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Old 01-24-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
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Designing and Building a dining table

We've done a search on TF for help with designing and building a table for our salon and haven't seen anything that answers some of the questions we have. *We know that there are many excellent carpenters on Trawler Forum and wonder if any of you can help.

We have a traditional U-shaped settee in our salon with a *formica? table top on two metal posts. * The two posts can be lowered to create an extra berth. We find that the table is too small and pretty ugly ( it is only 20" by 52"). *There is also*a long settee on the opposite side of the salon but it is too far away for additional seeting at the table.

We would like to replace the table with a larger folding table of solid wood slabs. *The*two slabs of wood would be 1" by 28" by 52" that would be hinged to create a table that folds onto itself, and when open would become a table of about 54" x 52" which would now reach the additional *seating available from settee opposite. *

The table when closed would be supported by the existing metal posts. *When open, the hinged side would have an additional movable support similar to a folding tv tray table which could be folded for storage separately. * (We would plan to ditch the idea of dropping the support posts for the extra berth).

We like the idea of using flat grain wood (teak is expensive, cherry I'm told can be matched pretty closely to the colour of teak).

We had originally asked for quotes for 1" laminated stock.... with one supplier quoting a price of $490 for two pieces in cherry 1" thick , $470 in African mahogany 1" thick, and $790 for teak 13/16" thick or $1600 for teak 1 1/2" thick. (1" teak was not available for some reason). *This supplier would only supply the sanded pieces, we would have to finish the wood and add the hinge.

The other supplier said that 1" flat grain stock would not be stable enough and would warp. *They quoted flat grain Burmese teak 1 *1\2" at $4490 and flat grain cherry 1 1/2" at $3155. *Their price also included the installation of a piano hinge plus staining and a permanent finish.

Quite a difference in the two prices, but the bigger question is what thickness is really necessary for the table.

We are a little concerned about the extra height and weight that we would end up with using the 1 1/2" material... there isn't a lot of room between the top of the seat bench and the bottom of the table.

We also wanted to increase the functionality of the table and thought about using a piece of Starboard on top of the two metal posts to increase the support for the table top, but mainly to create a surface on which the table top could slide over to the long side of the u-shapedsettee. *We would cut slots into the Starboard and add small bolts to the underside of the wood table top so that it could slide several inches over along the slots. We would use wing nuts on the bolts to lock the top in place. *This would give us more room in the 'aisle' between the table and the opposite settee and easier access to the engine room hatch.*

So what do any of you think about the feasibility of this project and the questions raised re materials and actual design. * We're looking for any and all suggestions.


-- Edited by Delia Rosa on Tuesday 24th of January 2012 03:02:19 PM
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:20 PM   #2
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Designing and Building a dining table (also posted in general maintenance in error as well!)

We've done a search on TF for help with designing and building a table for our salon and haven't seen anything that answers some of the questions we have. *We know that there are many excellent carpenters on Trawler Forum and wonder if any of you can help.
We have a traditional U-shaped settee in our salon with a *formica? table top on two metal posts. * The two posts can be lowered to create an extra berth. We find that the table is too small and pretty ugly ( it is only 20" by 52"). *There is also*a long settee on the opposite side of the salon but it is too far away for additional seeting at the table.
We would like to replace the table with a larger folding table of solid wood slabs. *The*two slabs of wood would be 1" by 28" by 52" that would be hinged to create a table that folds onto itself, and when open would become a table of about 54" x 52" which would now reach the additional *seating available from settee opposite. *
The table when closed would be supported by the existing metal posts. *When open, the hinged side would have an additional movable support similar to a folding tv tray table which could be folded for storage separately. * (We would plan to ditch the idea of dropping the support posts for the extra berth).
We like the idea of using flat grain wood (teak is expensive, cherry I'm told can be matched pretty closely to the colour of teak).
We had originally asked for quotes for 1" laminated stock.... with one supplier quoting a price of $490 for two pieces in cherry 1" thick , $470 in African mahogany 1" thick, and $790 for teak 13/16" thick or $1600 for teak 1 1/2" thick. (1" teak was not available for some reason). *This supplier would only supply the sanded pieces, we would have to finish the wood and add the hinge.
The other supplier said that 1" flat grain stock would not be stable enough and would warp. *They quoted flat grain Burmese teak 1 *1\2" at $4490 and flat grain cherry 1 1/2" at $3155. *Their price also included the installation of a piano hinge plus staining and a permanent finish.
Quite a difference in the two prices, but the bigger question is what thickness is really necessary for the table.
We are a little concerned about the extra height and weight that we would end up with using the 1 1/2" material... there isn't a lot of room between the top of the seat bench and the bottom of the table.
We also wanted to increase the functionality of the table and thought about using a piece of Starboard on top of the two metal posts to increase the support for the table top, but mainly to create a surface on which the table top could slide over to the long side of the u-shapedsettee. *We would cut slots into the Starboard and add small bolts to the underside of the wood table top so that it could slide several inches over along the slots. We would use wing nuts on the bolts to lock the top in place. *This would give us more room in the 'aisle' between the table and the opposite settee and easier access to the engine room hatch.*
So what do any of you think about the feasibility of this project and the questions raised re materials and actual design. * We're looking for any and all suggestions.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:21 PM   #3
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table

