Need Design input on table: Symmetric or Asymmetric?

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Forum topic by Mammatus posted 188 days ago 519 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 631 days

188 days ago

OK – I’m building this table for my mom from a beautiful slice of a maple tree that was cut down on her property a few years ago. I finally got around to chiseling off all the bark and sanding it to a beautiful, smooth surface.

I’m trying to figure out how to design the legs. A few months ago I built a small play table for my daughters and I’m borrowing from the design of that to build similar legs for this table out of 3/4” stock.

With this new table, I have come up with two possible designs. I like the fact that the maple slice is not symmetric – on one side, it has a much steeper slope rather than just a 90-degree edge. I’d like to mimic that asymmetry in the legs, so I came up with this plan which would have the legs sort of mimic the angle of the slab. Note that only one of the three legs would have that exaggerated angle…the other three would all be just a few degrees off of vertical. That is option #1. Alternatively, I could just make all four legs be symmetric; that is Option #2.

I’ve mocked up the legs with some spare hardboard so I could get an idea of what the finished product might look like (note the finished legs will be thicker and a lighter shade more closely matching the maple top). So , I turn to you: Which of the two options do you like better:

[size=150]Option #1:[/size]

[size=150]Option #2:[/size]

9 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1427 posts in 995 days

#1 posted 188 days ago


-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View gfadvm's profile


10737 posts in 1324 days

#2 posted 188 days ago

Both designs look good to me. I want to know how you got that “cookie” dried without cracking?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)


3902 posts in 490 days

#3 posted 188 days ago

#2. I think that angled leg would be a problem since it sticks out past the edge of the table.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

View richardwootton's profile


1178 posts in 589 days

#4 posted 188 days ago

Both look pretty good to me, but I’d go with narrower legs. +1 to wanting to know how that cookie didn’t crack.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View mrjinx007's profile


1373 posts in 401 days

#5 posted 188 days ago

It is a beautiful piece with no cracks on it. Whatever you do with it, it should turn out nice.


View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

482 posts in 1165 days

#6 posted 188 days ago

#1 – the asymmetry of the legs works well with the asymmetry of the slice. But what Richard said – make the legs narrower, maybe as small as half what your mock up uses.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Mammatus's profile


21 posts in 631 days

#7 posted 175 days ago

Thank you all for the input.

The cookie was cut a few years ago from a healthy tree, but one that needed to be removed due to interference with utility lines. Within days of it being cut, a friend sealed both sides with a single thick coating of poly that was slopped on. Apparently that helped slow the drying down enough to minimize cracking.

So is the consensus for narrower legs, regardless of the design?

View LakeLover's profile


275 posts in 573 days

#8 posted 175 days ago

#1 with more of a hook at the end, to tuck it in a tad.

Maybe mock it up with thinner legs and a color closer to finished.

How thick are the legs ? You can play with the visual weight on how you treat the edges.

Gonna look great, post a finished pic.

View Mammatus's profile


21 posts in 631 days

#9 posted 175 days ago

What do you mean by more of a hook? Curve the far-reaching leg back in a bit on the outside edge?

I’m planning to use oak plywood for the legs…and I’ll add some oak veneer to the edges for the appearance of solid boards…and was planning on them being 3/4” thick.

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