Build Me Table?
#11
  
My wife wants this table.
Maybe I’m missing something, but it looks like a bunch of oak boards glued together, with a leaf mechanism. For $2,300. 
I don’t have a shop at the moment, but I think I could build this in a long weekend.   Is oak that expensive?

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#12
  Re: Build Me Table? by David Stone (My wife wants this [...)
This is a Parsons Table, first envisioned and built at Parsons School of Design in New York.

Wikipedia says, “Parsons tables are often intended for use as modern or contemporary furniture, and their striking design has made them popular as coffee tables, dining tables, side tables, and occasional tables. Most are typically made of wood, metal, or plastic, and they are frequently employed in interior furnishings as well as patio or even lawn furniture.”

I just built one out of white ash, 4 feet wide, 8 feet long. There are two difficulties. 1. A normal table top sits on top of the legs. This one doesn’t, so the apron carries the weight?  2. Do to seasonal expansion, if the top should shrink or expand 1/4 inch or more, that movement will push or pull the legs out of place.

Easy to build, but lots to think about. The legs are about 4x4. Just by themselves, that adds a lot of weight to an already heavy table.  I didn’t want them to look like five boards glued together, so I chose to make the legs hollow. Four boards with mitred edges. Beautiful, but gluing them together was a lot of grief, as the slippery edges slide when clamp pressure is added.  Also, had to glue a block in the bottom so the legs didn’t appear hollow, and so a pad could be glued to the bottom.

I made my project even more difficult. Thinking how does one move such a heavy table, I made the legs removable!  How do you run a bolt into a hollow leg, and what is that bolt attached to?  Even worse, my customer wanted it to have 18” extensions that could be added to the ends.

Have fun! I delivered it last week, saying I’ll never make another Parsons Table.
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#13
  Re: Build Me Table? by David Stone (My wife wants this [...)
"The legs are about 4x4. Just by themselves, that adds a lot of weight to an already heavy table. I didn’t want them to look like five boards glued together, so I chose to make the legs hollow. Four boards with mitred edges. Beautiful, but gluing them together was a lot of grief, as the slippery edges slide when clamp pressure is added."

I've thought about doing this for a couple of projects, but the glue-up does sound very difficult. My alternative method has been to buy rift-sawn oak, plane it lightly, then cut and glue the peices together flat, slightly larger than the final size. I try to glue pieces from the same board to keep the look the same. I then take that glued up piece and mill it like rough-sawn. Not perfect, but it usually looks good in the end. The larges I've done this for is 2" x 2".
Project Blog Got it all up-to-date, and I promise to keep it up-to-date.
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#14
  Re: Build Me Table? by David Stone (My wife wants this [...)
Quote:Easy to build, but lots to think about. The legs are about 4x4. Just by themselves, that adds a lot of weight to an already heavy table.  I didn’t want them to look like five boards glued together, so I chose to make the legs hollow. Four boards with mitred edges. Beautiful, but gluing them together was a lot of grief, as the slippery edges slide when clamp pressure is added.  Also, had to glue a block in the bottom so the legs didn’t appear hollow, and so a pad could be glued to the bottom.

There are some lock-joint router bits that make this sort of mitered joints much friendlier during the glue up (once you dial the router table in).

one source
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.
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#15
  Re: Build Me Table? by David Stone (My wife wants this [...)
Quote:but it looks like a bunch of oak boards glued together, with a leaf mechanism.

I do not understand what a leaf mechanism would have to do with that table.

Please explain.
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.
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#16
  Re: Build Me Table? by David Stone (My wife wants this [...)
for what it's worth, if a client asked me to build that table for $2300, i would tell them that it's at least twice that price for such a build.  at least.
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#17
  Re: Build Me Table? by David Stone (My wife wants this [...)
iclark, I tried to post a photo of the table I made with extensions, but am unable to do so.
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#18
  Re: Build Me Table? by David Stone (My wife wants this [...)
The simpler and more sparse the design, the harder it becomes to build in rigidity.  How are you going to attach the legs and still have a wobble-free table?

Here is an example of a simple design.  The stresses are enormous and the construction has to be first rate.  The original was "riveted" together, but I suspect that is a translation error and it probably was doweled.  It is in the Museum of Modern Art, so a classic design.  I  did see a video of it being produced.  I will try to find that.

Found it.  Fascinating video showing the extremes required for a super-simple design:  https://www.facebook.com/LuminaireDesign...196289219/

[Image: W1siZiIsIjIyOTUzNCJdLFsicCIsImNvbnZlcnQi...a01ad869ec]
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#19
  Re: Build Me Table? by David Stone (My wife wants this [...)
I'd guess there might be $300 - 400 worth of oak in that table at $5/bf.  It's a pretty straight forward build in my eyes.  M&T of one sort or another for the aprons to legs and a top that sits on top.  If you leave a 3/16" gap between the top and legs and attach the top to the aprons such that the top can move with the seasons there won't be any issues.  Aesthetics will drive you decision on how to build the legs.  If you can find 16/4 rift sawn lumber you're golden, just make them solid, or glue up two layers of 8/4, or lock miters with 4/4.  The problem with the lock miter approach is you have to fit an insert in at least the top of the leg and those joints are going to show.  I'd use solid stock which will make the joinery easier, too.  

If you still have access to a jointer, planer, and TS (or even a track saw, I suppose) you should be able to build this w/o much difficulty.  

John
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#20
  Re: Build Me Table? by David Stone (My wife wants this [...)
Buy some prefab tops from big box store or ikea. All you are doing is mortice and tenon of the apron in to the legs. 

I you know someone with a Domino it's even easier.

Legs might cost a bit if you find prefab, Menatds by me has 4x4 oak glue ups.

I'm guessing $600 to $700 for prefab parts.  Dont need a shop but you do need some tools like router, sander, circular saw, etc
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