped putting threaded rods through the top would be the best.
 

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a proper spline ...

The spline should be made of hardwood, not plywood AND the grain should be perpendicular to the length of the slot or cross grain. This is the strongest method using splines, BUT most woodworkers don't choose this method because it's not easy to make long lengths of cross grain material.
I have mixed opinions on biscuits having used them on rare occasions with some alignment issues after the fact.
I had to pull them out after gluing up and it was a mess.
Anything you glue, should always be dry fitted be
forehand.
I have used dowels on door frame construction after the mortise and tenon joints have been glued and set up.
For a long joint like a table top, I would use a half-lap which is really 2 rabbets opposing each other. This increases the surface area of the glue joint which adds strength and IF done correctly will help in alignment. There are "glue joint" router and shaper cutters for specific material thicknesses as well, BUT they are tricky to set up and the thickness must be exactly the same on all the boards. :|
 

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How would a flimsy ass 1/4" plywood spline add any strength to that joint?

With today's modern glues, and proper stock preparation, nothing else is needed.

If you need help in aligning your joints, then an actual hardwood spline would be one option, although T&G would be much easier and faster...
The good plywood spline is stronger than hardwood of the same dimension.
Before you criticize, you should run your own test and see the results. I think you will be surprised.
As for the T & G being faster and easier; I don't think so. Remember this is 2" stock for the table top. On a 10' piece, I can router a 9' blind spline with a spline cutter in about 1 minute per side.
Aids assembly for glue-up.
Many methods. We'll never agree on everything. :laugh2:
 

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If the legs are positioned correctly, It would be fine.

If you wanted to be certain, you could run a couple angle iron from leg to leg.

P.S. Loose the biscuits. They are not needed, and will actually weaken the joint in my opinion.
If he's worried about alignment I would use them. No need to apply glue to them. They aren't going to weaken the joint. The glue joint on 8/4 is going to be more then enough to last a lifetime.
 
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