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Butcher block desk - stability?

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Forum topic by Rex4748 posted 04-18-2018 03:05 PM 331 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rex4748

6 posts in 125 days


04-18-2018 03:05 PM

I was planning on making a desk from a butcher block and these steel legs. The block will be cut to 72” in length, and about 30-36” in width. The legs support up to 300 lbs, so that should be adequate, but will the butcher block support the weight of multiple monitors, my desktop, etc.?

My main concern is the wood bending or breaking due to having no support in the middle. I want as much free space underneath as possible, but from what I’ve been told, having 6’ in the middle would likely cause bowing over time. So, if I were to inset the legs by about 6” on each side, this would leave 55” in the middle (the legs are 2.5” wide). Would this be okay?


6 replies so far

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8065 posts in 2235 days


#1 posted 04-18-2018 03:15 PM

You should be fine.

Use this calculator here: http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator/

Selecting birch, floating ends (since it’s not rigidly supported on the ends, can still pivot), and put in dimensions of 74×39x1.5 and 30lb center point load, you get a deflection of only 0.07in. You can put 100lbs before it switches to borderline.

Be careful when you are cutting it. A lot of times those blocks are held together with internal metal fasteners while the glue dries. You might chip a blade.

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

View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

143 posts in 616 days


#2 posted 04-18-2018 03:29 PM

Make sure the laminations run the long span. If you want to beef it up you could attach some steel square tube on the underside. Some Ikea desks are stiffened this way and they are only 3/4 thick pressed material, not laminated solid wood.

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Rex4748

6 posts in 125 days


#3 posted 04-18-2018 09:56 PM


Selecting birch, floating ends (since it s not rigidly supported on the ends, can still pivot), and put in dimensions of 74×39x1.5 and 30lb center point load, you get a deflection of only 0.07in. You can put 100lbs before it switches to borderline.

- jmartel

Ah, okay. I tried that site but figured I was doing something wrong when it said it could support almost 600 pounds total and remain acceptable. Does this mean insetting the legs by 6” would not be necessary? Could I get away with less, or should I do 6” anyway?

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

1687 posts in 2950 days


#4 posted 04-18-2018 10:33 PM

Selecting birch, floating ends (since it s not rigidly supported on the ends, can still pivot), and put in dimensions of 74×39x1.5 and 30lb center point load, you get a deflection of only 0.07in. You can put 100lbs before it switches to borderline.

- jmartel

Ah, okay. I tried that site but figured I was doing something wrong when it said it could support almost 600 pounds total and remain acceptable. Does this mean insetting the legs by 6” would not be necessary? Could I get away with less, or should I do 6” anyway?

- Rex4748


I think you should inset the legs, but because I like that look better.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1098 posts in 2935 days


#5 posted 04-19-2018 12:06 PM

Might want to check Lumber Liquidators in your area, they do counter tops and you might find a deal there.

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

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Rex4748

6 posts in 125 days


#6 posted 04-19-2018 04:43 PM


Might want to check Lumber Liquidators in your area, they do counter tops and you might find a deal there.

- ChefHDAN

I did check that out, but unfortunately their oak countertop is out of stock until October. The only other options that would save me money are teak (not a fan) and acacia. The acacia looks nice but I don’t know anything about it (sturdiness, how to finish it, etc.). Would this be an okay alternative?

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