Table overhangs


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Is there a any rule/guideline anyone is aware of for overhangs on a table? I'm trying to finish designing an outdoor dining table (see a rough render below) I'm not concerned about strength - the top will be 5/4 white oak - more about general "tip risk" with the kids. The top is about 72x36", and currently overhangs the stretchers at the top by 6" on the short ends and 8" on the long sides, but due to the angle of the base, it's almost directly over the bottom of the legs. Thoughts? My goal is to leave foot/legroom on the ends for someone to sit, while not making the table so unstable it tips if someone puts their weight on it as the stand up or sit down.



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2 hours ago, 4square said:

Good rule of thumb. If it looks right it is right! 


Not always, depends on the eyes looking at it. I made a step stool for my daughter that “looked right” but flips over if she stands on the edge. 

3 minutes ago, pkinneb said:

The only thing in the diagram above that would give me pause is the legs appear to be wider then the top. If that's the case it would be a tripping hazard and probably needs to be adjusted.

Agreed, definitely want the legs to be offset inward, probably not even in the same plane as the table edge.

the Illustrated Cabinetmaking book recommends 14-18” knee room to allow seating on the ends. This book has a lot of good info on ergonomics for a variety of furniture.

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Pkinneb, JohnG - you're right about the leg inset.  That's a good thing to double check before I finalize everything. Even an inch or two inwards is good, even if I have to change the angle of the legs.

JohnG, Wtnhighlander - Thanks for the reference material. Good stuff to read through. 18" is probably too much for an overhang (leaves only 3' between the legs in the middle, which definitely seems tippy). Perhaps it's better to just set expectations that end seating will be "in a pinch for short people".

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I'd have the edge of the table 3-4 " overhanging the bottom of the leg. This is similar to the kick plate on cabinets. I wouldn't worry 1 bit about it tipping. the table i made last winter was 36" wide and my base was 24" wide so that left 6" over over hang and it takes me sitting on the edge to ever get it to start to tip.

End over hang is preference. With your leg design, sit at a table and figure out where you can put the leg so it's not on the knee of the end person sitting on the long side. There is nothing i hate more than trying to pull up a chair to a table and the leg is perfectly positioned on my knee. I'd prefer to straddle it if it has to be in the way. So probably around 8" maybe 10"

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