My Largest Commonal Table

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Project by BertFlores58 posted 06-29-2010 09:42 AM 1966 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This table measures 44” x 8’ and the height is 36”. The thickness of the table top is 2”. An extra ordinary dimension. Our home is designed to have a common place for 3 houses, My Moms, My Brother and My Home. We call this ‘commonal’ means common to all of us including visitors. This table serves as the center point of gathering a big dinner during reunion and special occasion.

What is good with this table are:
1. It is already 3 years and counting…. still strong and nothing is loose. It has suffered from different weather condition. It was soaked with rain, under the sun and many spillage on top. It was protected using watersealing on top (repels water) and finished with spar varnish.
2. Materials used were recycled pine from claddings or might be floorings inside containers for engine parts. I got some problems dealing with crack. Have to split a bit the wood and pushed in the glue for greater penetration.
3. The design was only not copied from anywhere. I combine the strength required for a workbench using woodscrews and big timbers. The two runners (arbors.stretchers. i dont know what it is called) is 3×3 running the length and there 6 top across bars of 1-1/2×3. Two crossbars on the width part are bolted together with the legs lapped at ends. The legs on the bottom are tenon with the lower crossbars. The top was slotted in the middle to provide contraction and expansion.
4. The hardest part that anyone should know is my success in planing it manually using Jackplane and smoothplane. Pine is soft yet it is difficult because it easily tear out in addition to hardness of the nodes and it is huge. Aside from this problem, I have to plane it while already assembled so that I can get the right level. When I got the wood, two of them are warped at the end and the only chance to get it right is when it is in place.


ANOTHER TIP: NAILS FROM CRATES’s SLAT can also be out easilly REMOVED without cracking the wood when WET.

5. Lastly…. IT IS FUNCTIONAL… as this one

commonal way

how happy they are with this table…

THE BENCH is also oversized and high enough to compensate the needed height for the table.. Though I had made only one piece, the structure is also complicated. I tested one 2×3 pine at 7 ft with 3 men and it break. I used two on this bench as the runners. The legs were special Malaysian scrap woods that are so strong. Tennon and joint on the bottom makes it so strong. We had dropped it several times as a torture test and it is still intact. Some cracks but it doesnt matter as long as it will not let anyone fall over.

What I want to share with anyone… “It is not what kind of material that counts most but it is how it will be used.”

-- Bert

11 comments so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3005 days

#1 posted 06-29-2010 10:44 AM

Great table. Functional, sturdy, and brings family and friends together. What else could you ask for.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14171 posts in 3946 days

#2 posted 06-29-2010 11:16 AM

hey buddy, It looks great… happy family

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 2999 days

#3 posted 06-29-2010 01:52 PM

There is nothing like doing something for loved ones! Great job!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3040 days

#4 posted 06-29-2010 02:10 PM

Now that is a project for the whole family to be proud of. Very cool table…. Just imagine all the memories made sitting at your table. Now that is priceless….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3636 days

#5 posted 06-29-2010 02:13 PM

Nice little tab;e.

View janice's profile


1116 posts in 3388 days

#6 posted 06-29-2010 02:15 PM

I knew I was looking forward to seeing more of your projects, thanks for sharing. I like the design on both pieces. Looks like you might need a few more benches though.

-- Janice

View BertFlores58's profile


1694 posts in 2885 days

#7 posted 06-29-2010 02:54 PM

Thanks to all.
Janice, actually on the pipeline are three benches: one with back rest and two end benches. Maybe you can try it and send it to me … LOL. Please note that I have very limited time (I work only Saturdays, sometimes Sundays and Holidays) and also I shifted to hardwoods nowadays like jewelry boxes as gifts. There is less challenges in working with pine than using hardwoods. Cutting dovetail manually is my choice in boxmaking or in drawers. I will post more finished projects and I will confess to LJ those hidden mistakes but don’t squeal to anyone ha ha ha. Watch for it and you will learn more lesson … remember I am a teacher ..and I know how to find the learner’s errors… but the truth is I have more mistakes than the learner because I am old enough to learn those errors. .. Hope I made you enjoy the reading same as the big family having the midnight snack and ran out of rice .. LOL.

-- Bert

View swirt's profile


2640 posts in 2935 days

#8 posted 06-29-2010 04:32 PM

Bert that is a great table and a great family example too. I am facinated by the slots in the table top. I can see my son using them to feed the dog.

Thanks for the tips too. Those are very interesting.

-- Galootish log blog,

View BertFlores58's profile


1694 posts in 2885 days

#9 posted 06-29-2010 05:03 PM

Forgot to tell you that the slots was very helpful in preventing the top to crack. Expansion and contraction is absorbed by these slots. Additionally, it is also handy in controlling any spill. Nothing special if you drop something to it, our cats will catch underneath. lol.

-- Bert

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117061 posts in 3540 days

#10 posted 06-29-2010 05:05 PM

That’s a good size table.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3427 days

#11 posted 06-30-2010 05:15 AM

I really like the clean lines and functional design. I must echo the above comments about bringing the family and friends together. Great work, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

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