How to determine length to # of seats?

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Forum topic by WhiskeyCreek posted 07-24-2015 03:20 AM 893 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 729 days

07-24-2015 03:20 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am building an outdoor dining table, with benches for seats. The clients want to seat at least 12 without having to seat people on the ends (6 on each side). I usually will use over 2 ft. per chair for comfort and use, but since this table will be using benches, only be used for special events, and space is an issue I figured I do not need as much space per person. How long would you make a table in this situation?

-- Whiskey Creek Woodmill & Co.

16 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3634 posts in 1343 days

#1 posted 07-24-2015 03:36 AM

I think 14.5” would be just fine.


View jerryminer's profile


632 posts in 1017 days

#2 posted 07-24-2015 03:52 AM

I think 14.5” would be just fine.

- mrjinx007

Are you kidding? Children, maybe. But adults with elbows, no way. I would not go below 22”

View pjones46's profile


986 posts in 2219 days

#3 posted 07-24-2015 04:37 AM

IMHO any less than 21” per person for adults would be pushing the comfort of each person. If you have 6 people each side it would be about 10-1/2 feet long.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View Manitario's profile


2442 posts in 2459 days

#4 posted 07-24-2015 04:49 AM

Standard is 23” per person and 12-15” at each end.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View jmartel's profile


6909 posts in 1726 days

#5 posted 07-24-2015 05:38 AM

Fine Woodworking’s guide for sizing states 29in per person is ideal and 18” on the ends. 24in spacing would probably be fine. I don’t think I’d go any narrower than that.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View crank49's profile


3996 posts in 2547 days

#6 posted 07-24-2015 06:58 AM

Well, if you look at what the aviation industry considers acceptable seat width you should be fine with about 11 to 12 inches.
Considering reality, and a casual check of my own width, I’d go with the 24” minimum.

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 806 days

#7 posted 07-24-2015 12:04 PM

Ok, I design aircraft seats. I ll pull up a model of a premium seat now, just hold on.
This is a standard seat width for premium, first and business class. 20.625”. We will go up or down a bit but this is standard. But remember, this is for packing as many people on an aircraft as possible where more butts-in-seats = cash. So I would use this as a bare minimum. were I building it for a client who desired comfort I would go up from this.

Well, if you look at what the aviation industry considers acceptable seat width you should be fine with about 11 to 12 inches.
Considering reality, and a casual check of my own width, I d go with the 24” minimum.

- crank49

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View wncguy's profile


330 posts in 1888 days

#8 posted 07-24-2015 01:54 PM

Your in California, so guessing your clients are too… but if they were in certain parts of WI, I’d say a minimum of 36”!

-- Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 798 days

#9 posted 07-24-2015 04:28 PM

Maybe it could be designed for /adult/small child or midget/adult/ that way the arms of the adults would be above the heads of the chidrins?

-- I meant to do that!

View Bluepine38's profile


3358 posts in 2661 days

#10 posted 07-24-2015 04:50 PM

This is for a dining table, you have to give the people room to move their arms and elbows and have room
to easily get out if they have to, if you go under 28” per person I think you may not have a happy
customer. This is just my opinion and I might have been wrong once or twice.

-- As ever, Gus-the 78 yr young apprentice carpenter

View MrRon's profile


4019 posts in 2819 days

#11 posted 07-24-2015 08:20 PM

I would say 24” per person or a table 14’ long as a minimum. This would take into account the width of individuals at the table. You would have to adjust the seating for the best space arrangement. You need to ask the client how much room he has for a 14’ table. Final size would be the result of space availability.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2063 days

#12 posted 07-24-2015 08:34 PM

Measure the behinds that will be seated at the table. Divide by 12, add a few more inches for each one to give ‘expansion room.” (Does this make my arse look big)?

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View MrRon's profile


4019 posts in 2819 days

#13 posted 07-25-2015 05:08 PM

I would make the benches in multiples of 2 or 3 bodies per bench. They will be easier to stow when not in use. Separate benches for each person would be nice, but a lot more material. I would revise my original table length to 12’ as an absolute minimum. Will the table be a one piece design or an extension type with removable leaves?

View MT_Stringer's profile


2960 posts in 2807 days

#14 posted 07-25-2015 05:34 PM

It sounds to me like two six foot benches per side should do the trick. Let me sit on the end so I have some shoulder room. :-)

Six footers would also maximize materials if you use 12 foot boards and cut them in half.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View rustfever's profile


727 posts in 2886 days

#15 posted 07-25-2015 07:16 PM

Check on standard for the food/resturant/dining room manufacturing industry. I think you will find 24/25” per person is proper.

-- Rustfever, Central California

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