I am making a cherry dining table for my wife (her design!). The legs are
made from solid 12/4 cherry and are tapered.
Question. The table measures 36" X 54" from rail to rail. Do I have to
support this table top from the center to prevent sag? The top will be made
from 4/4 solid cherry milled down to 0.75" - 0.8"
I know I would usually consult "The Sagulator", but this isn't really a
Am I insane or should this not be a concern? Or both? :)
You can see my progress here:
As a friend of mine commented about his arc welding once; "I'm not much for
pretty, but I'm hell for strong".(He was actually an excellent welder!) In
your case, "why not"?
I'm assuming the top grain will run the long way. Probably wouldn't sag, but
center support stop-dadoed into the side rails will add the support, and
won't be seen anyway.
(I also tend to over-engineer).
Good luck, lookin' fine so far.
The only road to success is always under construction.
Problem is I already glued up the table frame. It was then that I strated
worrying about sag. If I throw in a center support rail I would probably
glue it in with just a but joint and add metal L brackets and screws on the
bottom and sides of the rail. What do ya think?
Great spot for some pocket screws... and glue.
Another method would be to rabbet a couple of cleats onto the ends of
the cross-support and attaching that in a 'T' fashion with a couple of
proper screws to the end grain. then screw the 'flange' to the inside of
the skirt on both ends.
I had a similar situation once, only I forgot to insert a centre support
rail when I installed the entire face frame assembly. What I ended up doing
was cut a centre support rail to size, fitted it to ensure it was of proper
length and then used biscuits to glue it into place. Since I couldn't insert
both biscuits and support rail considering the tightness of the fittings, I
made top and bottom cuts with the biscuit joiner, with the top ones being
slightly off to one side. I could fit and glue the bottom one properly in
place but the top one I put the support rail in place and then with glue
applied, slid the biscuit into place. Naturally, it was proud on the offset
side, but after the glue dried, I trimmed the proud part off and it was
virtually unnoticeable unless I leaned over and looked up at the bottom side
of the rail. Worked like a charm.
The top is going to be supported/attached on all four sides...it isn't
going to sag. However, if you were to whack it with a sledge hammer or
stack a bunch of concrete blocks on it, it might split so don't do
First, if it makes any difference to you, my degree is in mechanical
engineering with a concentration in materials engineering. My opinion is
that you do not need any additional support. Your end conditions won't
allow for much movement. If you hadn't already assembled the thing, I might
say "oh, what the hell", but I really wouldn't bother with it now.
I know you didn't ask, but I'm going to say that solely IMO, 3/4" finished
is too thin for a top this size. In fact, 3/4" is too thin for just about
any size. For my money, If I were doing it, I'd be starting at least with
5/4 and maybe 6/4. Just my $0.02. And it will minimize any sag ;-).
For what its worth, I came to the same basic conclusion as Todd before
reading down this far. IMO, the top will look weak at 0.75~0.8".
And, going 6/4 would alleviate the issues related to strength.
Thas $0.04 now...:)
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