Susan and Dan,

You can use 1" stock which nets 3/4" dressed or 3/4" plywood for the center section. *Then band it with 1 to 1-1/2" material. *This would give a heftier look and feel while stiffening the 3/4" material. *That should not raise the height of your table. *Just thinking.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
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Designing and Building a dining table (also posted in general maintenance in error as well!)

That is a tricky one. *Flat grain material is expecially given to cupping. *Vertical grain material will usually stay flat. *How about plywood with a solid band on the edge? *You may want to look at some other woods. *I have one table that is banded with teak with birds eye maple veneer in the center. *Nice contrast, and it brightens things up a little. *By folding over you have eliminated the possibility of a thicker edge than center. *With a dadooed joint it could lock the center panels in and stabalize them. *YOu could try that with 1" stock. *I think that I would band a 3/4" piece of decorative hardwood faced plywood or even teak. *A piano hinge could cover the edges where it folds. *If not some edge tape should do it.


-- Edited by Moonstruck on Tuesday 24th of January 2012 03:43:13 PM
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
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Designing and Building a dining table (also posted in general maintenance in error as well!)

Table tops are often made from plywood for the very reason you have been warned about - warping.

Some research will turn up plywood in your choice of species or you can veneer your own if you have the knowledge and skills. You can cut pylwood, edge the plywood with your wood species, laminate the top and bottom and it will be almost impossible to tell that it's not solid wood except that it won't warp.

Of course this process is a step or two beyond the average DIY person so you may want to just pay a pro.

1" should be thick enough for a table top if it's properly supported. Think of a typical residential dining room table. It's probably 1" or less in thickness.

BTW: Although the table will be installed on a boat, it's a woodworking or furniture project, not a boat project.* I would suggest searching for a woodworking or furniture making forum.* These people can probably point you to sources for materials and /or craftspeople to actually do the work.


-- Edited by rwidman on Tuesday 24th of January 2012 03:42:45 PM
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:41 PM   #6
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table

Don, I think we mispoke when we said the wood was 1" stock... we should have said the finished product was 1" thick... or at least that is what I believe the quotes indicated- I will have to recheck. *

I am not sure I understand what you mean when you say that banding the material wouldn't change the height. *There isn't a lot of room from the bottom of the table to the seat bench and the posts can't on be raised much higher. *Wouldn't banding with a wider material change that distance?...anyone with fat knees, look out!...*
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table

Quote:
Delia Rosa wrote:
Don, I think we mispoke when we said the wood was 1" stock... we should have said the finished product was 1" thick... or at least that is what I believe the quotes indicated- I will have to recheck. *

I am not sure I understand what you mean when you say that banding the material wouldn't change the height. *There isn't a lot of room from the bottom of the table to the seat bench and the posts can't on be raised much higher. *Wouldn't banding with a wider material change that distance?...anyone with fat knees, look out!...*
*I wondered what happened. *I think this is posted in two places. *You can always cut a block to raise just the pedestal points if needed for clearance. *You are right. *Folding over negates the use of thicker stock on the edge. *I also posted something in the general section.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:14 PM   #8
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Designing and Building a dining table (also posted in general maintenance in error as well!)

We had thought about using a plywood veneer (and yes creating our own would be beyond our abilities - *so we did find a shop that could provide plywood with veneer on both sides). * However, on our boat, we use the table alot, not just for dining and it is inevitable that it will get dinged over its lifetime. *

We have a veneered table in our dining room and a large solid wood table in our family room and although I realize that veneered furniture can look quite wonderful when new - *our solid wood table seems - to us at least - to have developed 'character' with its various dings, while the dinged veneered table just looks tired and not as well kept.

