Table top thickness

I'm (finally) starting on my dining room table and was wondering 2 questions.
1. I'm planning on making it 2" thick (probably mahogany or white oak, depends on the wife). I'd like the ability to sand it down after the kids have beat the crap out of it, and refinish it. 2" enough, too much?
2. Is it better to have 8/4 wood or 2 sets of 4/4 wood and glue them together?
Thanks in advance.
--

Mike



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
HarryM wrote:

Thickness can change, don't have to go with 8/4. Considered Brazillian mahogany as a buddy had a great lead on some at a great price, but heard it was too soft. Course Oak's not much harder.
Could go with 1 1/4 or 1 1/8. Just want to leave enough for stripping, sanding and refinishing a few times.
Tahnks for the replies.
--

Mike



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm also planning on building a kitchen table. I have some 2 x 2 maple and was also trying to decide on final thickness. It would be great to have a 2" thick top with 2 small kids, but I might need a crane to get it into the kitchen. So I appreciate the info here.
A related question is what is the best way to attach the top to the apron. I was thinking about using the homemade cleat and groove method, but will that provide for adequate movement?
Chuck
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I just finished a 76" by 35" harvest table out of yellow pine, and the top was 1.5" thick. I used 8/4 rough material, and each board was 12" wide. this top was seriously heavy - perhaps 100 pounds, and it was a chore to move it around once it was glued up but not yet trimmed to length. The thickness was a design element - I put a 1" deep chamfer on the underside edge of the top, leaving a 1/2" rim. Other tables I've made have had a 5/4" rough top, leaving just over 1" finished, and they ahve been very substantial.
Brian

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I bought a 1.75" thick 72" by 30" butcher block maple work bench top from KBC Tools, $271US, and 104 pounds shipping weight, for comparison. I like the cleat/groove method of attaching tops, personally. I used my top as a counter top in the kitchen.
Brian

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
WoodChuck34 wrote:

Wanted to try maple, but seemes too hard and would chip or dent easily.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The cleat and groove method will work fine. A few points if you go with that method.
1. Make the cleats with the grain running perpendicular to the apron so the tounge won't easily split off.
2. Make sure the groove is not only long enough to allow for expansion but also deep enough top allow some in and out too.
3. Keep in mind that most of the movement will be inline with the grain, not across the grain so that is the direction to ensure the most allowance for movement.
4. Decide on your hold down points as late as possible in the building process so you can place them strategicially to assit in pulling out any cup or bow in your top.
Finally, I prefer table irons, the little figure 8 shaped metal hold downs that you place in a bored hole that breaks the inside edge of the apron. They can twist to account for movement in any direction and are a lot quicker to layout and mill than slots and cleats. I can pull out a Forstner and a hand drill and place them at the very last moment, even though I have been having great luck with glue ups since I started milling my stock from rough for any glue ups.
snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net (WoodChuck34) wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 01:26:39 GMT, "Mike Rinken"

Unless you're going to use a flooring sander (and maybe even then) to sand the thing down, I'd make it 3/4" in the field with a build up strip on the perimeter.
The two inches would be a wasteful use of the wood and make the thing heavy as hell to move around. It's too carpenterish. I know about this because I started at woodworking as a carpenter and built everything as though trucks were going to roll on it, for a long time.
Furniture making is about "moveable goods". Use the least amount of wood to get the job done and keep the thing moveable. This way you can spend your money on getting some really interesting oak, instead of the budget telling you to buy in bulk.
Regards, Tom. Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Good point tom. Most of us do subscribe to overkill when we first started. Mass does not equal quality. Sure seems like it should though!
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Use the least amount of wood to get the job done"?? I understand what you're saying but sometimes a little mass does get the "job done" better purely from an aesthetic point of view. Agree?
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That sounds good. Strong enough to not fall apart, light enough for your wife to move it.
I have seen a few things built by the beginner. If a 1 X 1 will do the job, a 2 x 2 will be better, so let us use a 4 X 4. But to be on the safe side, let us use an 8 X 8 so it won't fall down. Might have to lay down a 2 ft. thick concrete floor to hold it without the floor cracking, but what the heck -----
Well, its all in good clean fun. and I see a lot of real good answers given to the beginners, I hope that it will continue that way. When I started, there wasn't anyone that I could ask. I used the Library and bought books, ruined a few things while learning, made some things that looked just terrible, but I was proud of them, and yes, I have overbuilt before I learned just how strong a thin piece of wood can be when used the right way.
Jack
wrote:

kids
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Er...in my humble opinion the thickness required is as follows....
Brownspotter age level -can get by with 1" thickness, depends on finish applied. Snotgobbler age level -1-1/2" Rugrat age -1.5 to 2" thick Tableape age -minimum 2" thick (make sure legs are close to table top corners to prevent tipping of the table when child(?) goes to the table corner. After this age level I'd simple ensure that the top is easily removable because damage will be so severe that it won't be able to be saved. Hope this helps ;-)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.