A table, a really, really BIG table

For reasons we will not go into here, I have been drafted to construct a matte cutting table for an artist friend. We currently have worked out the rough dimensions to be 34" x 67 1/2" x 72". The matte cutting device is 67" x 15" and the table needs to be big enough to handle another 60" of width. The matte cutter's base is an inch thick and the rest of the table top needs to be just shy of level with the matte cutter. (The 1/16th or so difference will be made up by cardboard.) The artist would like horizontal storage across 42" of width, and individual vertical storage `cubbies' across the remainder of the width. Once completed, this project will be far larger than anything I have built previously. I would appreciate any suggestions about general construction, not to mention references to plans of any kind, including `for purchase' plans. Weight is obviously a concern, though given its size I don't see anyway that it can be anything other than heavy. Hence, I need good advice on how to make it strong to handle all its own weight.
As always, thanks in advance..
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On Sat, 14 Feb 2004 20:56:39 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@bloomberg.net (Larry Levinson) wrote:

make it in pieces small enough that one person can carry them, and that will fit through a doorway.
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Give some thought to torsion box construction for the top. I'd also think about making the storage in sections on casters so that the thing can be moved. Just roll them under the top surface.
RB
Larry Levinson wrote:

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Lets see what kind of torsion loads is this table going to take ? bending loads maybe but surely not torsion. So if just bending is the case just put two hollow core doors together....mjh
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Larry Levinson wrote:

First off, the width. Is 72" the width dimension?. You don't mention if this is freestanding (an island) or if it's going up against a wall. Based on not knowing that,
Start with a toe board assembly (the recessed space at the floor). Make this out of good and straight 2 X 4's. Make it so the recess is 3" from the face of the cabinets. The construction for this is typically called a ladder frame for obvious reasons. I usually place "rungs" at intervals to match my cabinet widths and in the case of wider (42") cabinets one in between. It's doubtful that you'll need to secure this to the floor as once you have it loaded down with cabinets and the top the sheer weight will keep it from moving. You will/should level this when it's put down.
As others have said make your cabinets individual for the obvious access and moving reasons. Cut all your cabinet sides at one time so they match. Cut all your bottoms and tops at the same time so they match. Cut all your backs at the same time so they match. Also, it probably wouldn't hurt to have 3/4" backs if you are using a butt construction and screwing the cabinets together. If you are using a 1/4" back you should consider letting it into a groove. This is because the friend will be sliding things in and out and those things will bang into the cabinet backs. A flimsy back will eventually give way.
Arrange the cabinets onto the toe board assembly and attach with screws through the cabinet bottom and into the ladder frame below. No it's not pretty but I'm not thinking you're going for any contests here and besides once the cabinets are full you probably won't see the screws.
If this is an island you'll have cabinets all around (?) so you won't have to worry too much about additional support for the work top on all edges. If it's against the wall and the cabinets do not go all the way to the wall you'll need additional support as required to fill in. You can do a number of things here. A 2X ledger at the wall may be enough if the remaining space isn't too great. Another (smaller) ladder frame could bridge this area. Attach it to the backs of the cabinets and the wall. Or, just make your cabinets as deep as the space (5'ish). This may be more than your friend needs so you might want to locate your cabinet backs only as far back as needed, i.e., 24" from the face of your cabinet opening. This ia called a false back.
Since you have two levels for the top I would start with a single layer of 3/4" material across the entire 67 1/2" X 72" and build up the remaining area (the thickness of the mat cutter).
And oh yeah, the 42" wide cabinets, what did you have in mind to keep the shelves from sagging?

Oh hell, this is a piece of cake. I'm working on a residential project where the kitchen island is 72" X 120" and it gets a 3cm (1 1/4" Tom) granite top. "That" is heavy. For what it's worth, I'm making no changes to our standard construction as the weight of the top is spread out across several cabinets below.
Keep a thing or two in mind when you are sizing your components. Typically the counter overhangs the casework by an inch. More than an inch is OK but I wouldn't go less. The toe boards are typically recessed 3". You can go more but I wouldn't go less.

Again, without knowing the particulars...

And in hindsight, I accept your thanks on behalf of the group.

Ditto.
UA100
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