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Large Modular Rustic Tables

1048 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  FrysingerWoodcrafts
Hello everyone,

I'm new to the forum but have been woodworking for almost 3 years now. I'm excited to be a new part of this community!

I would like some input/feedback on a project for a friend of mine. He would like me to build 4 of the same table for a room that he is going to use for craft events as well as gatherings (meetings, reunions, dinners, etc.). His specific words were "big, chunky, and rustic". I'm planning to use rough cut lumber and leave the saw marks in the table top and sides of the cabinets.

Here are the specs:

Solid hardwood - Haven't determined species yet, but I'm thinking white oak, hard maple, or black walnut.
3'-4' wide x 9'-10' long
1.25"-1.5" thick tops
Bases will be square cabinets for storage
Barstool height (For standing or sitting)

Normally this would be an easy project, but there is a catch. He needs the tables to be able to be moved out of the way fairly quickly to open the center of the room when needed. The only way I can think to do this is to somehow make each plank of the table removable (modular) from the base as the tops will be extremely heavy. Then you can just move the cabinets to the side of the room as well. Each table will utilize 4-5 planks and the planks will be joined together much like a leaf.

Here's my idea. Use Align-N-Lock fasteners on each plank to line them up and secure them. Also use 3-5 support beams, either wood or metal pipe, that slide through hangers/struts on the bottom side. Cut notches in the top of each cabinet and have a block or support on the planks that align the top with the cabinet.

If anything needs further explanation I will do my best. I have not been able to find a picture online of what I am trying to do. This is by no means a common table project.

Any thoughts and feedback are welcomed and needed as this project is definitely a new challenge for me.
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That's a very ambitious project. I think your first choice should be Walnut because it's a little bit lighter and very stable when dry. White oak is a close second for stability but it's going to be heavy as hell.
The part that bugs me is I cannot picture big chunky tables and the words fairly quickly. Seems unreasonable
Have you considered two tables that come together to make one. If you match the grain it would appear to be one table. But then the legs there would be lots of legs.???
Good luck Hope you have the proper machinery Jointer ,planer ,tablesaw.
My first thought was to build knockdown bases but you said cabinet bases. In that case wouldn't a mobile base incorporated be the simplest way? Casters can be hidden and one end will have a foot pedal to lift it up and onto the wheels
Yep, casters. Or, depending on what kind of floor it is, simply padding the bottom may be sufficient to allow a couple of guys to slide the tables against the wall. I know I've moved some pretty heavy furniture by simply sliding a few of these things underneath in the past. Use the socks for hardwood or concrete and use the hard plastic for carpet.
Thanks for the replies so far. The nice thing is that the tables will have a rough finish on top. They are going in a 150 year old school house, so he wants them to have a nice "rough" look. The reason for the modular setup is that the room is only 18'x30' and he wants 4 tables that can be moved to open the center of the room when desired.

I'm meeting with him this weekend to discuss the tables some more. The plan is to have them done before Spring 2019.

I like the idea of bringing two tables together. I would just put the tables on casters and slide them out of the way. I feel like frequently disassembling something that large would put unnecessary wear and tear on it. The goal is for these tables to be around for decades or longer.
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