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Thread: Concrete table legs

  1. #1

    Concrete table legs

    I'm planning on making a dining room table, probably walnut with a soapstone insert. I'm debating making concrete legs. Just wondering if anyone has done this. Probably not 4 legs but 1 wide leg on each end. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I'll work on something in sketch-up, but this is just in my head now.

  2. #2
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    I like the contrast between the organic wood and the inorganic concrete.

    One obvious concern is the concrete's weight. You have to be able to move the pieces into position. Concrete weighs about 150 lbs per cubic foot. You might think about casting the concrete around a lighter-weight core material like wood.

  3. #3
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    So... let's say you make the base a trestle table. The trestles are the slabs of concrete. Each one has a through-mortise cast in it, and there's a wood stretcher. There are tenons on the ends of the stretcher, with through-wedges on the outside of the trestles.

    The trestles might be something like 24" wide by 4" wide by 25" tall. Each one would then be about 200 pounds. Under the right circumstances, that's manageable. You may not want to be carrying 200 pounds up a long flight of stairs by yourself, but moving 200 pounds with a hand truck isn't bad at all. And 24" wide will easily fit through any door.

  4. #4
    You could also mix in Perlite to substancially reduce the weight of the concrete. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    . . . Each one has a through-mortise cast in it, and there's a wood stretcher. There are tenons on the ends of the stretcher, with through-wedges on the outside of the trestles. . . .
    That sounds really cool. The contrast in the joint would be awesome.
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  6. #6
    Jamie,
    That's pretty much what I was thinking. The top will be about 220-250 lbs. I wonder if the concrete with a lighter aggregate will have the strength to carry the weight. I am thinking about a slight hourglass shape to the trestles to soften the overall impact. I'll try to draw it up tonight, but I'm just learning Sketchup, I use Vectorworks for work. I wonder if the top should be thicker than 2" considering the mass of the concrete?

  7. #7
    Can't wait to see the outcome. Love your idea.

    The top can be 2", particularly if you add some sort of spacer between the concrete and top. One of David Marks's bench designs has legs and a top that roughly match your intended dimensions:

    http://www.globalvillagesquare.com/i...avid-Marks.jpg

  8. #8
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    I used to do a lot of concrete counter top work and the idea has always intrigued me. I came across these two images on the internet that I really liked, so I saved them. I can't for the life of me remember where I took them from, but they are very slick...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinny Miseo View Post
    I used to do a lot of concrete counter top work and the idea has always intrigued me. I came across these two images on the internet that I really liked, so I saved them. I can't for the life of me remember where I took them from, but they are very slick...
    Only $3500 for that last one, but yes it IS very slick!

    http://www.vivavi.com/catalog/produc...oducts_id=1009

  10. #10
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    There was an article in the now defunct Inspired Home magazine by Taunton of a a guy who made furniture using concrete for bases and legs. Most of his stuff was outdoor furniture. You may check the Taunton website for the possibility of finding this article or maybe a copy of the issue.

  11. #11
    Does anyone have an opinion to whether I could use mahogany 2"x16" for the ends (semi-breadboards) or should I rip them and do a glue up. I've decided to use mahogany outside the soapstone vs walnut. My supplier has some 8/4x17" boards in but I'm not sure about movement. The ends will be 40" long.

  12. #12
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    I wouldn't make a breadboard end which is 16" wide. The only thing holding the breadboard up in the air is the tenons on the ends of the table's major planks. I'm not sure I understand your design, but of the tenons going into a breadboard one, only one in the middle is glued. All the others are intended to allow movement. This would mean that you have basically one tenon trying to hold up the 16"-wide breadboard when some extremely heavy person sits on the end of the table. I'd make the breadboard ends narrower, so that person has less leverage.

    Why not draw us a sketch?

  13. #13
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    First, find the concrete association's website. They've been doing some really cool stuff with concrete over the last decade or so. You can really cut the weight down, and other stuff.

    Second, do you want concrete, or the look of concrete? If the latter, you can build your shape out of any inexpensive stable wood you like, and then just paint it with textured paint available at any craft store, home center or ceramics/pottery specialty joint.

    yah, yah, I know. wood good, rock good, metal good, paint badddddddd.
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  14. #14
    I'll try again with Sketchup. Basically I have a 24"x48"x1 5/8" piece of soapstone I want to insert in a 40"x80" table. The previous design I thought of won't work because of the overhang at the ends of the table. I'd like to go with a trestle if possible. I'm looking at mahogany.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Vinny Miseo View Post
    I used to do a lot of concrete counter top work and the idea has always intrigued me. I came across these two images on the internet that I really liked, so I saved them. I can't for the life of me remember where I took them from, but they are very slick...
    Oh well. While I'm pouring I might as well make a patio bench. Lord knows I need one!

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