Trestle Table Design Question - leg separation distance

Page 1 of 2  
I've read some posts related to trestle table design, but am curious as to anyone's experiences after building it with relation to the distance between the "legs" and depth of the legs.
Specifically, table design standards specify 24" width per seating. The table I am building is modeled after a Stickley 599 that is 62" long and 36" wide with 2 15" leaves that can be attached to either end.
In designing where the legs will be mounted, I was assuming that they'd have to be 48" appart to account for the 24" per person. This would only leave 7" on each end, which would necessitate putting in the leaves if anyone wanted to sit on the end. Also not sure how the aesthetics would look with only that much overhang on the ends.
But I've seen some others designs that have them at 42" apart. How did that work out? Did they get in the way when trying to seat 2 people on a side? The answer to this could also lie in the distance the legs are back from the edge of the table. But since mine will only be 36" wide, in order to get the 12-14" depth from the table edge to the leg, it would mean that the legs are only 12" deep, not sturdy enough.
Anyway, any input is much appreciated. I am trying to get this done for Thanksgiving next week (wife's family is in town)!
Chad
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chad Richardson wrote: [snip]

[snip]
What's the standard overhang for an eat-on kitchen island? 12" ?
Josie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I believe the preferred overhang for any table type situation is 12-14", the latter being optimal.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Chad Richardson" wrote in message

Google a thread here earlier this year: Subject: trestle vs double pedestal table
I anguished over the design issue myself for some time last year, and put it into reality earlier this year. The following was posted by me a few months back"
"I recently designed and built a 70" X 42" Mission style trestle table that seats 8 fairly comfortably. It would be easy to increase the size of the top to accommodate two more. Although I had no plans, there is a simple shop drawing of sorts, and photo's of most of the process ... you are most welcome to use what you can. Project Journal, page 5 on the site below."
My overhang ended up being 12".
After some months of use, it is comfortable and the issue of overhang depth completely forgotten as ever being an issue. I am 6' tall, and it has never been a problem. That said, 14" overhang would be my preference if I could get it.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 11:08:56 -0700, Chad Richardson

I've been kicking around the exact same problem for a few weeks now; I could have written the same post.
There are trade-offs in every config. If you push the legs out toward the end, you can sit 4 comfortably with 2 per long side. If you pull the legs in so you can sit at the end, you can sit 4 confortably with 1 per side or end. Putting 2 on a long side means both need to straddle a trestle foot. But it does allow squeezing 6 without the leaves, although I think you'll be a tad tight on space.
If you regularly want to seat 6 without leaves, a standard non-trestle leg config will probably be more comfortable. If you can live with 4, the trestle location depends on how you would rather sit, 1 per side or 2 per long side.
In my case, due to the target space, a 2 per long side seating is required so I'll probably opt for the wide spaced trestles. FWIW, I was also concerned this wouldn't quite look right so I made a small 1/4 scale mock up of foamboard and it didn't look that bad at all. Also keep in mind if you go with the closer spaced trestles, you're going to have some serious overhang with the leaves attached.
BTW, how are those leaves attached/supported on that Stickley, that's another issue I haven't settled on.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Alan,
Thanks for the feedback. That's a great point about the overhang with the leaves. I did just finish drawing up a scaled drawing and the wider trestles look fine. Besides, 95% of the time seating for 4 is what is required. So I think I'll go with the 48" spaced trestles with a 7" overhang on the ends.
I need to go back to the Stickley store and check out the leaves. But from what I remember, there are two wooden rails that slide out from under the table that support the leaves. Then the leaves have pegs that fit into holes on the rails. You'd have to make the rails pretty wide to avoid tipping the leaf from the side. Or I may put a through tenon down through the support rails that can be pegged in place....
I'm also contemplating on how to attach the top to the trestles as I want it to be a total knock down table... So far considering hidden dove tailed rails or tenons that are perpendicular and come down from the top along side the trestles, and peg them into the the trestles....

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

[snip]
I've been looking at an Ethan Allen table that is about 40 years old - Early American or Colonial or maybe a Americanized mutt. It's 70" long x 38" wide and the distance between the ends of the table and the feet is 13". The ends of the table run across the table like the ends of a breadboard and this is where the table opens for inserting leaves at both ends. The center of one foot to the center of the other is 42" and the feet are 28" long. So, if you are thinking of the people who will be sitting on the sides of the table, there is only 5" between the sides of the table and the feet. The feet don't look skuffed so I guess people had enough foot room. And they didn't seem to care if the side sitters has 24" of foot room each.
Because of the 5" bread board ends they were able to attach sliding wooden tracks to the bread board ends and another set on the table itself. These slide out far enough for 2 leaves on each end - each one 12" wide. I guess that is why there are 12 chairs instead of 8 or 10. This simple (?) slide system then supports 29" of leaves per end? Maybe your 15" leaves are reasonable?
Joise
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

