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Thread: Entrance hall table - comments

  1. #1

    Entrance hall table - comments

    Hi folks I would like to make an entrance table that looks something like this.
    picture of table.jpg

    I'd appreciate your comments on the dimensions and the proportions etc. the table is rather narrow as the hall is rather narrow and we need to keep some room to pass by. It is a rather busy route. I want a contempory look more on the modern design side, so if anyone would like to comment on how I can get this modern look, it would be apprasiated.

    Also I want a dark finish so what are some suggestions for wood.

    Here is the picture with some dimensions - sorry metric guy here.
    entrance table drawing 2 dimensioned.jpg

    I am unsure of the height. What is a recomended height for an entrance table?

    And just to let you see the frame construction I have made the top transparent here.
    entrance table drawing tranparent top.jpg

    Just to help your give me all your wisdom here is an exploded view on how I am thinking of doing the joints. Any comments on how to make this would also be welcome. I will be using hand tools. (neandre ) I have no machinery except a sliding mitre saw that I just bought for making my small shed.(LOTS of siding to cut so I broke ranks - time)

    picture of entrance table exploded joint detail.jpg

    What size saws (tpi /ppi) etc. and type of chisels etc. would you use to make this? I will have to get a few tools so I can get soemthing to suit this project.

    Robert

  2. #2
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    Nice drawings.

    The first pic seems to have untapered legs, but the others are tapered. I much prefer tapered version.

    I don't think there is a standard height for a hall table. To some extent it depends on the ceiling height. For a grand entrance the table would be taller than for a shorter ceiling. I've made them from 34" high to 38". If I'm reading your pic correctly, you're considering 674 mm (26"). That's low. A hall table is used by standing people, and should be taller.

    For a dark wood, walnut is good, and not too expensive. Wenge is even darker, although it has become quite expensive now.

    I like the look of your open aprons, but I'm concerned about sturdiness. There's very little to prevent the legs from collapsing sideways, which a solid apron prevents. You might consider filling in just the holes nearest the legs. The filled-in hole would be a bracket holding the leg from moving.

    Your drawings have the grain direction on the top going front-to-back. That's an unatural direction, and I wouldn't do it. If it is just a drawing artifact, here's what you do to change it. With the Select tool, right-click on the filled area. You should get a floating menu with Texture at the bottom. Slide sideways on Texture, and click on Position. The texture pattern will appear, with handles on it. You can drag the handles various ways to modify the texture pattern. One way to drag things will rotate the grain so it runs left-right.

  3. #3
    Thanks Jamie, for the input.

    The wood grain direction was not meant to be that way, I just didn't know how to change the grain direction. but now you have showed me how I will be able to make better looking models. thanks

    Yeah I was wondering about whether it might be strong enough with small tennons and surface area. I really would like to keep the open look. I tried putting small panel at the corners on Sketchup but it started looking like a regular apron with the draw missing.

    How about just puting one of the rungs of the ladder apron right up against the leg like this.

    ladder change 1.jpg
    ladder change 2.jpg
    ladder chnage 2 reverse.jpg

    How about the joint detail somthing like this?;
    ladder chnage 2 reverse exploded joint.jpg

    The short ladder apron (for want of a better term) could be the same as the front I suppose, but the two would have to meet in a mitre.

    What do you think?

    Robert

  4. #4
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    Robert, if you choose a lighter color wood for the drawings it will be easier to see the joinery details. You can choose the darker color for the over all 3D view.

    As for dimensions, I made a hall cabinet last year and had the same questions. What I did was look at a lot of hall tables selling on the Internet, most of them include dimensions. I noticed that the majority had the height within a 2-3 inch range, so I used the most commonly used height, which has turned out fine. Before you finalize the dimensions I would suggest you make a cardboard cutout of the exact finished dimension and put it in the intended location and see how it feels, for me that was great help because the final decision was made by the LOML and it helped her to see the dimensions of the finished product before hand.

    I think the tenons you have would be fine, but due to the reduce glue surface the M&T contact has to be very precise. One good thing about hall tables is that they are mostly for display only, in that you set some pictures frames may be a lamp etc. and it just sits there. It doesn't have the wear and tear demands of say a dining table or a study table. So you can make some strength compromises for the sake of the "look" you are trying to create.

    I agree with Jamie's comment on tapered legs looking better.

    As for what tools, that's an entirely different ball of yarn. Much of it depends on your personal preferences and comfort. No matter what chisels and saws you use they must be sharp. If you want opinions on the tools I suggest you start a new thread on the neanderthal haven just asking about tools for this joinery. Be prepared for a Japanese VS Western arugument to ensue .
    The means by which an end is reached must exemplify the value of the end itself.

  5. #5
    Hi Zahid,
    You said,
    I think the tenons you have would be fine, but due to the reduce glue surface the M&T contact has to be very precise.
    Are you refering to the first joint detail or the second version?

    I was thinking that the ladder should act as a truss with a bottom chord and a top chord being in tension and compression and not so much bending at the joint. The "rungs" would be to support the main members from buckling only. Poor analysis?

