LumberJocks

5' x 5' Library Table Design - strong enough?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by AllanK posted 09-17-2019 02:28 AM 445 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View AllanK's profile

AllanK

59 posts in 4585 days


09-17-2019 02:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: library table table plywood top walnut bracing cross-bracing

Hi All,

My daughter moved into a new house with a great, square library, and she asked me to design (and build) a 5×5 table with power in the middle. I want to put the legs on the corners, to avoid any chance of tilting and to have room for two chairs on each of the 4 sides (not all at once, of course, otherwise knees will be knocking). I figured out a way to make the top out of one sheet of 4×8 hardwood plywood and introduce an interesting pattern, and will join the pieces with splines or biscuits for alignment:

For support, I figured that two 2×4 cross braces (joined to the skirt with dowels or mortise and tenon joints) will support the patterned top and weight. Skirt braces screwed into the legs to hold the whole thing up. What do you think? Will this be sturdy enough?

Any and all comments welcome and appreciated!

Cheers,

-- "Stupidity is forever, but ignorance can be fixed."


11 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12905 posts in 2887 days


#1 posted 09-17-2019 07:45 AM

No. Maybe, but I wouldn’t build it that way. I would make the aprons a little taller and use shop made angle brackets to reinforce the aprons and help support the top. And mortise the aprons into the legs or at least use pocket screws + corner brackets.

I’ve never joined big sheets of plywood edge to edge like that so I don’t know how rigid it will be without reinforcement but I would make the aprons a bit taller and run your stretchers on edge, not flat, where you have them.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4182 posts in 2496 days


#2 posted 09-17-2019 10:53 AM

In my opinion, not strong enough either the legs or top.

View RRBOU's profile

RRBOU

228 posts in 2799 days


#3 posted 09-17-2019 11:08 AM



No. Maybe, but I wouldn t build it that way. I would make the aprons a little taller and use shop made angle brackets to reinforce the aprons and help support the top. And mortise the aprons into the legs or at least use pocket screws +

No. Maybe, but I wouldn t build it that way. I would make the aprons a little taller and use shop made angle brackets to reinforce the aprons and help support the top. And mortise the aprons into the legs or at least use pocket screws + corner brackets.

Plus 1

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View theart's profile

theart

132 posts in 1062 days


#4 posted 09-17-2019 01:02 PM


I ve never joined big sheets of plywood edge to edge like that so I don t know how rigid it will be without reinforcement but I would make the aprons a bit taller and run your stretchers on edge, not flat, where you have them.

- Woodknack

I would not trust the seams in the plywood, even with splines. It would be easier to build, and stronger, to laminate the hardwood ply onto the top of another layer of 1/2” or thicker plywood with the seams staggered. And taller aprons would both be stronger and look better. The corner brackets in Rick’s post will also allow the legs to come off. 5’x5’ is a lot of table, and it’s going to be easier to move with the legs off.

View DS's profile

DS

3291 posts in 2928 days


#5 posted 09-17-2019 01:15 PM

Okay, this will not be strong enough if you build it that way.

Make the top out of a single piece of plywood. (MDO would be my preference)
Stitch together your veneer pattern for the top and press it to your plywood with a stabilizing backer veneer.

Same look, no sudden surprises later.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View AllanK's profile

AllanK

59 posts in 4585 days


#6 posted 09-17-2019 02:12 PM

DS, I thought of that, but plywood comes in 4×8 sheets, the top can’t be made out of a single sheet… ?

Woodnack – thanks, good suggestion for the legs/apron.

theart – laminating is a good idea, thanks. Taller aprons can work, maybe 4” instead of 2-1/2”? Then the braces can be on edge…

-- "Stupidity is forever, but ignorance can be fixed."

View DS's profile

DS

3291 posts in 2928 days


#7 posted 09-17-2019 02:38 PM

Baltic Birch, which is also a good choice, comes in 5×5.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

991 posts in 3300 days


#8 posted 09-17-2019 09:55 PM

Laminate your plywood to a 5×5 sheet of 3/4 or maybe 1/2” Baltic birch.

View AllanK's profile

AllanK

59 posts in 4585 days


#9 posted 09-18-2019 12:43 AM

Revision 2. I took all the suggestions into account. Increased the aprons to 4”, laminated 1/4” walnut plywood onto a 5’ x 5’ x 1/2” Baltic Birch base, and will use pocket screws to attach the aprons to the legs (final assembly will be on site). Thanks to everyone!

-- "Stupidity is forever, but ignorance can be fixed."

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12905 posts in 2887 days


#10 posted 09-19-2019 07:16 AM

Definitely an improvement.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View AllanK's profile

AllanK

59 posts in 4585 days


#11 posted 10-02-2019 03:41 PM

Getting ready to start building it, but I need some advice on the finishing: I want to achieve a grayish/brown final color on the walnut, rather than the typical reddish/brown. I intend to use water based General Finishes stain or dye stain. Any suggestions on how to do this (without buying a bunch of them and trying them…)?

-- "Stupidity is forever, but ignorance can be fixed."

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com