*FAULTY*ASSUMPTION!!!
The 'place setting' for a person can 'spill' _across_ the leg position, as long as the chair will fit 'inside' the leg position.
Mark off a point that is 12" from the center of the table. _center_ the chair width on that point. Put the leg just outside of the chair width.
Note: you _can_ cheat on the 24" spacing, _considerably_, for 'casual' to even 'semi-formal' dining. I built a D.R. table, that was, in the base configuration, 60x42(!). it seats 6 comfortably (2 on each side, plus 1 on each end). there are four 9" drop-in (in the middle of the table) extensions. Each leaf provides seating for *TWO* additional people. With an odd number of leaves, you seat 2 people on each end of the table -- 21" space, _plus_ 'nobody on the outside' *does* work. With an even number of leaves, you seat one person on each end, and one extra per 2 leaves on the sides.
This table has _fixed_ legs/frame, the entire tabletop 'floats', and can be positioned 'as desired' relative to the legs. for the 10/12 person configurations, we tend to put the top 'off-center' with regard to the legs, so that all the 'expansion' is effectively outside the legs on _one_ side, and sit the 3rd 'side' person thusly.
Actually, in 30+ years, it's turned out that the 10/12 place configurations were _rarely_ needed for sit-down dinners. We usually had 'less than 5', '8', or '15-16' people at the table. OTOH, the 12 place configuration was ideal for buffet serving table, for stand-up eats, when we had a _large_ crowd over. <grin>

Do the math with the chairs you'll be using. An 18" (or less) side-to-side dimension is *not* uncommon. This lets you 'cheat' the legs in by 3" on each side. Hey! Guess what? That makes for 42" between the legs. <grin>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Robert Bonomi" wrote in message

<snip>
side-to-side
each
You're absolutely right. 42" between the trestle legs is the dimension I settled on using the same reasoning and, in practice, it seats 8 more comfortably than you would imagine using arbitrary "table design standards".
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Very good point! Thanks for the input!
wrote:

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

The width per seating really is not that arbitrary but is dependant on the seating you are using . I usually allow the width of the chair plus say 3" to allow egress from the table by the person seated .
As far as the legs go the person seated on the side of the table at the ends [adjacent to the legs can straddle the legs comfortably]. If I were you I would not strictly adhere to the original size specified but use it as a guide and re-layout the size according to how many you want to seat and what kind of seating you have ....mjh
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 11:08:56 -0700, "Chad Richardson"

The 599 was 84" long with just over 50" between the legs according to Lang's book.

The Golden Mean would give you 39ish width (62 x .618). Stickley used a .66 ratio (55/84) and .625 is the usual rounding of the Fibinacci numbers. Yeah, mock it up and look at it. What looks good to you and how does it "sit."

Your best bet is to mock it up in cheap wood or cardboard. Have some people sit at it and then determine the best width. Either way, 2 people are going to be angry. If it's narrow, the stretcher kickers are pissed. If it's wide, the end sitters are knocking their knees into solid trestle ends. I'd design it for the most frequently used configuration. Dinner for 2 or 4, narrow, then add leaves for more.

G'luck!
--
Strong like ox, smart like tractor.
----------------------------------
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wed, Nov 17, 2004, 11:08am (EST-2) chad@NIXSPAM_chadrichardson.com (ChadRichardson) claims: Specifically, table design standards specify 24" width per seating. The table I am building is modeled after a Stickley 599 that is 62" long and 36" wide <snip>
24"? That'd be quite a bit of a squeeze, I'm about 22" across the shoulders. If I was making a table, I'd set my own "standards" on seating width. My kitchen table is 36" wide, and sitting on the ends give 36" of seating width. A Hell of a lot more comfortable than 24". I'd say whoever called 24" the "standard" is a total idiot.
I'd put the legs whereve I thought they looked good. On the other hand, I do like Stickley. Ah, I'd still put 'em wherever I thought they looked good.
JOAT Measure twice, cut once, swear repeatedly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
the

are
One of the biggest problems with a table that is 36" wide, or narrower, is the lack of room to put serving dishes on the table between two seated across from each other ... this is a bigger gripe than leg room in daily use, particularly in a more formal dining situation, like during holidays.
You need to take that into consideration and add a little width to your design. 42" is a MUCH better width for comfortable dining. It also solves some of your leg room worries.
I am getting a chuckle out of this thread. There seems to be a lot of advice based on book lore, but damn little from experience in actually designing, building, then using, a trestle table.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Swingman wrote:

[snip]
LOL
Well, if he'd asked how to design and build a trestle table from a door and some 2x4 s, I bet a lot of us would claim experience and some long time use!
I know of tables like this that are still in use after 40 years.
Josie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"firstjois" wrote in message

and
Ditto on the LOL ... you just described my decidedly non-european, unconventional, one-of-kind, poor man's, slapdash-but-hey-it-works, one and only, work bench!
... which, it so happens, also had a self designed trestle table built upon it. ;>)
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 18 Nov 2004 10:38:04 -0500, "firstjois"

You mean the Thanksgiving Specials? When I was growing up we used to do that, plus the card tables for the kids. The rest of the year those spare doors sat against the back wall of the stroreroom. Crowded the living room and dining room, but fun. (The dining room table was where the extra food was laid out.)
--RC Sleep? Isn't that a totally inadequate substitute for caffine?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@TAKEOUTmindspring.com wrote:

Spot on! LOL You got to eat in from the dining room table if you were fast and a lot of grown-ups weren't paying attention!
It got so crowded here one July 4th that I took used the hallway door as the much needed extra table and put a bow on the door knob.
Josie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

OK, I'll bite. _WHAT_ are the 2x4's for?
A slab door, and 2 (or 3) 2-drawer file-cabinets. Done!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert Bonomi wrote:

My first trestle table was supported by two cardboard packing boxes. File cabinets are a BIG upgrade!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

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.