Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, need some advice on rustic dining table. Found some boards from the 1920s that were on railroad cars that my wife loves. They are Butcher block style and are maple. They have lots of old screws, holes , etc that I will fill with epoxy. I plan to sand it down and finish with oil based poly. Any advice on this at all to be aware of? They are also tongue and groove so I am just going to use those, glue and clamp up.

My biggest question is about the base/legs. I attached a pic of a rough drawing but want advice on design. My wife loves big table legs so that is what the drawing is. I was planning on using red oak and staining ebony to have a good contrast with the top. Am totally open to advice, please let me know !!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,232 Posts
Rookie
I would put a trestle style leg assembly under this table.
I would use 4" Fir or Pine for the legs and trestle. (4" will actually be about 3 1/2"). You can plane it down to 3" if you prefer.
Build the leg assemblies wider at the floor (34"wide) and 18" wide where the leg connects to the top. Use a heavy trestle brace (2 X 6) to connect the two leg assemblies about 12" off the floor.
If you wanted to add some difficulty: The leg assemblies can be made to lean outward with the base (at the floor) extended 5" more than the top (where leg assembly connects to top).
Distress this trestle severely to match the top and color match.
Attach the top to the leg assemblies using lag screws.
You can put as much design and detail as you want on the leg assemblies.
I think it can look great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Tool man 50- thanks for advice. So basically do the legs like my picture instead of have the top of the leg assemblies be less than the bottom? Correct ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,232 Posts
Tool man 50- thanks for advice. So basically do the legs like my picture instead of have the top of the leg assemblies be less than the bottom? Correct ?
Yes, with a stretcher running horizontal to attach the two leg assemblies.
I would use a 1 1/2" thick X 5" wide board at the top of the leg. This board will attach to both the legs and the bottom of the table. With heavy screws.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,160 Posts
The first thing I would do is test the boards for lead. Prior to the mid-1970's most finishes contained lead. Sanding lead containing finish will inject lead-filled sanding dust into the work space. Lead is very dangerous, particularly to children.

Most real hardware stores and some big boxes sell DIY lead testing kits. They are not expensive.
 

·
where's my table saw?
Joined
·
27,749 Posts
Nice looking boards

I would NOT fill the holes with epoxy. I would use wood pegs or dowels instead. You can make them yourself on a drill press since they are not all that long. Use a file as the spin around on a wood screw or bannister bolt, then saw them to the correct length. You can also use a table saw... see you Tube for how to.

As far as the lead, they don't look painted, just sealed, but I could be wrong. If they are really old, then they may not have any lead, just a wash of some sort.

Leg design ..... use mortices and tenons and you can't go wrong. A through tenon that's wedged would be appropriate.
 

·
Smart and Cool
Joined
·
1,941 Posts
Based on the origin of the boards, and what will likely be the rustic appearance, I would consider metal for the base. Something that could somehow link it to the rail car, or railroad would be cool. I saw a rustic table in a coffee house recently that had I-Beam "X"'s at each end for the base, with metal connecting them.

Just my .02 but rustic looks good with metal...

Google image search is always your friend for ideas to use.

https://www.google.com/search?q=rus...ved=0CAcQ_AUoAmoVChMIidHA88L8xwIVh36SCh0yNw2x

I think this one is cool also.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,160 Posts
Great advice, thank u, will test immediately for lead. What do I do if they have lead?
If the test indicates lead in the finish, I would not use the boards. Sawing or sanding will create lead containing dust that will get on everything in the area and the dust will stay in the air from just general movement of the air. The contamination is long-term.

As I said, breathing lead dust is very dangerous to children and also dangerous to adults. The dust will get on clothing and become spread to other areas of the home.

If there is lead, I would contact a remediation company and ask them if there is any remediation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Nice boards, love the patina but I would bet the advice on the lead is correct. I pulled some 2x10 oak lumber out of an old canning factory 10+ years ago and never gave it a second though but the old paint was full of lead!:furious:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Great news....tested for lead and there is none! Very relieved since these boards were not cheap. Been sanding like crazy lately. Any advice on type of wood for the base?
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top