Reply by Dan Krager

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Posted on Table Design with Walnut

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Dan Krager

3969 posts in 2203 days

#1 posted 01-02-2013 12:30 AM

1. If you’ve got enough long boards to get your 40” width, I think I’d run the grain the long way, especially if you are headed for a trestle type construction. Now if you plan to put leaves in it, you should go the other way. Leaves allow changing the size of the table, convenient later if not now. You can legitimately use wooden or metal table extension slides.
2. You could easily use hollow legs, but I would fill the places where joints occur. You could also laminate enough layers together to get the desired thickness (think weighty).
3. A 4” apron should be adequate. You could, and perhaps should, run 2 or 3 stringers the length between your end aprons, parallel to the side aprons to help with supporting the span. Sure as anything you’re gonna find a 400 lb gorilla on it someday! Consider how much food and china can fit on there, not counting elbows.

A good hand plane will be necessary for all this. Consider carefully how you are going to clamp this together. 3/4” doesn’t give you much to work with, so you’ll have to be extra accurate on that big of a top. I wouldn’t use anything less than a 1/2” x 2” x 3 1/2” tenon on the leg-apron joints, assuming apron is placed outside the center of leg, say faces offset by 1/2”. Any stretchers to help with rigidity? Then you need to carefully consider how to strongly attach the top so it can move without warping.

An ambitious project! Keep us posted using this topic or a blog. Pictures help a lot. Oh, and just which wall were you going to take out to get this into the dining room?

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

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