Making a Dining Table Top

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  #1  
Old 09-19-04, 08:10 PM
toollady
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Question Making a Dining Table Top

I am wanting to make a table top to put on top of my pool table to convert it into a fine dining table for special occasions. I have no diagrams/plans. I'm also limited on tools and experience, however I think I can do it if I can find the right materials. Ideally I'd like to get my hands on two solid pieces of quality wood about 4.25' x 5' x 1.5" that I could connect with dowels to make a 8.5' x 5' x 1.5" table top. Where would be a good place to get such wood sheets? At Home Depot, I'm only finding MFD or plywood in sheets. Can anyone give me any idea if my project is doable, or am I just dreaming? Any other recommendations? Project must be light enough to be taken apart and put in closet when not in use.
 
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Old 09-19-04, 08:22 PM
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Welcome!

toollady,

Solid wood in the dimensions you quoted are rare and would be quite costly.

If you could get by with a table surface of 4' x 8' then a simple sheet of oak veneer plywood would only need some edging ironed on and finishing.
 
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Old 09-20-04, 09:39 AM
toollady
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Question Need more info on ironing on.

What is meant by ironing on? I've never heard that term in woodworking. I suppose I could frame an 8x4 sheet of veneer (to make it 8.5 x 5), but how would I attach it to the sheet of veneer?
 
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Old 09-20-04, 01:26 PM
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The type of material I am referring to is a sheet of plywood that measures 4' x 8', is 3/4" thick and already has a veneer finish on it.
It is available in a red oak finish that would look quite nice stained or even natural and then varnished.

The iron on edging I was referring to is a strip of oak veneer that has a heat sensitive glue on it.
The edge of this plywood shows an unfinished edge and this strip would be placed on the edge and heated with a hot clothes iron to make it stick.
This is a very common practice in cabinet making.
Solid wood is generally not available in the size you want and would have to be laminated from smaller pieces.

Plywood sheeting is available in 4 x 8 sheets and if you wanted it larger, you would most definately need woodworking tools and skill to be able to build something.

I don't want to discourage you, but if you wanted to persue this further you may have to purchase some tools and read up on the various methods of wood joinery.

Here is a link that shows various wood joints. It doesn't really show two pieces of plywood but you would possibly use one of the joints for framing.

Any more questions just ask.
 
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Old 09-20-04, 01:28 PM
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The fact that you want to take the table top off and stow it when not in use presents quite a challenge. Dining table tops are quite substantial and heavy, to present a firm surface. Plywood sheets would not do the job without bracing underneath, in the gap between the pool table rails. Then you wouldn't have a lightweight structure.
 
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Old 09-20-04, 08:33 PM
toollady
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Would a Mortise and Tenon joint work?

To frame three sides of the the 4x8 laminate board (which I would initially cut in half to 2 4x4 boards), could I use a Mortise and Tenon joint with three pieces of framewood. I know it would have to be precise get it smooth on top, but would it hold? how deep would I need to make the tongue in groove to add 6" to each of the three sides and get it to hold? Since the laminate wood is 3/4", I'd use 4'x8"x3/4" wood to frame it which would give me a 2" joining groove. Would this work? Am I making myself clear? What tools would I need to join the wood?
 
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Old 09-20-04, 09:34 PM
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If you wanted to add another piece of plywood to the 4' piece of plywood to make it wider you could use a mortise and tenon but a lap joint would be easier.
It is a similar style of joint that is shown in the link I gave you as an end lap.
A table saw with a dado blade would make this joint.

I've asked you if a 4' x 8' piece of plywood would be big enough but you havn't answered.
If it is, you could then finish a whole piece of plywood for the top and just lean it against a wall when not needed.

Again, what you are asking about will take a fair bit of skill and some specialty tools.
If this is just a one time thing and you have something definite in mind, you would do well to hire someone to make this for you.
If you wanted to persue woodworking as a hobby then the tool investment could pay off..
 
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Old 09-22-04, 06:19 PM
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The way I would do it is to use 2 sheets of 3/4" oak ply cut to the 4' by 5' dimension. Use a biscuit jointer by matching up the 2 pieces to make an 8' by 5' and along the center joint pencil a line perpendicular to the edge every 6". The biscuit jointer cuts a 1/2 round space out of each side and glue and a football shaped "biscuit" is inserted in the cut out areas. Clamp and glue the 2 large pieces together. This is an easy an very structural joint used for table tops where many 4-6 strips are joined to make large pieces. The cost is kind of excessive though. 2 sheets of oak ply would be $90 +. And to make it solid as stated some rails to attach under the top so it rests on the slate pool table bed would be necessary (I'd run them perpendicular to the joint to stiffen it up).
 
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Old 09-30-04, 09:04 PM
toollady
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I was thinking about the biscuit joint idea, however would it be better to use two sheets of 3/4 oak ply cut in 2 4.25x5 sheets to be joined in the middle of the table? Would the finished plywood edges around the table look professional or like plywood? Or would I be better off cutting one sheet of 3/4 inch oak ply in half 4x5 and adding a 4" frame of 3/4 inch oak board around it. That would give me a solid oak edge frame. Could such a frame be attached with biscuit jointer? An 8x5 sheet alone would not be sufficient as the table top needs to be at least as big as the pool table. 8.5 x 5 is cutting it close. I haven't been really worried about connecting the two "leaves" as I'm sure they can be temporarily connected with dowels, then separated to be taken off the table. As far as supporting the middle of the table, I had already planned to put in unattached felt covered 2"x2"x12 supports throughout the pool table to support the removable table top. As far as tools go. I'll probably have to rent a biscuit jointer and a router to finish the job. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do it without a table saw or not (to rip 8" boards into 4" frame). I know Home Depot will do some of the cuts for me but won't guarantee how clean the cuts will be.

By the way, thanks to everybody who is helping me figure this out before I spend money on materials and tools I may not need.
 
 

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