Thursday, October 18, 2007

Custom Modustrial Table

Since the very beginning stages of the conception of our house, I knew I wanted a kitchen/dining area that could accommodate a long, narrowish table big enough to seat a crowd. And I designed and planned the space accordingly but until recently hadn't really brought the idea into being simply because the table and chairs brought from our old home were working fine and there's been (and still are) a lot of other, more pressing projects on the schedule. But recently time and progress got me to the point where living with our make-do table was at odds with the table that was kicking around in my head and the imaginary table won. Finally the moment arrived where creativity, motivation and time all landed in my lap at once and I was able to get to work on giving birth to a table suited to the space.
Now, don't get me's not like I had this crazy urge to build a table that I felt it necessary to act upon. I probably would have just gone out and bought one but I looked and looked and never really found anything that jived or was even close to what was in my head. And to further complicate things, I've had these cool red casters stashed away and earmarked for the 'big table' forever and I just couldn't let idea go. So design/build it was.

As I said, I've had these cool red casters for ages, squirreled away waiting for their debut:

and I wanted to plunk them onto a chunky, square leg that mounted flush to the corners of a tabletop. I had toyed with the idea of using wood posts for legs but ultimately opted to use steel, and the great crew over at BW Welding, the same guys that did our stairs and our railing framework, were a great help.
The finished leg is 4" square steel tube, with an "L" shaped flange for bolting the legs on flush with the corners of the top:the close-up photo above shows the opening cut into one face of each leg. It's just enough space to get a wrench on a lag bolt head and allows for an attachment point in the far corner of the tabletop.
Here you see the legs with casters attached, the slot just visible at the top. And speaking of the top: that's the same basic construction method and materials I used for the BigTV bench I told you about a while ago. It's a triple thickness of 3/4" plywood, glued and screwed together and then sanded and sealed into laminated plywoody deliciousness. In this case, I wanted a 30" wide tabletop so I purchased three sheets of finish-grade ply and ripped them down. I'm going to use the remaining 18" offcuts to make a bench to match.
I'm extremely happy with the finished product. Because it's 8' long, I was worried about the plywood being able to support itself across that length but so, far so good. Placing it perpendicular to the island like I have it here is a compromise and not what I had originally planned but I've decided it works and I like it. Plus it rolls around like buttah so it's easy to change :) Now I need to reconfigure the cabinetry on that side of the island which I hope to be able to show you shortly...