making a table?

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Hi there, this is my first post (and first wood working project!).
I'd like to build a table. For simplicities sake, we'll say it's a coffee table, dimensions 2 x 8.
My plan is to use some sort of engineering epoxy to stick two pieces of sheet metal together, then using either wood glue or epoxy again to encase the now one piece of sheet metal between two thin pieces of wood.
So in recap, I now have a 2 x 8 metal sandwich that's (by layer): Wood -> Metal -> Metal-> Wood. After this, I assume, I should sand the pieces of wood, and probably the sides as well. I plan on staining the wood, then painting a design on it.
After the staining/painting process, it'll be time to attach the legs. I do not want straight legs, I want those slightly bowed legs with feet on them...Know what I'm talking about? Somehow, I'd like to get it flush with the bottom of the table, so there's no apparent attachment when looking at it from the sides. Perhaps, if I can figure out how, making a frame around the "meat" of the table, so it isn't apparent that sheet metal was used. It would also manage to put the potentially sharp metal edges safely away. At this point, the entire table will be constructed, sanded, stained, and painted.
Now the finishing. This table will most likely have a lot of liquid spilled on it. My thoughts were to put some type of lacquer on first, then polyurethane, then something to the effect of an automotive clearcoat. Basically, I want the table to have a deep red stain (almost burgundy in color) and be very polished and shiny.
I plan on applying a large amount of clear coat coats to the surface of the table, to give it a very hard, very shiny, very smooth, surface.
If this doesn't make sense at all, it's probably because I'm a college student with absolutely no wood, metal, or generally working background. The table is actually going to be a beer pong table, and if you don't know what that is, please don't educate yourself because you'll think I'm even crazier than before. ======================== Can anyone recommend a type of wood, stain, glues, epoxies, general materials, and tell me what will and what will not work in my current plan?
Thanks for the time and help in advance,
-Kevin
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: Hi there, this is my first post (and first wood working project!).
: I'd like to build a table. For simplicities sake, we'll say it's a : coffee table, dimensions 2 x 8.
: My plan is to use some sort of engineering epoxy to stick two pieces : of sheet metal together, then using either wood glue or epoxy again to : encase the now one piece of sheet metal between two thin pieces of : wood.
Why the metal? Unless yoyu need to attach magnets to it, just use plywood and/or MDF.
: So in recap, I now have a 2 x 8 metal sandwich that's (by layer): Wood : -> Metal -> Metal-> Wood.
: After this, I assume, I should sand the pieces of wood, and probably : the sides as well. I plan on staining the wood, then painting a : design on it.
I'm beginning to think this is a troll. If not ... what's the point of staining wood, then painting it? Or would the painted bit be a smaller section?
: After the staining/painting process, it'll be time to attach the : legs. I do not want straight legs, I want those slightly bowed legs : with feet on them...Know what I'm talking about?
Nope.
: Now the finishing. This table will most likely have a lot of liquid : spilled on it. My thoughts were to put some type of lacquer on first, : then polyurethane, then something to the effect of an automotive : clearcoat. Basically, I want the table to have a deep red stain : (almost burgundy in color) and be very polished and shiny.
Use plywood or MDF.
Paint it whatever color you like. Let the paint cure, then use a pour-on thick epoxy that's made for exactly this purpose (thick, shiny, liquid-proof coating). Attach the legs of your choice, then you're done.
    -- Andy Barss
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Ha, not a troll, sir. Thank you for your response and help.
The metal is to make sure a drunk kid leaning on it doesn't snap it, while still leaving it pretty thin.
Sorry for not more clearly stating my intentions: The top of the table is to have an argyle design, allowing the wood to show through in 2 ranks of diamonds. There will also be a large patch of unpainted wood visible where a coat of arms will be painted.
the legs I'm talking about are
http://www.bigbullbilliards.com/images/products/tablelegs013.jpg
on the left in that picture.
forgive my ignorance, but what is MDF? Also, won't a pour on epoxy run off the table? or how do you control that?
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I don't think the metal will add all that much strength, expecially for the work involved to laminate all of this together
You can get a lot of stgrenght by using a plywood top and making a skirt around the sides for structural support. You can always put a third strip along the center.
Plywood looks good and a sheet will make two tables. Real wood looks even better, requires glue up, clamping, and will cost about 50% more than plywood.
In case no one has looked yet, here is a link to beer pong rules http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_pong

Medium density fiberboard. Heavy, modest priced mateial available at any home center.
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Thanks for the help, Edwin.
My original thoughts on plywood were that it was flimsy, weak, and would look terrible for what I had in mind. I think I would much rather attempt to find some real wood, that would look nice (recommendations?). I'm going for a color scheme of dark red wood (almost burgundy, I'll probably have to stain?), a darker forest green and off white for the other diamonds in the argyle, and gold accents. I'm assuming that most woods will be reliable and stout, so my primary concern is how the finished product would look as a whole.
also, to clear up some confusion, are you saying I should stick two pieces together so it's double-layered? MDF was a good recommendation for strength, but I don't think it would look very nice.
Any other thoughts?
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I'm talking about finished plywood, such as cherry, birch, oak, that is furniture grade, not the stuff used for sheathing in construction. 3/4" is very stiff.

