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Forum topic by czabel posted 09-21-2016 12:16 PM 269 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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czabel

4 posts in 73 days


09-21-2016 12:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut dining room table question joining

Hello LumberJocks!

I’ve come to your excellent forum after realizing I might be a little over my head with this project.

I’d like to build a dining room table to become a family heirloom (hopefully).

The plan is: 8’ long by 42” wide, 30” to the top surface, made of 2” or 2.5” or 3” black walnut. The support structure will be made of square steel tubing, two squares on each end, with an “X” of rectangular tubing across the top for support in the middle of the table.

The walnut top will be made of 5 boards (if we can find ones large enough), and edge jointed simply with glue.

The tabletop will then be placed on the steel frame with a layer of rubber on top of the steel, with bolts through the steel into threaded inserts in each plank. There will be at least two bolts through each plank at some point.

If any of this is unclear, I’ve attached a few pictures of my Sketchup model, but please feel free to ask for more.

The part I’m worried about is the wood top. I’m concerned with keeping the wood flat and true. The plan is to get partially milled boards, mill them slightly myself, then wait a few weeks to see if any movement ocurrs, then proceed. I am also planning on using slot-holes in the steel frame, to allow lateral shifting of the wood.

I would love any and all advice you can offer. I’ve never worked with such major, solid wood like this, and I want to make sure this goes as smoothly as possible.

Thank you!



6 replies so far

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HerbC

1592 posts in 2319 days


#1 posted 09-21-2016 06:22 PM

Overall, not a bad beginning…

1. Consider using “breadboard” ends on each end of the table. They will help minimize any cupping across the panel.

2. The end legs are set quite close to the ends of the table and will tend to interfere with anyone sitting on the ends.

3. Consider putting “feet” on the four corners to raise the bottom bar up off the floor, otherwise it will be very sensitive to any minor distortions in the floor. You could use adjustable feet to allow adjustment for uneven floors.

4. Be sure to finish the bottom of the table top as well as the top, this will minimize warpage due to moisture differential.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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czabel

4 posts in 73 days


#2 posted 09-21-2016 06:27 PM

Thanks for the notes Herb.

Is there anything other than breadboards that we can do? My wife and I are pretty strongly against that look.

We’re hoping the wide opening in the legs will allow the person at the head of the table plenty of room.

I hadn’t thought of floor imperfections, that’s an excellent point. I had some vague ideas of some sort of rubber on the bottom of the entire steel frame, to protect the floor, and I think this might counteract that as well.

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HerbC

1592 posts in 2319 days


#3 posted 09-21-2016 06:39 PM



Thanks for the notes Herb.

Is there anything other than breadboards that we can do? My wife and I are pretty strongly against that look.

We re hoping the wide opening in the legs will allow the person at the head of the table plenty of room.

I hadn t thought of floor imperfections, that s an excellent point. I had some vague ideas of some sort of rubber on the bottom of the entire steel frame, to protect the floor, and I think this might counteract that as well.

- czabel

You’re welcome.

Limiting the wood to quartersawn boards without any pith would minimize the amount of potential warpage but would alter the appearance of the top, since many people prefer flatsawn walnut grain patterns to quartersawn… Maybe someone else will have better ideas on this subject.

The bottom crossbar on the end will present a barrier which will make it difficult to pull a chair up to the table on the ends.

The rubber between the frame and the floor would provide a very limited amount of compensation for any floor irregularities.

Again, best of luck with your project.

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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brtech

893 posts in 2382 days


#4 posted 09-21-2016 06:42 PM

They do slab tables all the time which are at least two glued edges and they don’t have any really serious cupping issues. Mine is 3 parts, two glue joints, to get the width we wanted, and we don’t expect any cupping issues.

I think you will have issues with sitting at the ends. The problem is that you can’t get a chair up close enough. I think they usually try to get a good 15-18” between the edge of the top and the support structure.

Are you going to finish the surface with poly? Ours is done that way and it’s great. We don’t have to worry about spills or anything except hot serving items.

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czabel

4 posts in 73 days


#5 posted 09-21-2016 06:47 PM

Ah, the bottom crossbar, duh. I’ll have to keep thinking about that. The design we’re taking inspiration from has the supports out to the ends, but if it blocks chairs… Hmm. Thank you both for pointing that out.

I had planned on doing 5 boards, but I’m currently looking at a slab that we can get four boards out of that will give us the width we need – would an even vs. an odd number of boards be noticeable/strange?

I haven’t gotten as far as finishing yet, I just know that we won’t be staining – walnut needs to be seen for what it is.

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czabel

4 posts in 73 days


#6 posted 09-22-2016 09:53 PM

I have a few questions about board sizes/appearances.

Will it be weird if we use four wider boards, instead of 5? I see a lot of tables with center boards for symmetry’s sake, but I’m not sure. I don’t even know if it will be noticeable, so if anyone has any experience or thoughts, I’d love your input.

Wider boards means more obvious cupping, if it happens, correct? I’m planning on putting at least 4 bolts through each board, two on each end, but I’m still worried about cupping. Any opinions on this aspect?

Thank you!

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