Coffe Table overhang.

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Forum topic by douginaz posted 08-08-2007 12:54 AM 9400 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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220 posts in 3999 days

08-08-2007 12:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut coffe table cabriole legs

Hi All, I’m in a bit of a bind here. The coffee table I’ve been working on is ready for a top. I hadn’t given this much thought early in the process. I figured I’d just pick an overhang and go. Well it aint so simple. I can’t do a mock up of the top for lack of the appropriate thickness. I’m thinking 6/4 should work nice. So I’m looking at the golden mean section and trying to figure out the overhang from it. No luck, so, if any of you jocks or jocketts have a formula or theory I’d sure like to have a copy of it.
Doug in AZ.
Dry fit

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at

6 replies so far

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4270 days

#1 posted 08-08-2007 01:23 AM


Here is a link for you to try. Once on the site click on the word Coffee Table and it will open another window where you can put in the dimensions of your base length, height and width and the size of the legs and give you a recommendation for the size of the top. I tried the calculator and it seems to work but I don’t know if it is what you are looking for.

This appears to be if you have an idea of what size of table you want. So it won’t give you just the top size. Thought it may work but it looks like it won’t. Sorry…..

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Aubster's profile


132 posts in 4025 days

#2 posted 08-08-2007 01:28 AM

What I normally do is multiply the width that I choose by 1.6 to get close to the golden ratio. I believe the golden ratio is the width times 1.618….... Any LB’s will correct me me if I am wrong. Good luck.

-- A man who moves mountains starts one stone at a time.

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Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3959 days

#3 posted 08-08-2007 01:34 AM

Your design smacks of Chippendale or that period. There was a table in I think FWW that was a tea table I think one issue ago. See if you can find that one . It had a shaped top. I have use an over hang of twice the thickness of the top. Phi says 1.5 thick should over hang 2.427. that’s close enough for me. 1.25 and the over hang should be 2.02. The Golden Mean is usually correct but 1-2-3 will still please the eye. That’s twice the thickness of the top for the over hang and three times the top fo the apron. Your apron appears to be fairly wide so a 1.25 top with 2.5 overhang and a 3.75 inch apron. You should get a lot of answers to this one. good luck.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3994 days

#4 posted 08-08-2007 05:00 AM

I think 2-3” all the way around would probably be about right. Especially cause the legs sit proud of he aprons.

What size is your base?

What method will you use to fasten the top to the table?

re: the mock up – you could make 6/4 top out of cardboard and/or plywood! I see lots of mock up material behind your saw!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View douginaz's profile


220 posts in 3999 days

#5 posted 08-08-2007 04:25 PM

Thanks for the replies. It was pretty rude of me not to include the size of the base. Sorry about that. 19-1/2” high X 21-1/2” wide X 44” long. The apron is 6” at the widest point. The table size, height and aprons were the brain child of SWMBO. The curve of the apron had to match the curve of the leg. The knee height was determined by a formula I got from a book by Jeffery P. Greene titled American Furniture of the 18th. Century. The book fails to answer the question of overhang.
Dorje, great idea about the cardboard. I will make a mock up this afternoon. I am going to make a 1/4” dado about 1” down from the top, then use some of Norms wooden blocks to secure the top.
Thos. Angle- the design came from one of those mail order catalogs that the wife loves to look at. It does resemble the Chippendale with out the ornamentation. I know about 2X3X5 system but am not familiar with the 123 method. Care to elaborate?
Aubster- Not sure I understand, how can I choose a width and multiply when it is the over hang that dictates the width? Did you mean the width of the base?
Max- Thanks for the link, I keep forgetting about those guys, when I plugged my info into the calculator, it told me I need a length equal to the length of my base, this leads me to believe they are talking about a box top not a plank top.

Doug in AZ.

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3994 days

#6 posted 08-08-2007 09:31 PM

Just thinking out loud here: for the top to extend 3” over at the ends, the top would be 50” long, then the golden ratio would give us a width of ~31”. If you went with 30”, your sides would extend ~4”...

Let us know what size you mock up…and post pics if you would!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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