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Need help with table thickness

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Forum topic by Brett posted 01-04-2018 10:49 PM 667 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brett

55 posts in 313 days


01-04-2018 10:49 PM

Hi all!
The wife wants a walnut topped dining table like the one below.

My question is: what is the acceptable minimum thickness for a table like this? 8/4 walnut is hard to come by around me. I can get enough 5/4 rough cut walnut. After I surface it, it will likely be around 7/8” to 1” thick. Is this too thin?

I told her I could put some plywood under it and use the 5/4 stuff on top and wrap it with a walnut band to cover the ply edge but I don’t think she wants that style.

I’ve also thought about face gluing two 1” boards together to make it 2” thick, however, this may look odd and will make it super heavy.

Thoughts?
Thanks in advance!


18 replies so far

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

1006 posts in 615 days


#1 posted 01-04-2018 10:59 PM

Thickness is somewhat subjective but I think 1” finished would be fine structurally. You need to decide if that works for you aesthetically. How big is the table top?

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Holt's profile

Holt

272 posts in 2749 days


#2 posted 01-04-2018 11:01 PM

If you are gluing up the table top, you could use 8/4 for the first and last strip and thick breadboard end pieces…

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1114 posts in 1029 days


#3 posted 01-04-2018 11:03 PM

Perhaps this article might help…

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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Brett

55 posts in 313 days


#4 posted 01-04-2018 11:11 PM

Thanks for the replies all. I really like that article, ripper70. I wonder how noticeable the edges would be if they are just rounded off with a 1/8” round over bit and not a decorative edge?

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Ripper70

1114 posts in 1029 days


#5 posted 01-05-2018 02:35 AM

Well, I think the ogee helps to camouflage the workmanship enough that it’s not even noticeable up close. Left plain, though, it’s not horrible but it is more obvious that it ain’t one solid piece of wood. If you click on the images in the article you’ll see a huge engagement for closer inspection.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Brett's profile

Brett

55 posts in 313 days


#6 posted 01-05-2018 11:58 AM

True. Thanks Ripper70. I think I’m going to give this technique a shot.

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

552 posts in 861 days


#7 posted 01-05-2018 12:49 PM



True. Thanks Ripper70. I think I’m going to give this technique a shot.

- Brett

I think you’ll be happy with the results. I recently did this on a project after finding the same link Ripper provided, and was very happy with the outcome.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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Brett

55 posts in 313 days


#8 posted 01-05-2018 10:56 PM

So I have another question…

If I glue the top up and flip the edges down to make it look thicker, what should I do underneath to make the table bulkier/thicker? I was thinking of gluing 3/4” plywood to the top (underneath) but someone told me that would cause the table to crack because it wouldn’t be able to move.

Any thoughts?

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Brett

55 posts in 313 days


#9 posted 01-06-2018 12:49 AM


Thickness is somewhat subjective but I think 1” finished would be fine structurally. You need to decide if that works for you aesthetically. How big is the table top?

- TungOil

Sorry, forgot to answer you. Table size will be 3’x6’.

View BuffaloBrewer's profile

BuffaloBrewer

59 posts in 939 days


#10 posted 01-06-2018 01:05 AM

Gluing boards to plywood will cause heartache when it cracks.


So I have another question…

If I glue the top up and flip the edges down to make it look thicker, what should I do underneath to make the table bulkier/thicker? I was thinking of gluing 3/4” plywood to the top (underneath) but someone told me that would cause the table to crack because it wouldn’t be able to move.

Any thoughts?

- Brett


View Brett's profile

Brett

55 posts in 313 days


#11 posted 01-06-2018 01:07 AM

Exactly. So how can I make the table thicker if I only have one layer for the top that is roughly 1” thick?


Gluing boards to plywood will cause heartache when it cracks.

So I have another question…

If I glue the top up and flip the edges down to make it look thicker, what should I do underneath to make the table bulkier/thicker? I was thinking of gluing 3/4” plywood to the top (underneath) but someone told me that would cause the table to crack because it wouldn’t be able to move.

Any thoughts?

- Brett

- BuffaloBrewer


View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1114 posts in 1029 days


#12 posted 01-06-2018 05:23 AM

Unless you’re planning on eating your meals under the table, I’m not sure when you’ll ever notice that the table isn’t actually two inches thick. I think that’s the whole point of employing the technique as described above. Nobody’s gonna know.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1662 posts in 1918 days


#13 posted 01-06-2018 05:46 AM

The table in the pics looks like it’s about 1.50 – 1.75 thick.
And there’s no way in hell your going to be able to fake it.
I would just sit on my hands till I found the properly sized boards that were beautiful or it’s not worth making.

-- Aj

View Brett's profile

Brett

55 posts in 313 days


#14 posted 01-06-2018 12:10 PM

I don’t mind it being 1” thick or “faking it” as you put it. My only concern is the structural integrity of it if it’s only 1” thick. If I have the legs 4’ apart from one another and a 1’ over hang on each side (as the table will be 3’x6’) do you all think a 1” thick top is good enough? The base will look somewhat like this where it attaches to the top.

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

908 posts in 3203 days


#15 posted 01-06-2018 01:46 PM



I don’t mind it being 1” thick or “faking it” as you put it. My only concern is the structural integrity of it if it’s only 1” thick. If I have the legs 4’ apart from one another and a 1’ over hang on each side (as the table will be 3’x6’) do you all think a 1” thick top is good enough? The base will look somewhat like this where it attaches to the top.

- Brett


As long as you use stable lumber, mill, build and finish properly….yes, without a doubt.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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