We are still hoping to stay with the solid wood idea. *So back to the discussion of 1" versus 1 1\2" thick finished product. *Would the 1 1/2" be stable enough? *And what about the vertical grain idea... would that end up looking like butcher block?

We have done some research on this project with two wood working shops that have nothing to do with boats. *Some good ideas, but they also weren't sure about how the marine environment might affect the project. *And to be frank, price tag is important. *There is no way that we can afford to buy a table that costs several thousand dollars. *

Regarding the design, we also thought about just having a separate table extension to add the extra area, but there is really no room to store it, hence the idea of hinging over onto itself. *And because the bottom of the hinged piece becomes the top, there isn't much we can do there to add extra support or stability.

Thank you both for your comments so far... *we are still hoping for more suggestions.. we know that TF members always have a unique take on every idea.


-- Edited by Delia Rosa on Tuesday 24th of January 2012 04:19:11 PM
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:16 PM   #9
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table

It is posted in two places.... our mistake... but we don't know how to fix it!
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:33 PM   #10
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table (also posted in general maintenance in error as well!)

Quote:
Delia Rosa wrote:
*

We are still hoping to stay with the solid wood idea. *So back to the discussion of 1" versus 1 1\2" thick finished product. *Would the 1 1/2" be stable enough? *And what about the vertical grain idea... would that end up looking like butcher block?
*A real butcher's block is end grain. *Vertical grain is a very long close together grain the full length.

Here is a birds eye maple inlay with banding.*

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Old 01-24-2012, 03:37 PM   #11
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table (also posted in general maintenance in error as well!)

Charles, sounds like a similar situation - although we are hoping to have the folded table at a centered position on the posts and then slide it closer to the seats when not at the table so as to give us more room in the aisle. *But the same process I imagine. *I don't suppose you have any pictures or diagrams of your fabrication. *Would the aluminum be a better choice than the starboard idea?
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:45 PM   #12
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table (also posted in general maintenance in error as well!)

Don that table is very pretty... and I think we now understand what you and Ron meant by banding... *which we obviously didn't from our earlier post.

Still not sure what the banding would look though with a piano hinge... and we would definitely need a professional to build it... don't know if that would fit our budget though!
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:55 PM   #13
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table (also posted in general maintenance in error as well!)

Quote:
Delia Rosa wrote:
Don that table is very pretty... and I think we now understand what you and Ron meant by banding... *which we obviously didn't from our earlier post.

Still not sure what the banding would look though with a piano hinge... and we would definitely need a professional to build it... don't know if that would fit our budget though!
*I don't see a problem with the piano hinge being across the center panel and the banding. *I had a trawler that did that. *The band could be most any width you wanted, but would have to be the same thickness of the center panel.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:00 PM   #14
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table (also posted in general maintenance in error as well!)

Don and Ron, what do you think of the durability of a veneered centre panel... we are still worried about knicks and scratches... we have a scratch in our veneered dining room table, and it couldn't easily be repaired or sanded out.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:09 PM   #15
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table (also posted in general maintenance in error as well!)

Quote:
Delia Rosa wrote:
we have a scratch in our veneered dining room table, and it couldn't easily be repaired or sanded out.
******** Wet a dish towel and ring it out as best you can. Place it over the scratch and iron it. (Steam or non steam iron...it doesn't matter.) The steaming process raises the wood in the scratch so that a very light sanding can be achieved. People who refinish gun stocks have used this method for years.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:11 PM   #16
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table (also posted in general maintenance in error as well!)

I'll give it a try!
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:41 PM   #17
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table (also posted in general maintenance in error as well!)

Charles, that sounds exactly like what we are trying to create... what size of bolts did you use? *I haven't heard of many people having a similar sliding table and it seems like such a great idea!
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:58 PM   #18
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table

Looks like the thread got moved out of general and over to maintenance... hope this still finds those who were posting on the general site!

Anyway, with the comments from Ron and Don about possible warping of flat grain material... and still not being convinced of using a centre section of veneer.... what about the idea of using the flat grain 1" material and then adding a 1 1/2 or 2" edge band on the two shorts sides. *Would that be enough to stop the cupping or warping of the boards?
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:00 PM   #19
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table

Charles, not sure if you saw our last post as the thread has been moved to general maintenance... but your idea sounds perfect... what size of bolts did you use?
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:09 PM   #20
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RE: Designing and Building a dining table

The maple inlaid table like the one in the picture is in my attic. *We removed it to make a comfortable TV lounge with an ottoman. *There is a table on our helm deck where we eat. *Picture of the lounge area is with this. *of course we could still use folding tables if needed.
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