One piece of plywood, cut to size. Then take either strips of the plywood or 1 x 3 of regular wood and screw and glue them to the bottom, on edge, for strength. Like building a bridge, it will be strong and stiff. Take a look at how many table tops are built with a skirt around them.
MDF is a paint grade material. Smooth and flat, but poor appearance.
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On Wed, 24 Oct 2007 20:32:21 -0700, Frogtarded

No, MDF is not recommended for strength. Solid wood or ply is stronger. For more strength the legs should not be more than 3 or 4 feet apart, or you can have 5 or 6 legs.
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On Thu, 25 Oct 2007 01:37:17 -0000, Frogtarded

wood move if it is epoxied? What is the reason for the metal?

Hanger bolts will work, although this is never used with "fine woodworking" practices.

Why not make the coffee table entirely out of metal?

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Frogtarded wrote:

1. Get a part time job. 2. Save your money 3. When you have enough $$ saved go to a cabinet shop and pay them to build it.
PS - the legs you want are cabriole legs.
--

dadiOH
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Frogtarded wrote:

Wood is laminated to metal to create private aircraft interiors. This is possible.

Why the second layer of metal?

Still similar to an airplane.

Cabriole?
I thought you were trying to create a razor thin look. Since you're not, maybe you should replace the metal with cabinet grade plywood. The plywood can be more esily veneered with your final surface.

Stain to your color, and use a polyurethane, tabletop varnish, or "bar top finish".

Bar top finish.

Beer pong is fun. You'll need this table to be durable, so it won't collapse under the passed out chicks. <G>
Skip the metal, use plywood, buy premade legs, use Minwax stains and polyurethane finish. Try everything on scrap before you do it to the project.
An alternative is to simply find a table at a junk store and make a plywood cover that fits over it. You can then decorate the plywood to your taste.
Don't forget to post pictures of the finished project, preferably with the chicks.
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Hey guys, thanks for helping me out.
Barry, I am going for a very thin look, the border I was talking about would be flush with the top and bottom of the table. Also, to the question "Why the 2nd layer of metal", my ignorance led me to believe that two pieces of metal will be stronger than one. :)
Should I paint the argyle and crest designs on after the polyurethane?
also, if the top of the table and the legs are two different types of wood, would that effect the coloration after staining?
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Frogtarded wrote:

I would seal the stained wood with two coats of _spray_ shellac (Zinnser - yellow can), paint on the logos, seal it again with two more coats of spray shellac, then polyurethane it. You can brush the poly, but brushing shellac is NOT the same as in the spray can, and isn't meant to go under polyurethane. The spray shellac will create a barrier coat, to protect the stain from your paint, and the paint from the polyurethane. Don't skip it. Spray cans apply a rather thin coat, so do two.
Build your polyurethane coats slowly, don't try to build too thick of a coat at once. _Lightly_ scuff between coats, to remove dust nibs, with 400 grit sandpaper and a sanding block. Wipe the surface with a clean cloth dampened with paint thinner right before each polyurethane coat.
Please, try all of this on a scrap before your project.

That depends on the stain and the wood. Oak is easily obtainable at home centers and is probably the easiest wood to stain. Pine, maple, and poplar can get pretty blotchy if stained dark. If you stick to a "natural" stain, most woods that you would use would probably look fine together.
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Earlier you mentioned a bartop finish, and someone else mentioned a pour on epoxy. Would those be considered the polyurethane, or is it different? could you tell me more about those?
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Frogtarded wrote:

The one I'm familiar with is a two-part resin, which is an epoxy:
<http://www.bartopepoxy.com/?gclid=CMfZu6zaqo8CFQpjHgodEW4pKA
Bring money.
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Whoooa. Any other suggestions? ha.
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Frogtarded wrote:

Carefully applied polyurethane.
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Using that scuff, wipe, coat method?
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Frogtarded wrote:

Yup!
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Frogtarded wrote:

Yeah - buy it here... http://www.uscomposites.com/kk121.html
--

dadiOH
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Much more affordable, thank you.
Should I just polyurethane the legs and then attach them?
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