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Large dining room table5/24
So, I've built tables before, but nothing quite this size. It will be 7'-9" wide, and 16' long. I'll be building it out of reclaimed oak. The top will be 1 3/4" x 9 5/16" planks (yep, we will need several Samoans to lift it into place), and to make it worse, I think I will use iron channel to stabilize and strengthen the top. It will be rustic, and I will build the base in 3 sections and assemble onsite. I've got some ideas of how to attack this, but am posting this simply to solicit thoughts, suggestions, ideas, and comments. Thanks
Are you planning to join those giant planks or leave little gaps?
Yes, I will join them and glue them up. The wood is very old, and pretty stable. I am constantly checking rh and mc, so am not really concerned with that. If they have gathered moisture from somewhere, I'll throw them in the kiln for a few days. And I am in Utah, and the table will be staying in Utah, so pretty dry.
Is this a conference table or a dinning table? If this is for a dinning table they might want to rethink the almost 8 foot width as the only way to pass the salt across the table would be to throw it. A table that wide would also tend to stifle dinner conversation.
Aye, the wenches be dancin' on that table and you don' want them kickin' either food or drink at ye, eh?
You're doing the right thing joining them, however I find it very hard to successfully join planks that big with the equipment I have. Hopefully you're better equipped.
We did a mock up in place at their castle, and did check the reach across the table. We decided that we will also build a couple large removable lazy susans. The table had started out at 8-6x17, and they decided to shrink it some. I guess there are some family members who they don't mind not having conversation with, so they didn't want to shrink it too much. haha We also joked about having a shuffle board stick to push food back and forth.
I don't know how well my shop is set up for this either, since this is the largest I have built, but thank goodness it's "rustic" that will hide a few sins anyway. ; ) Thanks guys
I always kringe when I read about strengthing wood with steel. I don't know anything about your weather, but won't there be swings in humidity some time of the year? Maybe you are planning on slots to let the wood move. And isn't that over 800 pounds of wood, just in the top. Can't imagine trying to start a 90 pound board on the jointer, with 13' hanging off the bed. Sure hope that stock is straight line ripped.
Kris Kringe agrees - no steal.
Hi, seems like move the tools to the wood instead oif the wood to the tools! I am thinking straight edge( aluminum angle works good, no harm if router nicks it), then clean edges, then drill and add dowels, then drill and use threaded rod, but but some die springs made for tool and die jobs, this will be the expansion contraction "give", plug the edges where the threaded rod is? then hand power plane / sand? free advice! use it as u see fit!
Wow! Awesome contribution, thanks! So now to details. This wood is over 60 years old, and is actually pretty dang straight. I will need to join them, just to clean up the edges a little, and have built a long jig for the joiner that was used for building large box beam material. I was going to use steel channel and let it in with a plunge saw into the bottom of the planks, after using a festool domino to join the edges of the planks. The channel would be screwed to the planks from underneath. I would build the table in two halves lengthwise (3-5 3/8 x 16'-leaving one plank out, as my wide belt is only 43"wide), run the two halves and the plank through the wide belt sander, then join the two halves and the extra plank together and hand plane and hand sand the center seams to finish. The skirting would be pocket screwed to the underside of the table, and the legs are difficult to describe without a sketch, but they will be double decoratively bandsawn square legs on a single wide food with stretchers in between them. The foot on the bottom and a board on the top that will be screwed to the underside of the top. I will do three of the leg/foot components on near each end, and one in the center. The stretchers connecting the feet will be mortised and tenoned into the feet. I had planned on two steel channels in between the three leg/'foot components for extra stability. So that's the plan, but I'm not too proud to change plans based on good contribution. Thanks again.
The problem I have encountered with the kind of thing you're doing -- in addition to the awesome task of schlepping huge planks etc -- is that "pretty dang straight" isn't straight enough to make a consistently seamless glue joint -- and if 85% of the top is seamlessly glued and the remaining 15% doesn't quite join, it looks like a mistake. But hopefully your jig will enable you to join it perfectly. I know first hand there is a market for these monsters and not only to Vikings.
Point taken. Do you think I'd be better off straightening and cleaning up the edges with the Festool tracksaw? I have enough track to reach the length.
The one "out" that bounces around in the back of my mind is that it is "rustic" and many of the "mistakes" can be disguised as such. That's what we've done hundreds of times on lots of different projects. We don't use it as an excuse for inferior workmanship, but sometimes we are dealt character inherent to the old wood, and add to that character with our methods. Maybe that sounds like a lame explanation, but things have really turned out very cool in the past. I suppose we could invest thousands of dollars to improve the shop to the point that all was perfect, but...Idk, seems like we'd lose some of the charm, and start to creep into things being obviously machine made. In the past, we've been able to achieve the balance without it looking crappy. I'm kind of hoping we can achieve the same results even on a massive table.
I know what you're saying, Ron. We do the same thing.
You have checked on the size of the front door of the house haven't you? Getting an 8' wide table carried by carts and 8 people will surely be a project.
Hehe...it's a drawbridge...; )
Ron has it exactly right. You take what the wood gives you.Any imperfections can be explained as "charachter". Sounds like it will be very nice,,JD
Yep, and "charachter" seems to go hand in hand with giant tables.
I have built large oak tables, but I used quartersawn white oak. I edge glued the boards, built a French country style base and after a decade the joints are still tight. I allowed for expansion and contraction of the top.
Wood is plenty strong - I see no need for metal to be included in the top.
I made a large conference table,4ft x 13 ft. To make the glue jonts I use the festool saw on the track and than 10mm dominoes about every 8 inch apart. To keep the table straight and from cupping I mounted iron bars under the table, they are V shaped with a horizon tall extention at the top on each side of the V that have longitute slots for the wide flathead screws(for expantion or contraction)
Plan ahead. You may need to import the Samoans from Vegas. ^^^
I think you should think once more on the size. After you glue the edges properly and dry them, decorate it with candles and a vase of red and yellow rose.
If you haven't glued up already, think about a small chamfer of each plank at the glue line. do it with a spokeshave or block plane so it wont be 'router' perfect. It will add to the rustic and disguise any cracks...
What are you building the tables out of?