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By Chris152
#1180744
I've been looking for design examples of tables that work with minimal substructure as I like the clean lines and found this.
img_3_1482136924_2c2e632947366919e16d18900e166b03.jpg

and this
bbdd9503766c928100b44ce056588e56--rietveld-chair-shaker-furniture.jpg

as ones that interest me. What I wonder is how in the absence of an apron or any other parts that could function as an apron, the legs - top connection can be strong enough to withstand movement (dragging into position, for example). What kind of joints might they be using? Might there be additional support hidden underneath?

Any thoughts much appreciated.

Chris
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By MattRoberts
#1180746
I suspect that they're both 3D renders of fictional tables. Neither has sufficient strength to avoid racking or the abuse that a table will reasonably receive. The tops are also terribly unsupported and would likely bow horribly over time
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By AndyT
#1180756
I agree that those tables can't be very strong.

The first table must be weak as the thin top is not supported by rails. Ok on a tiny side table but not on something full size. The second one could be a little stronger but will still need a sheltered life.
I think this comes down to your decision about what is important for your table, in your house.

If you want something to put at the end of your ballroom with a vase of orchids on it, the first design could look like a nice clean, simple altar - ideal.

But if you need something for family meals, homework, games, strong enough to climb on for putting up Christmas decorations or papering the ceiling, a more conventional design will suit you better.
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By MattRoberts
#1180758
I too like the minimal design and clean lines - however this style works only as long as it lasts. The minute the top starts to sag or the joints are loose due to racking, the minimal aesthetic is lost and it just starts to look wonky
By profchris
#1180774
I have a thought which might be useful (or not ...)

In recent years, luthiers have been stiffening guitar necks with carbon fibre, usually rectangular section, epoxied into a channel routed into the neck. The unsupported span of a bass guitar neck is around 24 inches, and a pair of 9mm x 3mm stiffeners seems to do a good job, so I read.

Could this help with the longitudinal sag problem? Of course, it would do nothing to prevent cupping or warping laterally.
By Chris152
#1180792
That sounds like one for people with way more understanding and skill than me - I'm still trying to begin to get the basics of working with wood, introduce another medium and it could all go horribly wrong!
I like this design, too (Peter Lowe design)
Bailey-Table.jpg

Would you say this would be pretty stable for typical family use (the kind of uses AndyT named above)?
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By custard
#1180798
Chris152 wrote:Would you say this would be pretty stable for typical family use (the kind of uses AndyT named above)?


More than adequate, properly made that would last for generations.
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By custard
#1180803
MattRoberts wrote:I suspect that they're both 3D renders of fictional tables. Neither has sufficient strength to avoid racking or the abuse that a table will reasonably receive. The tops are also terribly unsupported and would likely bow horribly over time



Bowing or sagging wouldn't be any problem. Assume a 30mm thick Oak top that's 700mm wide and has a 1500mm span between the legs. Even without any apron rail support an 80 kilo man standing in the middle putting up the Christmas decorations would result in less than 3mm of sag.

http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator/

As to racking, a lot's down to the quality of the joinery, but I think both designs could be made to deliver a service life of at least twenty years or so. More if clever photography is concealing a central cross member immediately beneath the top. The killer for most furniture (I mean the structure as opposed to the finish) isn't usually abuse in situ, the real problem is house moves. I seem to remember being told Ikea aim for two house moves post assembly. I appreciate that's often KD design, but it's generally accepted that removals cause far more damage than use.
By Beau
#1180812
Custard is probably right but I am a belt and braces man. On the top design I would fix a 2-3mm stainless plate to the top of the rail with epoxy and screws. The plate would be wider than the rail by at least 100% if not more and then have the plate recessed flush into the underside of the top and screwed on. I have used this idea on the tables below with no substructure other than the visible legs. The second one would probably suffice as is with quality joinery.
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By MattRoberts
#1180826
Another thing to bear in mind is the angle that a table will realistically be viewed at.

Beau's table could have a 6 inch stretcher running through the middle to provide support, and you'd never see it unless you sat on the floor :)