Conference table design


Hi all,
I'm seeking some design ideas for a conference table. We have one right with a wood top (42" x 96" / white oak) mounted on a steel base (which looks nice by the way). I don't want to complicate my life and we will reuse the base. In a nutshell, I just need the table top to be redone but I'd like something that stands out either by the edge treatment or some other nice features. Please, no carving or veneer work - it's an architect firm and I'm not equipped in my shop to handle such type of work.
Obviously, I would like to integrate inside the table some new features we didn't have a few years ago (network plugs for laptops - electrical outlets, etc...) - I don't really know what to plan for.
Any help from people here who can proudly say: "been there, done that"?
Thank you very much for any help.
Cyberben
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Uhh... Architect's? Too bad there isn't anyone around with training, strong opinions and daily experience with design and materials selection. Maybe then you could get some input.
Not trying to be an ass, but wouldn't an Architect's office be able to provide all of the required input?
BW
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Well, it just happens that they have no time for this and they're specialized in labs... They know squat about how to integrate IT stuff into the table.
Unfortunately, architects aren't gods knowing everything like many people think sometimes.
Cyberben
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On the contrary, I don't expect much at all from an architect and see how this table would be beyond them. Few architects can design anything without the aid of a number of "consultants".

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One would think, eh? My experience with architects has been varied. Some think they are 'designers/artists', others think they're mechanical engineers. One particular architect bought an upgraded library to the software he uses, now everything he builds has frickin' palladium windows all over the place. Another example is an architect who uses 2" x 7" x 'whatever length' solid oak handrails in hallways and always uses the same colours of PLam and paint, no matter what he's building. A local bank now looks like a local school and local customs office... we have named his colour scheme after him by name... kinda funny, really. Architects seldom have a creative bone in their body, at least the ones I have dealt with. Most residential stuff now comes from Plans-R-Us or HomePlanOfTheMonth Club. The latest rage is 9-foot ceilings...again.
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OK - 'nuff replies w/o suggestions.
Take a look at the steelcase e-table for a few ideas. http://www.steelcase.com/na/products.aspx?f 650
Power is a must IMO. Network is not too critical as wireless is very inexpensive and will reduce table clutter. You will also want to consider AV. Is a projector used on the table? If you could mount the projector on the ceiling or back wall then you would need to run a cable to the table and have a jack to plug into the projector. (I think there are some new things to do this wirelessly too, check linksys)
When I modified a conference room table once, all I did was build a box in the middle, it was sized to properly elevate the projector and had standard duplex outlets on all 4 sides. Power was in conduit under floor run into table.
Also - Rockler has some table/desk components that may give you some ideas. http://www.rockler.com/CategoryView.cfm?Cat_ID 0
Smarthome may also have some fun stuff. http://www.smarthome.com/2540fb.html
Have fun and let us know what you decide. If you must have network let me know, reply to this post, and I can help you there.

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