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Who's made a dining table? 

How'd you settle on the final size? Are you going off suggested sizes , building to the size of the room etc?

 I'm looking through forums, google images and furniture websites and there is a wealth of information. I'm beginning some planning for building an 8 seater table this year.

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I am in the middle of a dining table build. Length and width were dictated by the client's space. Height was determined from measuring another table or three.

I think the suggested minimum length is 24" x number of seats on one side. 30" is a decent width for place settings down each side, but leaves no room for serving dishes in the middle. 48" is a bit wide to "pass the salt" across. Somewhere between should work. FWIW, the table I am building is 46" wide, and 68" long, per client request.

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We had our table built to our required size of 3m x 1.1m but we didn't specify a height. The table is 0.75m high, or a tad over. I assume that is the standard height that builder usually uses.

wtnhighlander, your suggested sizes match our table almost exactly. 24" * 5 = 120" = 3.05m. If we need to seat 12 (5 per side and 1 each end) it is possible but it is better with fewer per side. Our table width at 43" is in the middle of your suggested range and is, I think, about right. Wide enough to give table space for serving dishes but not so wide that you feel remote from the people opposite.

 

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I made a table that seats 6 and used 60 ish by 42 ish. I can't remember the exact dimensions. For table height 12" taller than your chairs. My table is 30" and chairs are 18" from my research 12" is the magic number there and it feels comfortable.

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1100 -1400 mm is the range of widths that will accommodate a place on the ends as well as down both sides. 730-740 mm high and 600mm per seat in length. I add between 150-300 mm to the length to better accommodate the people sitting on the ends.  This mostly matters if you have a row of big adults on both sides of the table. Less if the table is on the wider side , more if the table is narrow.  

Think about the room needed from the table to a wall for a chair to push back and someone get up when the table is full.   Pieces of furniture like a buffet need to be allowed for as well. Subtract this space from the size of the space available.

Measurements are appropriate, I converted to metric & rounded off.

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When I built my kitchen table, I made it higher than normal to accommodate my 2 meter height.  I sat in my chair, measured up to my thigh and added an inch.   I was sick and tired of not being able to get my legs under a table without scrapping them on the apron.  So on my table, I can do that.  If you are smaller than about 5'5", we have a phone book for you to sit on.  :) 

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Thanks for the suggestions. 

The height will be standard. Most in my family are average height. It's the width and length that need some thought.  The family enjoys a big sit down meal with food in the centre so that's a thought to consider.

My initial thoughts are somewhere around the 2.1m (82") x 1m (40").  

 

On a side note, the legs will be about 85mm (a bit under 3.5 inches) at the top with a taper to about 55mm (2") towards the bottom. I'll need to glue up blanks and mill it down to final dimension.

Would gluing up timber in this configuration cause any problems? Arrows indicate the width of the boards . It's timber that's already lying around.  The legs will be painted so I'm not worried about the grain pattern and glue lines. 

If the decision to not paint the legs works out,  or it might not be a good idea, I'll need to buy thicker timber and make the legs out of 2 pieces. 

Table Leg Glue Idea.jpg

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The shorter boards will expand and contract with the seasons, the long board won't change length, so,the table would self destruct. You could split the long board in half and use it as a pair of breadboards. Read up on breadboards the mortice and tenon joint must accommodate the seasonal movement of the wood.

What kind of timber do you have ? Have you got a moisture meter ?

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@wdwerker The diagram was for the leg blanks. 

Ive got some Vic Ash  that’s 70x30mm. I’ve also got some 140x20mm Vic ash which if combined, would give me 90x90 legs. 

If it’s a bad idea, I’ll need to buy some more timber and glue that up. 

I used breadboard ends for the first time on a bench I made last year.

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Just made a big one. Both size of room and required number of seats played a role. Settled on 102” by 40” with the idea to comfortably seat 10 (4 on each side and 1 on each end). Table for our house, so wife and I are the client  

In the end, with the lumber I got, I managed to get it at 108” (9 feet) by 42”.  I don’t think she noticed I made it bigger, but it fits the room great and we even managed to squeeze 5 on each side, though it was a little tight (some of the 5 were kids, so that helps).

Height is 30”, which I believe is standard for dining tables. 

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I finished off a table last year that is 72" x 37" and it can comfortably fit three people along each side, plus one at each end. Height is 29", and the top is 1" thick, so 28" of clearance for the knees.

It fits my space fine, though if the top was an inch or so lower that would better. For reference I'm 5'8"; some of my Dutch relatives (6'3" and up) might prefer it a little higher. 

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Thanks for your input. The design is mostly done. There will be some slight variation in the top thickness based on what timber I can get hold of. 

A common timber around here that I’ll likely use for the top is Messmate. It usually has a few gum veins and holes that need filling. 

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I’ve talked about doing this for a while and it will be a good project to get started. 

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I had to look that wood up , so it's in the eucalyptus family ? Nice looking stuff ! Properly filled flaws become features !

75 - 100 mm tall/high aprons are the typical range. Check your chairs for clearance of someone seated  and if arm chairs will push under. Longer tables can benefit from taller or thicker aprons.  If you need more clearance for arm chairs use thicker stock for the aprons. 

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I looked the last time i was at the lumber yard for some Aussie wood and couldn't find any. I wish there was an easier way for us to trade, i think it'd be interesting to work some aussie Eucalyptus. Hope you journal this table it'll be interesting to see the build.

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"Red Grandis " is a trademarked name for a plantation grown type of eucalyptus that is available in the USA. It's compared to mahogany for working characteristics, but much lighter colors. It looks nice but kinda boring. 

I would be more interested in wild grown stuff from responsibly managed & harvested forests. We've got to do what we can to stop the clear cutting of the worlds dwindling virgin forrests. Some places have gone to selective logging using draft horses and elephants.

 

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It’s hard to get rough timber near me. There are a few sellers but they mostly deal in timber that’s already milled. Messmate was commonly used for buildings and the timber I’ll get will probably be recycled and already cleaned up. It’ll be dense, colourful and packed with feature.  Should look good when finished. 

The timber for the base will be plantation  grown Vic Ash which looks nice but doesn’t have much feature. It’s straight grained and fairly easy to work with. You can definitely tell the difference between the timber though. It’s lightweight and the growth rings are far apart. It just doesn’t have the same substance as the older trees. 

I love the American timbers I’ve tried. There’s a few company’s that import stacks of timber here. I made a serving board from some Walnut a few months ago and it was probably the nicest timber I’ve used. It’s much easier to work with than some of our timbers. 

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As with many things in life, there is always compromise. The base will be painted. 

I’ve already been told that I make timber too smooth and the top of this table (that hasn’t been built yet) has to be uneven and have saw marks etc... Not going to happen. Not on my watch. The base is the compromise and when it comes to it, I don’t mind the look of it. 

If for some reason the base doesn’t get painted, I’ll use the same timber for the base.  Vic Ash is probably the cheapest hardwood I can get. 

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I recently helped my son build a kitchen table for his wife for Christmas. It finished out at 71" x 44" and is 30" tall. She is really into the rustic farm house look so this isn't like a Duncan Phyfe but this is exactly what she wanted. Oh and she was thrilled!! Here's a picture.

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Red Grandis  is a nice wood but a bit soft to me. Very easy to work with.. We did a whole restaurant with exterior tables with it..

When I do the skirts for tables  there usually for a 48" wide top...

A texas hold'em table 42" is fine for ten people on width:D

 

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