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Forum topic by PaBull posted 09-21-2008 11:40 PM 2120 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PaBull

928 posts in 2419 days


09-21-2008 11:40 PM

I need to build a dining table for our family. We need room for about 12-14 people. I think we need about 2’ per person, so make the table about 10’ long. Then how tall does the skirt need to be? The table top will be white oak (left over flooring) and the same for the skirt, the legs will be red oaks balusters from Lowe’s, cut down to the 30” table top hight. The skirt will be mortased into the legs. I will keep the top free floating on the skirt.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower


13 replies so far

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2499 days


#1 posted 10-03-2008 04:26 AM

Just saw this post. Generally, the clearance under the table for diners legs needs to be about 25”. 1” top, 4” skirt = 25”. If you’re using the 3/4” flooring, then you could go with the extra 1/4” on the skirt, especially if you’re going with a 10’ table.

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PaBull

928 posts in 2419 days


#2 posted 10-03-2008 04:55 AM

Thanks, Tim.

We are looking at an extra set of legs to bridge the distance.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2499 days


#3 posted 10-03-2008 03:22 PM

That would be a good idea, considering the length of the table. Keep us posted.

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PaBull

928 posts in 2419 days


#4 posted 10-03-2008 04:08 PM

She, my dear wife, was thinking of something like this.

And instead of turning the legs myself, I will be buying them from a company like:
http://www.tablelegs.com/Legs/DiningTableLegs.aspx
This website shows a lot of details too like the corner brace kit.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

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CaptainSkully

1195 posts in 2313 days


#5 posted 10-17-2008 07:37 PM

Would this perchance need to be done by Turkey-Day? I’ve used a similar version of the corner brace shown above. Because my legs were so thick at the top (to allow for a taper), I machined a flat spot for the diagonal piece to sit flush against to distribute the shear forces along a larger surface area. I used hanger bolts which gives you more flexibility when tightening them down.

For the apron height, I started with 30” at the top, minus the top’s thickness, minus the chair seat height, minus six inches for thigh clearance. It’s very ergonomic and resulted in around 3.5” height, which was sufficient to carry the load on edge. For the 10’ span, I’d beef up the long aprons pretty well as the thickness is not visible on the inside so should’t affect aesthetics. I really like the figure-eight table-top fasteners vs. the clip-groove scenario.

My rectangular table also converts with a leaf that’s a duplicate of the top. There’s an extra pair of longer aprons. When in “small table mode”, I use one leaf and the two small pair of aprons. When in “large table mode”, I add the leaf and the short pair from the “small” setup and a much longer pair. The “large” table is twice the length, but the same width as the “small” table. I hope that makes sense.

To further complicate things, the “small” table’s long dimension can also become the large table’s short dimension if I use the “small” table’s long pair and put the leaves together side-by-side instead of end-to-end. This configuration makes a much “squarer” table. The first configuration makes a longer, thinner table, depending on your needs. The overhangs need to be carefully calculated beforehand if you’re goin to pursue this (possibly unneccessary and overly-complicated) option. I know it sounds confusing, but it’s a very flexible design concept, thanks to the corner braces and the figure-eights knock-down capability. Sorry I don’t have any pics, as out table is currently in storage and the AutoCAD drawings were lost on a previous PC. Dissassembly/reassembly is obviosly not something you’ll want to do every day, but you get three tables for about 1.3 times the wood/work. Also, one doesn’t always need to have a 12 person table setup. Make sure you use a template to machine the corner parts so all corners are interchangeable. Also, making the leaves square would’ve simplified the math considerably, but I liked the way the small, rectangular table looked in our apartment at the time. I used posterboard for the layouts on the floor before I cut any wood. I had only made the legs at that point. Our table only had four legs. Using six legs may simplify matters immensely. I never thought of that because I’d had four legs glued up for years before getting the expansion idea and finishing the table.

Good luck and post your progress. A very timely project.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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PaBull

928 posts in 2419 days


#6 posted 10-17-2008 08:14 PM

Thanks for your post Captain!

Very smart to make (or buy) the legs first and set up the table with cardboard first before you actually cut your parts.

I would like to see a picture of the table when you have a chance (I could not find it under your projects…)

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

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scarpenter002

511 posts in 2659 days


#7 posted 10-17-2008 08:40 PM

Before you get too far on the table, take into consideration what type of chairs you’re going to use. If arm chairs, make sure you have plenty of clearance under the skirt. My arm chairs for my dining table require 26” of clearance. They are also 25” wide. The side chairs are only 22” wide.

-- Scott in Texas

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PaBull

928 posts in 2419 days


#8 posted 10-17-2008 08:45 PM

No, we will be going with the armrest (no rest for our arms). We are using mission chairs, old ones. (and looking for more)

But thanks Scarpenter002, good point!

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1195 posts in 2313 days


#9 posted 10-17-2008 10:10 PM

Yeah, thanks for mentioning the arm rest issue. The friend I’m staying with has a very expensive, store-bought, formal, Arts & Crafts dining room set where the arm rests and aprons have damaged each other. Very sad, especially if you’ve made it. Sorry no pics, our table is in storage as I’m five months into staying with my friend for the year while I remodel her house. I didn’t start taking pics of my stuff until I joined LJ a few months ago. I may draw up a quick and dirty diagram of the transformer-table concept tonight while having my evening cocktail, as a pic is worth a thousand words of my long-winded, confusing post.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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CaptainSkully

1195 posts in 2313 days


#10 posted 10-17-2008 11:19 PM

Here’s a quick and dirty drawing of what I’m talking about. Notice that the top two tables can be made with three pair of aprons (Sets A, B, and C). If you want the third table option, you’ll need a fourth pair (Set D), but aprons are cheap and easy to make compared to the legs and tops. There’s a lot of recycling of parts going on here. I didn’t add dimensions because they’re arbitrary, and they’d confuse the diagram. I omitted the corner braces for the same reason. There’s a lot of batch-cutting of mortises and tenons if you use that method.

Note, I beefed up the long aprons for the long tables, but the reveal is still the same for all tables. The legs are also in the same relative positions for all tables (reducing screw holes). If you use mortise & tenon joinery to add strength to the leg/apron joint, make sure they’re all identical/interchangeable. If offset properly on the beefier aprons, the reveals will be the same.

Like I said, if you add a middle pair of legs, you might be able to optimize the apron lengths and number of sets you’d need, but that hurts my brain. Square tops would make only one “large” table possible.

Table Plan

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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rhett

699 posts in 2422 days


#11 posted 10-17-2008 11:57 PM

Are you planning on having a 10’ table in your dining room full time? There are some really nice table extension mechanisms that will give up to 60” of travel. I would also like to add that you may want to check out osbourne wood products for your legs. The link you gave seems awfully expensive on their products.

-- It's only wood.

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PaBull

928 posts in 2419 days


#12 posted 10-18-2008 04:31 PM

Rhett, yes full time, we have 11 kids….2 moved out, 9 to go.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

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PaBull

928 posts in 2419 days


#13 posted 10-18-2008 04:35 PM

Very clever, Captain, but we are going for the harvest table look. One big table.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

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