# Parsons Sofa Table Appearance

• posted on May 17, 2010, 2:49 pm
I need to build some sofa tables to wrap around an "L" shaped black leather sectional. Each leg is about ten feet long, floor to top in the 30"-34" range, top width 12-15". I'm planning to make them of mahogany, probably with honed black slate tile inserts in the top.
First of all do any of you have any experience with same and if so, what size would you suggest for the leg and rail widths? I'm thinking about 2 1/2" - 3", sound about right for visual appearance?
Secondly is building the thing. Several possibilities...
1. Build two tables angled to 45 degrees where they meet, bolt the two together thru aprons at the angle.
Problem 1: how to handle the legs where they join. Have legs at each end just before the angle and let the angled portion just hang? Suggestions? I'm trying to find a way to do it without a bunch of legs all clustered together.
Problem 2: there will be no appreciable weight on the tables but ten feet is still a pretty long span. It would be easy to simply add intermediate legs though. Still, ten foot tables are a bit of a pain to handle.
2. Break down the ten feet into 2, maybe 3, sections.
Problem 1: same thing with the legs in problem 1 above but also where the sections meet. Ideally, a parson's table should flow...there should be symmetry. If I make multiple tables the legs would be double where the table ends meet. I could make each leg at the junction 1/2 the width but they would never line up to look like one legwhen the tables were set up. Maybe a slight bevel where they meet and cut a "V" quirk in the center of the full width legs?
Another possibility with two tables in each "L" is to make one table with four legs and the short apron on inside end set back behind the leg, make the other with no legs where it joins to the first and bolt the two aprons together.
Other thoughts?
As you can see, most of my concerns are with appearance...I want something simple with nice clean lines and minimal visible joints; all comments will be much appreciated.
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• posted on May 17, 2010, 4:20 pm

Haven't built exactly such but I would approach it like this.
1. Build two separate tables. 2. Make one longer, one shorter and butt the shorter one into the longer one at the corner. 3. Optionally have some hidden under attachment like a leaf latch if you are concerned about movement and alignment at the butt. 4. Make each with 6 legs per table, that is a long span. 5. Hold the apron back 3 inches along the long side and 6 inches at the ends to allow the legs at the butted section to be held back far enough to look nice.
I think if you did bread board ends it would actually look very nice at the corner with the bread board on the butted end having grain that lines up with the other table with a nice visual square at the corner where the two bread boards meet.
You could even get very stylish and add a bread board like divider in the top above the middle legs. Just a strange idea that popped into my head for symmetry.
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• posted on May 17, 2010, 7:15 pm

Settees have 6 legs and they don't look awkward.
If you joined the two tables at 45 degrees, how about having an inside apron, of one table, extend beyond the angle juncture to the outside apron of the other table. Only one leg would be required at the inside apron/angle junction for that inside corner. Does that description make sense?
Sonny
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• posted on May 17, 2010, 7:45 pm

here's one about 8' long that i made, including making the glass tiles for the top. red oak and purpleheart.
http://www.glassartists.org/Gal6621_Whimsies.asp
i'd make 2 that didn't attach, so i could move them around if needed.
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• posted on May 18, 2010, 1:28 am

How about three small tables, with two fillers that hang between them (sort of like bed rail attachment). If you used slate on the tables, and mahogany between, it could be an interesting contrast. Maybe hang the fillers an inch or two down to make it a bit more dynamic. It wouldn't hide the joints, but might make them a design element. just my 2 cents.
Ed
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• posted on May 19, 2010, 8:11 pm
Thanks for the thoughts, folks. Some good ones and they are now mulling around in my mind.
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