All Replies on 6" thick slab of hickory for table legs. Need advice pls

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View craftedbyadam's profile

6" thick slab of hickory for table legs. Need advice pls

by craftedbyadam
posted 08-02-2016 02:36 AM

14 replies so far

View ChefHDAN's profile


1734 posts in 3703 days

#1 posted 08-02-2016 11:35 AM

Adam, what tools do you have? Asking the question of where to get your wood cut at raises the question of what advice to suggest if you don’t have the tools to execute. Beefy legs are fine… for a table… but generally a taper is put on them to at least “lighten” the design. Let us know how you’re equipped and we can offer better suggestions.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View BHolcombe's profile


180 posts in 2929 days

#2 posted 08-02-2016 04:08 PM

There is a chance you are making a headache for yourself. I would consider your design and how you intend to cut and place joinery.

View bondogaposis's profile


5843 posts in 3204 days

#3 posted 08-02-2016 04:32 PM

I’d also like to the legs to be inset with the top.

What do you mean by that?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5303 posts in 4813 days

#4 posted 08-02-2016 04:44 PM

Those legs are gonna look like the legs on my first wife.
Might wanna rethink those dimensions.

-- [email protected]

View joey502's profile


558 posts in 2371 days

#5 posted 08-02-2016 08:10 PM

That’s a big chunk of wood. How dry is it?

I don’t know if i could drag that “board” across the driveway.

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1773 days

#6 posted 08-02-2016 10:53 PM


Your table will crafted from some very nice wood and even perfectly executed joinery and a flawless finish, if the proportions are not just right, the completed project may lack appeal. I am no pro but what I find to be extremely helpful is to develop some sketches from various vantage points, all drawn to scale before cutting the first stick. This allows me to judge whether the proportions are just right or whether some adjusting is required. A CAD program is a great tool for puzzling through the design. While I use TurboCad, it seems that a lot of LJs like SketchUp.

Another design consideration is whether I have the tools needed to mill and cut the parts and to execute the joinery. In my case with the capability to cut a board that is 3-1/8” x 3-1/8” in half, I tend to design parts smaller than this maximum capacity. It simply saves time and simplifies projects.

The final design of a furniture piece is largely a matter of personal taste. In my view the size of the legs you are considering is way out of proportion with the rest of the table. I would guess that if an 8’ – 10’ dining table were built with such large format legs, the only part of the table anyone would see would be the legs. Additionally, I suspect the table would be a nightmare to move.

View Aj2's profile (online now)


3342 posts in 2651 days

#7 posted 08-03-2016 12:42 AM

6×6 legs would look great if the top is also 6 inches thick.
Something like this.

-- Aj

View BobAnderton's profile


311 posts in 3643 days

#8 posted 08-03-2016 01:20 AM

Cutting them as you describe is easy with a bandsaw mill or a chainsaw mill. For making cuts perpendicular to an already existing face like you’re talking about you’d use something like the Granberg Mini Mill. $89.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View firefighterontheside's profile


21189 posts in 2710 days

#9 posted 08-03-2016 12:20 PM

It will look awesome, but will limit how many people can sit at the table. The last people on the sides will not be able to sit very near the corner. I would say split them in two and have legs about 5.5×5.5. I made a table with legs that size that came up thru the corners. The board in between is attached as a breadboard.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View craftedbyadam's profile


17 posts in 1748 days

#10 posted 08-03-2016 01:00 PM

Thank you very much everyone for your input. The pictures of the tables posted from you guys is pretty much what I’m talking about.

I see how the thicker top matching the thickness of the legs looks good. So splitting those into at least 8 legs would make more sense.

Also I see how clearance can be an issue with where they legs are layer out. I was thinking maybe about a foot from each side in. Sketch up should help then.

I’m not sure how dry they are but they should be fairly stable now I would think. Been in a friend garage for 3 years. He said the split was there as long as he had them.

I’ll have to get on sketch up as I’ve been watching the how to videos for a few months now.

View craftedbyadam's profile


17 posts in 1748 days

#11 posted 08-03-2016 01:05 PM

Oh a and tool wise I have a good bit of tools. All the power hand tools, band saw (older), older delta cabinet saw, miter saw, the normal stuff in my mind. I do have a planer in the mail (dw734) but NO jointer, chainsaw, nothing with a 12” blade or bigger.

View PPK's profile


1791 posts in 1662 days

#12 posted 08-03-2016 01:24 PM

In my experience of about 15 years of building furniture, etc. Carpenter’s tend to overbuild things, and then regret the look later. In reality, the strength is rarely a problem. I think the distinction of “sturdy” to “Holy cats, that thing looks like a cow at 9 months gestation!”, is only about an inch thickness or 1/2” at times. I would suggest making the legs 3” square or perhaps 3” x 4” max. This way you can actually use your table saw to cut the legs! (10” blades will cut 3” deep on most Table saws) Making tapers is pretty easy, and they are also pretty easy to clean up with a hand plane. If you don’t like that rout, and really want the beef, I suggest dressing them up really nicely, something along the lines of this:

Finally, I agree with the fellows that say to sketch it. I just use some graph paper and sketch it to scale to visualize the proportions. Then ask someone that’s not a carpenter how it looks. :-)
Just my 2 cents.

-- Pete

View PPK's profile


1791 posts in 1662 days

#13 posted 08-03-2016 01:28 PM

Oh, 1 more cent –
I get a lot of inspiration from this Amish furniture website. They have a vast array of styles, and they have really good dimensions listed, so its pretty easy to make your own plans from just “looking”.

-- Pete

View Robert's profile


3950 posts in 2334 days

#14 posted 08-03-2016 01:31 PM

I agree design wise the thickness of the top dictates the size of the legs.

Your table is huge. I would do a mock up and see what it looks like.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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