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Is there a table leg size calculator?

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Forum topic by 1tacoshort posted 04-08-2021 05:23 PM 377 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1tacoshort

69 posts in 1934 days


04-08-2021 05:23 PM

I’m building a gaming table and I anticipate it to be heavy (and this is my first dining table-sized project). Is there a wood strength calculator to tell me how big my legs should be so that I can make them properly over-engineered? I’ve searched online and I can only find calculators for horizontally-oriented wood like shelves and not vertically-oriented wood like legs.

-- Wade


8 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6926 posts in 3549 days


#1 posted 04-08-2021 05:32 PM

There may be, but I’m not aware of it. You’re worrying about a non problem. I would scale your legs to the style of the table…unless they are extremely thin they will hold it just fine.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Rich

6779 posts in 1645 days


#2 posted 04-08-2021 06:04 PM

I agree with Fred about focusing on scale. One issue you will need to deal with is racking due to lateral forces, like players leaning on it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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1tacoshort

69 posts in 1934 days


#3 posted 04-08-2021 06:13 PM

> One issue you will need to deal with is racking due to lateral forces, like players leaning on it.

Yeah, and that is a concern of mine because I’m planning on making it a pedestal table. There’ll be a central box (with “legs” as the corner pieces) to hold a TV so I figured that it’d be a clunky, ugly mess to put legs on the corners of the table as well.

-- Wade

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1769 posts in 2705 days


#4 posted 04-08-2021 06:31 PM

A 2×2 would hold the weight. But if you look at pedestal tables, aesthetics deem to be much larger. So it depends on what style you are going for. Early American with a turned pedestal, mid-century modern? Steam Punk? French classical? You did not really say much in your question.

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Rich

6779 posts in 1645 days


#5 posted 04-08-2021 07:14 PM


Yeah, and that is a concern of mine because I m planning on making it a pedestal table. There ll be a central box (with “legs” as the corner pieces) to hold a TV so I figured that it d be a clunky, ugly mess to put legs on the corners of the table as well.

- 1tacoshort

I think that’s a good plan. A well-constructed pedestal table would give you the best in stability and leg room for the guests.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1196 posts in 2348 days


#6 posted 04-09-2021 03:24 PM

What type of wood are you using?

Here’s some ideas. You’ll save a lot of money by building your own.

-- James E McIntyre

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1tacoshort

69 posts in 1934 days


#7 posted 04-09-2021 10:24 PM

@James: My go-to is red oak but we’re still figuring that out. I’m making it for my daughter and her husband.
@tvrgeek: Yeah, I was trying to keep the question generic so that I could know how to solve the table leg problem in the future rather than just for this one project.

Thanks, everyone, for the good info!

-- Wade

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5978 posts in 3407 days


#8 posted 04-09-2021 10:48 PM

There is no calculator because wood is so strong in that direction, that it would be nearly impossible to make them too thin, based on just supporting the weight. Lateral forces require either lower rails or beefier legs. If you make them proportional to the table top they will be more than strong enough to support the weight, accommodating the lateral forces should be taken care of with the joinery and design.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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