6" thick slab of hickory for table legs. Need advice pls

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by craftedbyadam posted 08-02-2016 02:36 AM 1551 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View craftedbyadam's profile


17 posts in 1039 days

08-02-2016 02:36 AM

Having trouble with loading pics at the moment so I’ll get the pics of the 2 slabs I have on here asap for advice.

Actual dimensions. 6.5 ” thick 11.5” x 60”
There is a half inch deep crack going down 1 side of each slab and strays a little to the side. They look awesome and I’m thinking about cutting them exactly in half and have 4 legs for a big dinning table. I have some 8/4 cherry close by that I’m wanting to use for the top.

Does that sound too crazy for an 8-10’ long table and having the legs that thick? They would be 6.5×11.5”

If I slice them up to make 8 legs then they’ll still be pretty beefy BUT now I have to deal with the crack being on the edge of the legs versus them being mainly in the middle.

My goal is big obviously. I’d also like to the legs to be inset with the top. This is stepping up my game but I’m ready for the task now just need some advice and tips from the pros please.

One more question for now. Where could I go to have someone cut them square for me? I could make a router jig to square up the ends if I really needed but that wouldn’t help with cutting it in half. So I at least need a place that’ll cut them in half or into the 8 pieces, depending on what you pros recommend.

14 replies so far

View ChefHDAN's profile


1131 posts in 2994 days

#1 posted 08-02-2016 11:35 AM

Adam, what tools do you have? Asking the question of where to get your wood cut at raises the question of what advice to suggest if you don’t have the tools to execute. Beefy legs are fine… for a table… but generally a taper is put on them to at least “lighten” the design. Let us know how you’re equipped and we can offer better suggestions.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View BHolcombe's profile


180 posts in 2220 days

#2 posted 08-02-2016 04:08 PM

There is a chance you are making a headache for yourself. I would consider your design and how you intend to cut and place joinery.

View bondogaposis's profile


4988 posts in 2495 days

#3 posted 08-02-2016 04:32 PM

I’d also like to the legs to be inset with the top.

What do you mean by that?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5070 posts in 4104 days

#4 posted 08-02-2016 04:44 PM

Those legs are gonna look like the legs on my first wife.
Might wanna rethink those dimensions.


View joey502's profile


544 posts in 1662 days

#5 posted 08-02-2016 08:10 PM

That’s a big chunk of wood. How dry is it?

I don’t know if i could drag that “board” across the driveway.

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1064 days

#6 posted 08-02-2016 10:53 PM


Your table will crafted from some very nice wood and even perfectly executed joinery and a flawless finish, if the proportions are not just right, the completed project may lack appeal. I am no pro but what I find to be extremely helpful is to develop some sketches from various vantage points, all drawn to scale before cutting the first stick. This allows me to judge whether the proportions are just right or whether some adjusting is required. A CAD program is a great tool for puzzling through the design. While I use TurboCad, it seems that a lot of LJs like SketchUp.

Another design consideration is whether I have the tools needed to mill and cut the parts and to execute the joinery. In my case with the capability to cut a board that is 3-1/8” x 3-1/8” in half, I tend to design parts smaller than this maximum capacity. It simply saves time and simplifies projects.

The final design of a furniture piece is largely a matter of personal taste. In my view the size of the legs you are considering is way out of proportion with the rest of the table. I would guess that if an 8’ – 10’ dining table were built with such large format legs, the only part of the table anyone would see would be the legs. Additionally, I suspect the table would be a nightmare to move.

View Aj2's profile


1717 posts in 1942 days

#7 posted 08-03-2016 12:42 AM

6×6 legs would look great if the top is also 6 inches thick.
Something like this.

-- Aj

View BobAnderton's profile


283 posts in 2934 days

#8 posted 08-03-2016 01:20 AM

Cutting them as you describe is easy with a bandsaw mill or a chainsaw mill. For making cuts perpendicular to an already existing face like you’re talking about you’d use something like the Granberg Mini Mill. $89.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View firefighterontheside's profile


19052 posts in 2001 days

#9 posted 08-03-2016 12:20 PM

It will look awesome, but will limit how many people can sit at the table. The last people on the sides will not be able to sit very near the corner. I would say split them in two and have legs about 5.5×5.5. I made a table with legs that size that came up thru the corners. The board in between is attached as a breadboard.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View craftedbyadam's profile


17 posts in 1039 days

#10 posted 08-03-2016 01:00 PM

Thank you very much everyone for your input. The pictures of the tables posted from you guys is pretty much what I’m talking about.

I see how the thicker top matching the thickness of the legs looks good. So splitting those into at least 8 legs would make more sense.

Also I see how clearance can be an issue with where they legs are layer out. I was thinking maybe about a foot from each side in. Sketch up should help then.

I’m not sure how dry they are but they should be fairly stable now I would think. Been in a friend garage for 3 years. He said the split was there as long as he had them.

I’ll have to get on sketch up as I’ve been watching the how to videos for a few months now.

View craftedbyadam's profile


17 posts in 1039 days

#11 posted 08-03-2016 01:05 PM

Oh a and tool wise I have a good bit of tools. All the power hand tools, band saw (older), older delta cabinet saw, miter saw, the normal stuff in my mind. I do have a planer in the mail (dw734) but NO jointer, chainsaw, nothing with a 12” blade or bigger.

View PPK's profile


1145 posts in 953 days

#12 posted 08-03-2016 01:24 PM

In my experience of about 15 years of building furniture, etc. Carpenter’s tend to overbuild things, and then regret the look later. In reality, the strength is rarely a problem. I think the distinction of “sturdy” to “Holy cats, that thing looks like a cow at 9 months gestation!”, is only about an inch thickness or 1/2” at times. I would suggest making the legs 3” square or perhaps 3” x 4” max. This way you can actually use your table saw to cut the legs! (10” blades will cut 3” deep on most Table saws) Making tapers is pretty easy, and they are also pretty easy to clean up with a hand plane. If you don’t like that rout, and really want the beef, I suggest dressing them up really nicely, something along the lines of this:

Finally, I agree with the fellows that say to sketch it. I just use some graph paper and sketch it to scale to visualize the proportions. Then ask someone that’s not a carpenter how it looks. :-)
Just my 2 cents.

-- Pete

View PPK's profile


1145 posts in 953 days

#13 posted 08-03-2016 01:28 PM

Oh, 1 more cent –
I get a lot of inspiration from this Amish furniture website. They have a vast array of styles, and they have really good dimensions listed, so its pretty easy to make your own plans from just “looking”.

-- Pete

View rwe2156's profile


3090 posts in 1625 days

#14 posted 08-03-2016 01:31 PM

I agree design wise the thickness of the top dictates the size of the legs.

Your table is huge. I would do a mock up and see what it looks like.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics