X-base "rustic" dining table design help


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Hello friends!

I'm about to endeavor on my first real furniture build and it will be a fairly basic dining room table. Initially, my wife found that dreaded Ana White pedestal dining table that's been making the rounds for years now and she wanted me to build it. We just moved about a year ago and it's taken a long time to get my garage and tools setup to finally begin to do some work. During that time I did a lot of research and found that the AW design was seriously flawed b/c it doesn't allow for movement. I'm glad I didn't have the setup when I did as I would have built this table, and by living in Florida, it would have buckled up to bits in no time. I promised 6 months ago I'd have this done by her birthday (July 20th), I know that's not going to happen though.

Fortunately I've had the time and I found a design that she likes that isn't terribly advanced.  It's an x-base with a breadboard top. I've attached a picture of it. I've also attached a basic sketchup I did for the project. I intend the x pieces to be 4x4, the table top to be 8" wide boards at 1 3/4" thick,  with 8" wide breadboard ends.

I have a few questions before I begin that I'm hoping some of you can answer :

1. What kind of joinery is best for the x-bases?

2. If my tabletop is to be about 9' x 3.25' ,  will two bases suffice, or would I need a 3rd to ensure stability?

3. How should the bases be attached to the tabletop?

4. The intention is to be able to sit 10 people (snugly) with 4 on each side and 1 on each end. How far in should the bases be to allow proper leg room?  I was estimating 10-12"

5. My wife likes the knotty pine look, but I've vetoed and I'm going to do something much cleaner and harder. Alder, Walnut, other recommendations?   (She likes staining  :wacko: )

 

Things to consider :

Tools Available :  G0771 Table Saw, 12" Compound Miter, Tabletop Planer, plunge and fixed routers (no tables)

To get quality wood for this, I know I need to go with rough lumber.  I do not have a jointer though, so milling large pieces of rough lumber could prove difficult for me. I'm planning on building a jointing jig for my tablesaw, but max cut depth is 3 1/4",  not enough to cut through a 4x4.

 

I have a lot to learn still and I'd love some feedback and advice on this.

 

 

Contemporary-Rustic-Dining-Table-3-NEW.jpg

My Dining Table.skp

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Walnut would be the best looking for that design IMO, but it would cost you a fortune.  Alder with stain is surely the most economical way to go.  Pine sucks, oak sucks.  The design is definitely "rustic" so cheap wood and stain fits like a glove.

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If you really want the grain in that picture, oak is ideal, ash might work too. But I agree with Eric, something with less pronounced and open grain would look better to me. Depends on what is available/cheaper in your area, but Alder is usually a good bet...a little soft for a dining table top, but still better than pine.  Beech takes stain pretty well too if that is available in your area, and I've had good luck staining soft maple, but blotching can happen so you have to use caution.

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1 hour ago, Eric. said:

Walnut would be the best looking for that design IMO, but it would cost you a fortune. Alder with stain is surely the most economical way to go.  Pine sucks, oak sucks.  The design is definitely "rustic" so cheap wood and stain fits like a glove.

Got a ballpark estimate?
I'm still trying to convince her to go natural, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

 

 

 

2 hours ago, Mike. said:

@RenaissanceWW (shannon rogers) a well designed and properly built version of that table.  the videos are on his website.  www.renaissancewoodworker.com 

http://www.renaissancewoodworker.com/rww183-picnic-style-dining-table-part-1/

Nice! Although his design is slightly different than the one I have pictured. Are you saying it is not properly designed?

 

 

1 hour ago, JosephThomas said:

If you really want the grain in that picture, oak is ideal, ash might work too. But I agree with Eric, something with less pronounced and open grain would look better to me. Depends on what is available/cheaper in your area, but Alder is usually a good bet...a little soft for a dining table top, but still better than pine.  Beech takes stain pretty well too if that is available in your area, and I've had good luck staining soft maple, but blotching can happen so you have to use caution.

I'll start calling around to see what's available.

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Just now, Mike. said:

I know a lot of the farmhouse rustic stuff you see is not properly designed.  I also know that Shannon does stuff properly.  Its a safe bet to copy shannon's design.  that being said, table you linked looks fine.  It is similar enough to shannon's table that you might learn a thing or two from watching his videos.  

No doubt I'll be watching.

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22 minutes ago, rkrueger said:

Got a ballpark estimate?
I'm still trying to convince her to go natural, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Give me the board footage and the thicknesses you need and I'll give you an exact number what you would pay at my yard.  Just a total guess off the top of my head, looking at the pic you posted...ballpark of $800, probably more accounting waste.

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33 minutes ago, Eric. said:

Give me the board footage and the thicknesses you need and I'll give you an exact number what you would pay at my yard.  Just a total guess off the top of my head, looking at the pic you posted...ballpark of $800, probably more accounting waste.

Roughly ,    40bf at 8/4 thickness and  24bf at 16/4 thickness
this doesn't include the feet or the 1x6 runner

34 minutes ago, Mike. said:

I was at a restaurant recently.  I sat at huge walnut trestle table.  It was beautiful. Then I noticed once of the trestle legs was badly cracked.  I looked a little closer and found that it was improperly designed.  The trestle legs were quite wide (about 10") and the builder glued a board all the way across all 10".   It wanted to move but could not.  So it cracked. 

This really has nothing to do with your table.  But, with this rustic trend, I see more and more stuff built with expensive materials but built incorrectly.   Kind of pisses me off. 

That is what I'm trying to avoid

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8 minutes ago, rkrueger said:

Roughly ,    40bf at 8/4 thickness and  24bf at 16/4 thickness
this doesn't include the feet or the 1x6 runner

That is what I'm trying to avoid

You'll have to take out a second mortgage for that 16/4 walnut. Better off laminating 8/4 material in my opinion.

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15 minutes ago, mkrusen said:

You'll have to take out a second mortgage for that 16/4 walnut. Better off laminating 8/4 material in my opinion.

You're totally right. I wasn't thinking about that. Like I said, my first build :)

 

 

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I would build it with stained red oak (white oak would also be an option but since it would be stained you can't tell the difference and red oak is cheaper where I live).

I personally think oak fits with the character of the design

 

One suggestion if you are worried about saving lumber is to use thinner stick for the main part of the top (maybe 1.25"?) You can go 1.75" thick for the breadboards and build up each edge to 1.75" and it will still look like a solid slab

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Yeah what mkrusen said about the 16/4. My yard doesn't even carry 16/4 but if you did find it locally you would not like the price, I can assure you. The 12/4 at my yard sells for $16/bf. ?

So let's assume you need 64 bf of 8/4. At $10.90/bf that would come to $697.60. Plus some waste, plus tax, so about $800. ☺

Oak or alder would cost you about half that or less, plus the cost of stain and the PITA of having to stain. Plus it won't look as good as walnut. So flip a coin.

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Have you also considered that the top of this monstrously-large table MUST be removable? That thing occupies enough space to make it very difficult to move through doors and around corners. Add the total mass of that much lumber, and you guarantee that to make it solid, you would have to build it in place and sell it with the house.

Regarding the construction of the X- shaped pedestals, I think that with 4 components intersecting at the same point, at least one of the joints must be 'faux', else there is about a match stick's worth of solid wood holding things together.

To me, it appears the vertical member is the real supporting piece. The angled parts that form the X are perhaps attached to the center with very shallow M&T, and to the top & bottom rails with M&T or lag screws. The long stretcher is probably not a real through tenon, but perhaps a shallow M&T with bed bolts to draw it tight. The bolt heads would be concealed by a faux 'tusk' on the outside. The top is attachex to the upper rail of the X with lag screws, tight in the center, slotted at the ends.

All this is pure speculatuon, based on what I can see in the picture, but it seems a reasonable way to make it sturdy, but still break down for moving.

As for wood species, I vote for alder or ash (I like ash). Walnut would be prohibitively expensive, red oak is just to coarse, white oak is only a little better in this application. Alder give you a bit of open grain like oak, but I hear it is much lighter in weight, and being light colored, may be more flexible with stain.

I like the grain of ash, it has closed pores, but with visible growth rings, and is generally lighter in color. Still heavy, though.

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You should talk her into a Barnsley Hay Rake Table instead. Tell her it is the real deal. It is the big daddy all the other rustic tables wish they could be. I'd love to build one. Someday I will. Don Weber built one for PWW a while back, and Mike Pekovich built one for FWW. Drool.

Barnsley1.jpg

 

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Yeah I do like a few sub-categories of the Arts & Crafts genre like Mission and G&G, but that old country farmhouse look just doesn't excite me at all.  Perhaps if I had a different kind of house I would appreciate it more, but from where I stand now it just looks primitive and boring.  But to each his own, at least it's built well.  Cheers.

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8 hours ago, Mike. said:

 

 

20 hours ago, lmurphy said:

You should talk her into a Barnsley Hay Rake Table instead. Tell her it is the real deal. It is the big daddy all the other rustic tables wish they could be. I'd love to build one. Someday I will. Don Weber built one for PWW a while back, and Mike Pekovich built one for FWW. Drool.

Barnsley1.jpg

 

I'll run it by her for sure!

 

21 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

 

Have you also considered that the top of this monstrously-large table MUST be removable? That thing occupies enough space to make it very difficult to move through doors and around corners. Add the total mass of that much lumber, and you guarantee that to make it solid, you would have to build it in place and sell it with the house.

