Large Dining Table Base Design

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Forum topic by Bhutt123 posted 11-12-2018 04:32 PM 569 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 296 days

11-12-2018 04:32 PM

I am brainstorming a dining table plan for a friend of mine and his large family. They want it at least 9 ft long and 5 ft wide…wide enough to seat 2 people on the ends. They would prefer the traditional 4 leg look, but told me if I needed to do some sort of trestle style base, they could possibly be swayed. The legs they like are turned legs from 5” thick stock. The top will be 6/4 white oak which will be super heavy…by weighing out a board or 2 and extrapolating up, I came up with a top around 400 lbs.

In y’alls opinion, could a top that heavy and wide be supported by a traditional 4 leg base?

10 replies so far

View BFamous's profile


319 posts in 572 days

#1 posted 11-12-2018 10:30 PM

I think the answer is, it depends.
Are you putting the legs flush with the outside, or inset several inches?
Are you putting stretchers between the legs?

What wood are you using for the 5” legs? A good hardwood should work fine to support the weight – but I’d be more concerned with the table stability side to side than falling down due to the legs giving way.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC ::

View lumbering_on's profile


578 posts in 941 days

#2 posted 11-12-2018 11:06 PM

That’s a lot of weight. Do you have a plan on how you are going to move it or are you going to assemble it in place?

As Brain said, the legs will be able to handle the weight, no doubt about that, but you should have someone in construction just make sure your floor can handle the weight you’re going to put on it. It sounds like you could be putting 12 or more people around this table that will weight over 450lbs when fully ladened. At 180lbs or so per person you could be talking well over 2200 lbs for 45 sqft.

From what I recall helping a friend install an aquarium, most floors have a safe, i.e minimum load of 40lbs/sqft, so you should probably check just to make sure.

View Bhutt123's profile


3 posts in 296 days

#3 posted 11-12-2018 11:08 PM

The apron would be inset a bit for their desired look.

That was the main concern I had as well…just the overall stability of the base with that much weight on it. With these turned legs, there would be no way to tie them together except from the top. I can use extra bracing within the frame of the apron (length-wise and width-wise), but with nothing to tie the legs together from the bottom to keep them stabilized, I am a bit hesitant.

The house is a new construction on a slab, so I have no doubt it will support the table. We had planned to bring the top in separately and assemble it at his house.

View BFamous's profile


319 posts in 572 days

#4 posted 11-13-2018 12:13 AM

I didn’t even think about the total load of the table and guests… But being on a slab it should be fine…

And I’m confident you could build it without stretchers at the lower end of the legs and still have it stable, you should use a taller apron – I might even go to 5” wide where they attach to the legs. I’ve used 2×6s for aprons before on big tables like that. I start with the M&T side being 5”, and then curved it down to about 3.5” wide a few inches in from the legs.

There are plenty of oversized farmhouse tables done in this style without lower stretchers, just make certain to put some sturdy cross braces under the top to prevent lateral movements.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC ::

View Aj2's profile


2381 posts in 2249 days

#5 posted 11-13-2018 12:35 AM

That’s a really wide table. It will make the middle of the table uncomfortable to reach.
I did check the 5×9 measurement with the golden rule and it’s very close.
You could take a trip with your friend to a local mall with some tables to sit at. Take a tape measure with you so they can see what that extra foot of top will look like.
Good luck sounds like a fun build.

Great wood choice I love white oak.

-- Aj

View bilyo's profile


777 posts in 1554 days

#6 posted 11-13-2018 07:33 PM

Have you given any consideration to making the table in two 4 1/2’ x 5’ units. It would be easier to make and easier to handle when done. It could be made with a mechanical connection so that a single leg could support it at the mid point

View bondogaposis's profile


5492 posts in 2802 days

#7 posted 11-13-2018 07:46 PM

Make sure you can get it out of the shop and into the room where it will go before you build it, consider door ways, halls, and right angle turns, stairs and anything that might prevent it from getting to the room where it will reside. That is a huge table, why so wide? That middle space is way more than is typical.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View HokieKen's profile


10302 posts in 1590 days

#8 posted 11-13-2018 09:57 PM

I don’t forsee an issue with weight at all. My workbench is White Oak and is only about 1/2 that size but is 3.5” thick. So basically the same weight. And it’s sitting on four 4×6 legs. My 250# butt can jump in the center of it and it doesn’t even know I’m there.

My fear would be of the middle sagging over time. I dont know what your design is exactly but your aprons would likely take care of that. If not, perhaps some framing structure between the legs at the bottom of the table top will.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Jared_S's profile


210 posts in 410 days

#9 posted 11-14-2018 02:27 AM

This base supports a 44×120 6/4 sapele top. It easily fits 12 people. Aprons are 1.25×4.5” Legs are 5” square.

View CWWoodworking's profile


528 posts in 630 days

#10 posted 11-14-2018 04:15 AM

Just build it. It aint nothing. Use 8/4 skirts and a 3” steel angle iron mounted to the the middle of the top.

My table is 84” long, 8/4 top. could park a truck on it over night with out sagging. Width aint nothing either. just allow for expansion/contraction.

If it doesn’t fit in the golden box or whatever, trade the gold in for cash. :)

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