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First Dining Table project : Some advice needed

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Ryandotdee

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Hi guys

Hope you are all having a fantastic festive period. After doing small projects for craft fairs for the last 8 months or so, I have decided to take the next 6 months off and make some things for the house. The first project is a dining table and chairs ( why walk when you can run eh? ) I am going to be taking it all slowly, and have decided to start with the table.

Table will be 5 x 3 feet.

I *really* like the river / resin tables, but after costing it all up I think it is a little outside of my budget, I wanted to stick with the live edge river theme, so have decided on doing a table with 2 live edge slabs, and a piece of glass spanning the centre. There is a beautiful table in the what you made last thread made by D.Stephenson (post-a-photo-of-the-last-thing-you-made-t81798-3105.html) which is along the lines of what I am hoping to achieve, thouigh I doubt my first crack is going to come close in terms of workmanship.

My main 2 questions before starting out are :

1. Glass, I am fairly sure that tempered glass is the way to go, but I am not sure on thickness, initially i have been thinking 6-8mm, do you guys have any thoughts on this? I will not know the exact width until I have chosen the wood, but my assumptions are that it will be 1 - 1.5 feet wide.

2. Table supports / legs. I was hoping to construct something that did not have a span on the top side between the 2 slabs, something like this : https://www.millwerx.com/product-page/river-table. Do you think this is viable, or would you go with something more akin to the support structure that D.Stephenson created ( no plagiarism intended ofc )

I am fairly sure that I can build something that wont collapse, but I would be a fool to ignore the wealth of knowledge on this forum, I would be really grateful for any advice / pointers you guys may be able to provide.

Ryan
 

AJB Temple

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When I have made glass tables (grand total of 1) I have preferred to use laminated glass. This is annealed glass (tempered) with a clear layer in between. Safer for kids or people dropping stuff on the table (which will go through if the glass shatters unless you use laminated).

The table you are making is not that large and as long as you make the frame strong enough I would not use any kind of visible support across the glass. It's basically just a window pane in a frame. I would go for 10mm - not 6mm. Not less than 10mm.

Design it so that the glass can be removed in case you do have an accident. Don't forget, wood moves, glass doesn't. Also don't forget that once the glass is annealed the size can't be altered.

Nice project. Enjoy it and post some WIP pictures.
 

MikeG.

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The danger with these sorts of projects is that everyone focuses on the table top, and forgets all about the undercarriage. With a sheet of glass running up the middle you have quite a particular set of conditions that the undercarriage must meet. The two slabs of wood are going to have to be held equidistant at their inner edges, with the outer edges allowed to float free (to expand and contract), and whatever design of frame you have below the top will be visible through the glass. Many 'river' tables (silly name!) have stainless steel bars set into the two board edges before the resin is poured, fixing the inner edges in relation to each other. You don't really have that option, so your sub-structure has to perform that function.

Here is the best guide I know to designing the dimensions of tables. Don't be tempted to fall outside of the criteria they give.
 

AJB Temple

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Agree Mike, just spent a while browsing through that. I am supposed to be decorating.
 

Ryandotdee

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MikeG.":1uiozot4 said:
The danger with these sorts of projects is that everyone focuses on the table top, and forgets all about the undercarriage. With a sheet of glass running up the middle you have quite a particular set of conditions that the undercarriage must meet. The two slabs of wood are going to have to be held equidistant at their inner edges, with the outer edges allowed to float free (to expand and contract), and whatever design of frame you have below the top will be visible through the glass. Many 'river' tables (silly name!) have stainless steel bars set into the two board edges before the resin is poured, fixing the inner edges in relation to each other. You don't really have that option, so your sub-structure has to perform that function.

Here is the best guide I know to designing the dimensions of tables. Don't be tempted to fall outside of the criteria they give.
Thanks Mike,

I completely agree with you on the support structure side of things, I am concerned about the glass effectively floating between the two slabs, and how much tendency there will be for the two halves of the table top to want to move further away from each other.

That is a very useful site, I knew there would be some science behind tables and chairs. We currently have a cheapo argos dining set, and in honesty I have been copying most of the dimensions from that, but I will now cross reference them against the site you linked and make any required adjustments.
 

Ryandotdee

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AJB Temple":3p2lmh18 said:
When I have made glass tables (grand total of 1) I have preferred to use laminated glass. This is annealed glass (tempered) with a clear layer in between. Safer for kids or people dropping stuff on the table (which will go through if the glass shatters unless you use laminated).

The table you are making is not that large and as long as you make the frame strong enough I would not use any kind of visible support across the glass. It's basically just a window pane in a frame. I would go for 10mm - not 6mm. Not less than 10mm.

Design it so that the glass can be removed in case you do have an accident. Don't forget, wood moves, glass doesn't. Also don't forget that once the glass is annealed the size can't be altered.

Nice project. Enjoy it and post some WIP pictures.

Thanks for the input, I will adjust my design to use 10mm glass. I will keep scratching my head over the design of the support structure. In terms of allowing for wood movement, I am assuming that allowing 1-2 mm extra in the channel would be sufficient? I want the tabletop to be as flush as possible, but I appreciate that there is a trade off. IN a contest between a small gap and a cracked sheet of glass, I am pretty sure who the winner is lol
 

Steliz

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I'm no expert but, as I see it, you will need to take into account the weight of the glass (could be 17kg) resting on the inner edges of the wood making it want to tilt inward. The thicker the top the less of a problem it could be but, how thick? I don't know.
 

thetyreman

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hello Ryan

I wouldn't make a river or glass table for my first table project, I think you should make a basic table first, an epoxy resin filled table is a much better idea because unlike glass it can move a little bit, be very careful with the wood choice and make sure it's well seasoned,

I have never personally liked glass tables, they are dangerous and make me nervous.
 

Trainee neophyte

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The problem with resin tables is that they are a single entity, but with different materials expanding and contracting at different rates, which makes them want to explode. My worry with an inset glass pane is that the wood will move but the glass won't, and you will be left with gaps and grooves in your table which will rapidly fill up with food, crud, gunge and other loveliness. A good gravy spill could be with you forever, and forever visible under the glass. You can tell what kind of family we are :)

Also, heavy pots and pans would be a danger, so no passing the roast potatoes - everything served up from elsewhere. Imagine if great aunt Harriet dropped the parsnips and knocked a huge chip out of your fabulous table's centerpiece!

All the above is based on my experience of rowdy dinners for large numbers of people - accidents happen, alcohol is consumed and things get dropped / knocked over. If you are a restrained household with extreme portion control, none of this may apply.
 

MusicMan

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Remember that wood moves very little along the grain. So if the two sides separated by glass are structurally held by long-grain pieces, AND the latter are pinned to the parts of the tabletop immediately adjacent to the glass, AND the outside edges are free to move either way, you have very little to worry about. The gap for the glass is likely to change by less than 0.5 mm. To be secure, and to prevent dust and crumbs messing up this crack, I'd look for a clear sealant to butt between the wood and the glass. Presumably these edges will be straight, so a clear, soft plastic strip should do well.

Edited: just noticed that MikeG said essentially the same thing in an earlier post. Sorry, Mike, I hate it when people do that!
 

Mr T

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Something you should consider is that the boards either side of the glass must be coplanar, ie aligned so the glass does not rock when placed on top. You should make sure that your chosen design makes it easy top achieve this. I would agree with musicman that as long as your boards are fixed accurately on the inner edge and allowed to move on the outer you should not have problems with the groove expanding. I'm not so sure about putting sealant down the join though.

Also you mention making chairs to go with the table, it may be worth considering the design of them in conjunction with the table.

Chris
 
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