    I know what you mean about the japan vs western thing but I supose I was thinking about what size of chisel etc. And I suppose I should have said for a western back saw for the teeth size. The tennons are really small so I was thinking that I would not be using a regular mortice chisel. But would have to use a thinner (regular) one. Maybe paring it out rather than chopping per se or maybe drill a big hole and then pare the side down.

    Robert

  6. #6
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    Robert --
    The updated joinery makes me feel better. As Zahid says, a hall table maybe doesn't need to be as strong as other kinds, so maybe you don't need to fill in the short apron. Add the strength in the direction that the table is likely to get banged.

    Jamie

  7. #7
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    There's also a "cheat" you can do if you build the table and it feels too wobbly: tie it to the wall. Here in earthquake country, I often tie furniture to the wall. Do it in some hidden way, and nobody will be the wiser.

  8. #8
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    2 Concerns

    As others have said mock-up something to test the height. 26" sounds too low, but test it

    I am also concerned about the strength of the joint holding the leg to the apron. If I read the pictures correctly you have an open mortise at the top of the leg as opposed to a housed mortise. I'd be very wary of this sort of joint in so slender a leg. Attaching the leg to two blocks of wood. each to be the same thickness and same height as the aprons and about 3" long (long being direction of length of top}. These blocks could be tied together with a triangular block that the top rests on. You now have a very rigid structure to fasten your legs and apron to. I don't think it would change the overall light, airy, delicate appearance much if any. Wish I could draw it for you, but it'd take me all day - and then I wouldn't get it right.
    18th century nut --- Carl

  9. #9
    Here are lighter colored view of the joint ideas

    1. entrance table drawing 2 exploded light colour.jpg

    2. entrance table drawing 2 dimensioned and double taper ladder changed v2.jpg

    I should have just turned the shadows off but anyway I got there.

    Robert

  10. #10
    Hi Carl. IS this what you are talking about? the pink block?
    corner block idea.jpg

    The height for the new version of the table are and extra 4 inchs making it about 30" or 30.5" in height.

    the open mortice was just a thought. If I used a housed mortise then there would not be much above it anyway, unless I reduce the depth of the tennon and hence the surface for glue. So I thought at the time that with the open mortice I would have more surface area for the glue which I thought would be better.


    Jamie, I thought of that myself. I live in Japan and we get a few quakes. I am just a bit hesitant about putting holes right in the middle of the wall just as you come into the house. Just in case the table gets relocated. These darn earthquakes are quite unerving and anoying.
    Robert
    Last edited by Robert Trotter; 05-23-2007 at 11:24 AM.

  11. #11
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    I like your open "ladder" aprons. While I understand Jamie's point about the rigidity of a solid apron, I wonder whether yours (as drawn originally) might be even stronger--the vertical pieces M&T joined to the rails will keep the aprons rigid. The two joints with the legs will be more widely spaced than a traditional apron's tenon, adding rigidity, and there will be less cross-grain movement.

    From a design standpoint, two ideas you might want to model in SU:

    Look at the same overhang for front and each end, but make the back overhang much smaller--about the combined thickness of your base board and shoe moldings. Assuming it is going against a wall, this will give it somewhat deeper footing while preserving the look.

    Look at putting a bevel on the underside of the top, with the edge about 5-10mm, tapering to full thickness over the width of your overhang.

    I have no idea whether these will work for you--this is not my style of furniture, and I have no particular expertise. But those are things I would look at.

    Nice looking piece! Post pics of your final plan and the real thing.

  12. #12
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    Yes, Robert

    That is exactly what I was talking about. On the back apron you have a piece up against the leg. I suggest you do the same on the end apron and glue that whole corner assembly together as one piece. That way you'll have enough meat to mortise your leg into.

    I do like your open concept. I made a table of about the same dimensions once and didn't make the leg/apron/top joint strong enough. So I do have some experience. I had to re-do it some 30 years later.
    18th century nut --- Carl

  13. #13
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    Robert, the third drawing you did with the lighter color looks fine for joinery. I still think the corner block approach recommended by Carl will be easier to build and more sturdy. The benefit of a corner block is that you get the strength without compromising the design. The hall cabinet I made was made from 7/8 stock and after planing and sanding I am sure it is close to 6/8. Mortises and Tenons in that cabinet are all 1/4" thick which doesn't provide much strength even if you have a good glue surface, a 1/4" thick tennon itself is not going to be very strong. The corner block will allow you to work around this limitation while keeping the visual elements exactly the same. Mine is a cabinet with doors and as such has several rails, each of which adds to the strength, but it still feels a little dainty when handled. I believe my cabinet is 32" high, here's a link to the thread I posted a while back. The actual pictures are 3 or 4 posts down the page. hall cabinet
    The means by which an end is reached must exemplify the value of the end itself.

  14. #14
    Thanks all. I will have a bit more of a think through and redo the drawings and see things will go together.

    Robert

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