 

Regarding the construction of the X- shaped pedestals, I think that with 4 components intersecting at the same point, at least one of the joints must be 'faux', else there is about a match stick's worth of solid wood holding things together.

To me, it appears the vertical member is the real supporting piece. The angled parts that form the X are perhaps attached to the center with very shallow M&T, and to the top & bottom rails with M&T or lag screws. The long stretcher is probably not a real through tenon, but perhaps a shallow M&T with bed bolts to draw it tight. The bolt heads would be concealed by a faux 'tusk' on the outside. The top is attachex to the upper rail of the X with lag screws, tight in the center, slotted at the ends.

 

 

 

Oh I most definitely did consider that the top has to be removable. We'd never get it into the house otherwise. I forgot to put a top rail in my X design. I'll have to redo those in my sketchup.

 

 

22 hours ago, Eric. said:

 

So let's assume you need 64 bf of 8/4. At $10.90/bf that would come to $697.60. Plus some waste, plus tax, so about $800. ☺

Oak or alder would cost you about half that or less, plus the cost of stain and the PITA of having to stain. Plus it won't look as good as walnut. So flip a coin.

$800 is not terrible, but I'd certainly prefer to spend less. More to think about.

 

 

On 7/1/2016 at 8:29 PM, Andy Wright said:

I would build it with stained red oak (white oak would also be an option but since it would be stained you can't tell the difference and red oak is cheaper where I live).

I personally think oak fits with the character of the design

One suggestion if you are worried about saving lumber is to use thinner stick for the main part of the top (maybe 1.25"?) You can go 1.75" thick for the breadboards and build up each edge to 1.75" and it will still look like a solid slab

On 7/1/2016 at 8:29 PM, Andy Wright said:

 

Good ideas on the oak wood there. Something I will definitely consider. In regards to the saving lumber,  are you suggesting to just run another .5" piece along the length of the two boards that make up the side edges of the table to make it look like those boards are a solid 1.75"?

 

8 hours ago, Mike. said:

There is a reason you rarely see hardwoods in 16/4.  It is very difficult to dry properly and has a tendancy to check.  Also, normal furniture doesn't require 4" thick pieces.   If I were dead set on building that table from hardwood I would probably laminate those pieces from 8/4 or 6/4 stock. 

Personally, if I were building a table like that I probably would use poplar or pine for the base and paint it.  Then use cherry or walnut for the top.  When you get sick of the barn look you can build a nicer base.  Or stick with shannon's design, which is more refined and fitting of nicer species.     

I'm a definite newbie when it comes to buying lumber. I had not considered the difficulty in getting wood that thick and forgot all about laminating.

I'll run that idea by the wife. She seemed opposed to a painted bottom before, but after she hears how much it's going to cost me to build this table, maybe she'll reconsider. :)

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Some good news.  She likes Shannon's design, so I'll go with that.

She likes the walnut.... but not the price. So I've been told to make a decision on two options:
1- Walnut top with painted wood bottom

2- Full table out of ash or alder and stained.

 

hrmmmm..... descisions

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2 hours ago, rkrueger said:

Some good news.  She likes Shannon's design, so I'll go with that.

She likes the walnut.... but not the price. So I've been told to make a decision on two options:
1- Walnut top with painted wood bottom

2- Full table out of ash or alder and stained.

 

hrmmmm..... descisions

I'd do option 1. That way you could always have the option to make a different base somewhere down the road if you wanted to move on from the rustic look the painted base will have (as someone suggested above). But it will still be pretty nice, and the top is the most important part anyway. I'd hate to have the top be too soft and show every little mark from your kid scraping his fork on the table... well, at least only half of them will show if you use walnut :) 

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Well...you'll NEVER replace that base once it's done, so factor that in.  It's a nice thought to build a new one down the road, but that's all it'll ever be is a thought.  Once it's done, it's done...you know how it goes.

And as trendy as the painted base/walnut top thing is right now, it's exactly that - a trend.  In ten years you'll hate it.  I'd go stained alder.  It'll have that rustic look that the wife has to have - and she'll hate it in ten years.  LOL #trends_suck

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So fellas, I've redesigned my table based on Shannon's design, which is longer at 9', and added a 3rd trestle base in the middle for stability, and some feet b/c the wife liked that. Seeing the model now, I realize why in my original post the bases have the vertical beam, so that it may hold the trestle all the way through each of the bases.

The problem I now have using Shannon's trestle design with a 3rd base is that there is supposed to be just two tenon end points that are held with a wedge. Since I can't end in the middle, I'm not sure what the best way to go about this should be. Do I just cutout the width and length of the trestle in the middle? I'm afraid that would be too much wood removed to remain stable, and if I go with a smaller width trestle, do I compromise the stability there?

Picnic Dining Table.jpg

Picnic Dining Table.skp

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