How wide an apron for a 52" long table?

• posted on October 6, 2003, 3:20 pm
Wreckers:
I'm gonna try and make SWMBO a coffee table for Christmas, though I'm keeping it hush-hush just in case I don't have it ready until her birthday next May . . .
I'm working out the design particulars now.
I'm planning for the apron to be 2 1/2" deep.
Top is 52 x 21, and will overhang the apron 3" on four sides. This matches the particle board table it replaces.
Finished table top will be 14" tall. Too tall for a coffee table?
Legs will be 1 1/2" square at the top, tapering slightly to the bottom. Might make the bottoms triangular, depending. I know WHAT I'd like to see, but there's a question of my ability to make four that match.
Apron will be M&T into the legs. I'm planning 1/4" mortices. Apron will be made of 1" nominal stock.
Anyway, I've three structural questions:
First, is a 2 1/2" apron deep enough to support a table that's this long?
Second, is a 1/4" mortise going to be strong enough in this application.
Finally, how deep to I mortise?
Assume an energetic child will be regularly attacking the piece.
I'm not planning anything ornate that would be easily devoured by the 3yo. Yes, he DOES eat furniture. It's his primary source of dietary fibre.
Thanks.
Charles
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• posted on October 6, 2003, 9:49 pm
Charles Krug wrote:

Just am finishing a glassed top coffee table for my daughters home... Walnut)
Overall the table is 51 x 24 (glass 45 x 17 1/2).... The apron is identical in height to the wood surrounding the glass on top (3 1/2 inches)
I did use a 1/4 inch mortice...and cut it 1 inch deep...and it is pinned thru the leg from the inside... My table is 16 inches high.... 14 seems too low ...
Bob Griffiths
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• posted on October 6, 2003, 11:48 pm
"Charles Krug" wrote in message

Too short for me ... I think you will find 16" to 17" a better height for a coffee table in this day and age.

Your long side aprons will span about 45" and be about 47" long (2" for the tenons) ... shoudn't be a problem.
My aprons are usually 2 1/4" to 3 1/2" wide for the coffee tables I build. Too thick an apron and you can't get to the shelf easily and it looks bulky (visually, your 3" overhang may allow a thicker apron if you wish).

3/4" stock? Sure.

A lot depends on your leg stock size. On 1 1/2" - 3" legs I usually mortise 1" with the tenon a bit shorter (1/16").
I often miter the tenons on thin leg stock because your mortises may meet .. no problem with a miter saw, and you can eyeball the mitered tenon lenght anyway.

What else is new ... the idea is to make it so that three year olds can use it with no damage to the table, that takes care of most other stress situations.
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