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I am making a cherry dining table for my wife (her design!). The legs are made from solid 12/4 cherry and are tapered.
Question. The table measures 36" X 54" from rail to rail. Do I have to support this table top from the center to prevent sag? The top will be made from 4/4 solid cherry milled down to 0.75" - 0.8"
I know I would usually consult "The Sagulator", but this isn't really a shelf.
Am I insane or should this not be a concern? Or both? :)
You can see my progress here:
http://www.garagewoodworks.com/Cherry_Table.htm
Thank you!
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Stoutman
http://www.garagewoodworks.com
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I meant to say should I provide support using a center rail not a 5th leg. :)
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Stoutman
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I thought the fifth leg would be rather novel. :) I would use a center rail.

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Is there a structural advantage to *not* doing so?
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wrote:

No. I am just wondering if it should be a concern. I tend to over worry about things.
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wrote:

As a friend of mine commented about his arc welding once; "I'm not much for pretty, but I'm hell for strong".(He was actually an excellent welder!) In your case, "why not"?
I'm assuming the top grain will run the long way. Probably wouldn't sag, but center support stop-dadoed into the side rails will add the support, and won't be seen anyway.
(I also tend to over-engineer).
Good luck, lookin' fine so far.
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Nahmie
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Yes.
Problem is I already glued up the table frame. It was then that I strated worrying about sag. If I throw in a center support rail I would probably glue it in with just a but joint and add metal L brackets and screws on the bottom and sides of the rail. What do ya think?

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Should work fine. Otherwise, do you have a bench you could put the frame up on it's side? Then use a router for the stopped dadoes.
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Nahmie
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Sounds like a perfect place for pocket screws.

rails
the
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Great spot for some pocket screws... and glue. Another method would be to rabbet a couple of cleats onto the ends of the cross-support and attaching that in a 'T' fashion with a couple of proper screws to the end grain. then screw the 'flange' to the inside of the skirt on both ends.
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the
I had a similar situation once, only I forgot to insert a centre support rail when I installed the entire face frame assembly. What I ended up doing was cut a centre support rail to size, fitted it to ensure it was of proper length and then used biscuits to glue it into place. Since I couldn't insert both biscuits and support rail considering the tightness of the fittings, I made top and bottom cuts with the biscuit joiner, with the top ones being slightly off to one side. I could fit and glue the bottom one properly in place but the top one I put the support rail in place and then with glue applied, slid the biscuit into place. Naturally, it was proud on the offset side, but after the glue dried, I trimmed the proud part off and it was virtually unnoticeable unless I leaned over and looked up at the bottom side of the rail. Worked like a charm.
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How many books do you plan to pile on it? Bugs
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are
to
be made

a
Both :)
The top is going to be supported/attached on all four sides...it isn't going to sag. However, if you were to whack it with a sledge hammer or stack a bunch of concrete blocks on it, it might split so don't do either.
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dadiOH
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Nope, you have skirts for that purpose. Now if you plan on using the table for storage with a lot of weight another support between the skirts may not hurt.

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First, if it makes any difference to you, my degree is in mechanical engineering with a concentration in materials engineering. My opinion is that you do not need any additional support. Your end conditions won't allow for much movement. If you hadn't already assembled the thing, I might say "oh, what the hell", but I really wouldn't bother with it now.
I know you didn't ask, but I'm going to say that solely IMO, 3/4" finished is too thin for a top this size. In fact, 3/4" is too thin for just about any size. For my money, If I were doing it, I'd be starting at least with 5/4 and maybe 6/4. Just my $0.02. And it will minimize any sag ;-).
todd
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todd said: snip

Stoutman, FWIW, I agree with todd 5/4 would look better. 3/4" is so mundane. I try to avoid using it whenever I can.
Dave
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It is all in how you treat the edges. With the right profile router bit you can make the 3/4" appear thicker or thinner.
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Agreed - to a point. With a slight taper it will appear somewhat thicker. However, 3/4" is still boring. Todd could still add a edge/skirt to the top to make it appear heavier.
Dave
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For what its worth, I came to the same basic conclusion as Todd before reading down this far. IMO, the top will look weak at 0.75~0.8". And, going 6/4 would alleviate the issues related to strength.
Thas $0.04 now...:)
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Hey Stoutman,
Whats up with the painters tape on the skirt piece?
RangerPaul
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