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Built scale model of my table - advice, comments on proportions, joinery, etc?

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Forum topic by JohnMcClure posted 11-17-2018 05:51 PM 1591 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JohnMcClure

336 posts in 844 days


11-17-2018 05:51 PM

I had an idea for a table, but couldn’t draw it (don’t know sketchup) and couldn’t find similar ones online. So I took 15 minutes to build a 2/3 scale model from plywood and cardboard.

It’s intended to be a side table by the recliner, about 25” high, with perhaps a square top about 20”x20”. Or maybe a round top. Or maybe square with very radiused corners…
My observation from the prototype is that it’s very unstable under torsional stress – it twists easily. Of course it’s held together with nothing but masking tape, so…

I’d like some feedback regarding the design, ways to make it more stable (I was thinking two tie-in pieces instead of the one I used – or just much thicker), whether this will work if I cut curves from straight wood or if bent-lam is required; if the proportions look pleasing; or any criticism or feedback that comes to mind.

Thanks!

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail


13 replies so far

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Imakenicefirewood

77 posts in 1560 days


#1 posted 11-17-2018 06:08 PM

What about an apron at the top of the legs?

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MrRon

5203 posts in 3447 days


#2 posted 11-17-2018 06:32 PM

I definitely would not cut the legs from wood boards. Due to the large curves, I would use steam bent wood. You could possibly use birch plywood and cover the edges with thin strips.

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JohnMcClure

336 posts in 844 days


#3 posted 11-17-2018 06:57 PM

Here’s another picture of the prototype, this time with a round top

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

144 posts in 2708 days


#4 posted 11-17-2018 07:21 PM

I like the design. I think making the legs or center support thicker or beefier would detract from the elegance of the design.

Dowels from the leg centers into the support might help strengthen the joints there. You might also consider an ‘X’ formed from two 1/4” thick hardwood strips to connect the tops of the legs under the top would stiffen the overall structure. I don’t think they’d be visible from normal viewing angles.

Ron

-- Ron Stewart

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JuniorJoiner

488 posts in 3644 days


#5 posted 11-17-2018 08:26 PM

i like it, i would do bent lam legs out of ash if it was me, and i like the square top, but would make it a bit thicker and use a underbevel to make the edge thin. at the top of each leg i would inset a brass plate to screw down into the leg and likewise up into the top. with oversized holes for the screws for the top, to allow for movement

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

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Aj2

1885 posts in 2002 days


#6 posted 11-17-2018 08:26 PM

The legs will be the weakest part of the design. Unless you can handle bent lamination.
I like it but is a advanced woodworking project.
Good luck

-- Aj

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bondogaposis

5094 posts in 2555 days


#7 posted 11-17-2018 08:39 PM

I like the design. How do you intend to attach the top? I would notch the legs a little bit at the tie in and maybe make the little wider in that area. I would use screws and plugs to attach the legs. You will not be able to use straight wood or the legs will break very easily. Steam bend or use glu lam construction.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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JohnMcClure

336 posts in 844 days


#8 posted 11-17-2018 11:25 PM

Thank you for the suggestions, everyone. I’ll research steam bending. Looked at glue lam, and while it would be fun and interesting, seems like a lot of work. The table could be made in mere minutes, once laid out, if cut from straight boards; steam bending may be a happy medium between difficult glue-lam and fragile cut-curves.
As to top attachment, I was thinking the top will be thin, say 1/2”, so make a sub-top the same thickness, but smaller outside dimensions, notched out to receive the legs. Would create the same effect as if the legs were mortised into the tabletop, but much easier to execute.

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

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JohnMcClure

336 posts in 844 days


#9 posted 11-18-2018 03:00 PM

Just had to share these pics. The prototype has become very popular:

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

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PCDub

85 posts in 448 days


#10 posted 11-18-2018 04:25 PM

Now you KNOW you have a good design!! :-)

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jbay

2893 posts in 1103 days


#11 posted 11-18-2018 04:37 PM


Just had to share these pics. The prototype has become very popular:

- JohnMcClure

Just my opinion.
In perspective, it looks like the top could be a little bigger in relation to the base.
I also don’t see a problem doing a glue up and cutting the legs out of it. The table is not big enough to get so much abuse it’s going to break a glue joint.

To mount the top,
I like the idea of a (finished) sub top screwed down into the legs then mounting the finished top onto it.
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MrRon

5203 posts in 3447 days


#12 posted 11-18-2018 08:17 PM

I think the legs flay outward a bit too much. It’s a nice looking design, but they could be a tripping hazard.

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JohnMcClure

336 posts in 844 days


#13 posted 11-18-2018 09:30 PM

Agreed. For the round top, I didn’t have a big enough piece on hand to make the diameter as large as the footprint. The real build will need a larger top proportionally.

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

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