Review this kitchen table design?

Status
Not open for further replies.

rob.nester

New User
Rob
Hey folks,

I was hoping that those of you who are much more experienced than I in designing furniture would mind taking a look at the attached sketchup file of a kitchen table and bench I'm planning on making, and provide any feedback you might have.

Just a note: ignore the wood grain direction, grain will be running with the length of each piece in the design.
 

Attachments

Jeff

New User
Jeff
A few comments but it's your wife's design ultimately so you have to make her happy and ignore us. The table is 60" x 32". Correct? I'd consider 36"w for place mats, trivets, etc.

Too much contrasting wood gets too busy. Delete some of the contrast as you folks see fit.

1. What do you want to stand out and catch the eye? The table top or the benches? No chairs at each end?

2. I'd try deleting the contrasting wood from the bench stretcher and table stretcher for starters.

No offense, but you asked for feedback.
 

rob.nester

New User
Rob
A few comments but it's your wife's design ultimately so you have to make her happy and ignore us. The table is 60" x 32". Correct? I'd consider 36"w for place mats, trivets, etc.
I totally get your point on the width, however the space where it's going is a constraining factor (half height wall on one side, base cabinets on the other :/

Too much contrasting wood gets too busy. Delete some of the contrast as you folks see fit.

1. What do you want to stand out and catch the eye? The table top or the benches? No chairs at each end?

2. I'd try deleting the contrasting wood from the bench stretcher and table stretcher for starters.
I might have gotten a little carried away with the contrasting wood... I'm thinking that it may be better to just have the table as maple all around except for the stripes down the center an maybe the breadboard ends.
If that's the path I take, I agree on the bench stretchers going to maple as well; leaving just the strip on the bench top.

The plan is to have two chairs on one side, a bench on the other... wondering now if I should considering moving the legs in for a bit of overhang for the random guest (although we have a larger dining room table that we, generally, use when we have company).

No offense, but you asked for feedback.
None taken; I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want feedback. Although I was generally more interested in structural feedback (too tall, too narrow, not tall enough, not wide enough, etc etc), but design feedback is also welcomed!

Thanks!
 

JohnnyR

John
Corporate Member
I kinda liked the contrast. Depends on surrounding "decorations" To each his own. Anyway, the only thing I'd be concerned about is the "feet" may be too close to the end so someone sitting there might have his feet on or over them.
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
I recently built a Trestle Table, I originally planned to build it with bread board ends, just as your plan depicts. However, based on the advise of several experienced woodworkers on this site, I eliminated this design feature. A table of size you will be building will have a lot of wood movement along the width of the long table boards, since the grain of the bread boards will be perpendicular to that of the table movement will be different. It will be very difficult, perhaps impossible, to keep the edges of the long table boards and the edges of the bread boards flush. Personally, I like the look of bread boards, but I am grateful to those who advised against them. One other consideration, I suggest using quarter-sawn stock...this will help minimize wood movement.
 

Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
Assuming that you are building with solid wood it should *always* be impossible to keep the breadboard ends flush with the rest of the table (with seasonal expansion). Just as you pointed out, wood expands across the grain much, much more than along the grain. Greene and Greene furniture purposely leaves the breadboards proud and does it in a tasteful way. That could be an option.
 

Dave Richards

Dave
Senior User
I like the contrast, too. I think the feet need a bit of relief on the bottom so there's only two smaller areas of contact instead of being flat on the bottom. If it is going to sit on a hard floor and the floor isn't really flat, the table might rock. With a relief cut on the bottom, you reduce the chances of that. I doubt you'd find any real reduction in strength by doing that. Especially considering that the feet would be maple.

I took the liberty of fixing up your model and making an image so those who aren't SketchUp users can see what you're thinking about, too.
kitchen_table_and_bench rev.jpg
 

Attachments

Last edited:

JGregJ

New User
Greg
Do appreciate the picture - thanks.

Not sure I agree about the relief on the bottom - it may look better and be easier to clean, perhaps even level, but it may put more stress on the feet than being flat.

i have a small trestle table that had a flat bottom feet used on carpet and abused by kids for 20 years, no problems.
2 years ago got hardwood floors, so I put felt pads on the outermost tips of the bottom, and in a few months it got a stress fracture at the mortise where the foot met the horizontal part of the leg. Glued it back up and removed the pads so the bottom was flat again and haven't had any more problems over past year. I figured the pads were causing all the weight and stresses to be placed at the tips of the foot as far from the midpoint which is more stressful that having it distributed across the entire foot.

I'm sure there are plenty of designs where there is a relief or blocks avoid having the bottom flat because it would give it a lighter look, so I can't argue that it's a bad design choice, just want to share my experience because I'm convinced changing the stresses by adding the pads lead to the fracture.
 

Dave Richards

Dave
Senior User
Rob, no renderer was used. I corrected the way your textures were applied so they could be oriented properly, turned on shadows and made an image export. I did make the image export at larger than view size so the edges appear thinner and cleaner.

I don't know why it is but it seems a lot of people just make low res screen shots instead of making decent image exports.

FWIW, I also cleaned up reversed faces and made all of the parts components. You had a weird collection of groups and components which would make the model more difficult to work with than it needs to be. I also mirrored left to right and front to back counterparts to also make it easier to deal with the model. Especially if you need to make changes.
 

Dave Richards

Dave
Senior User
I think I like it with less red. I wouldn't make the wedges with sharp points as you have them and I'd make them longer. Taper the mortises for them, too, of course. I like the central cleat under the center of the table better, too.

I think the tops of the legs under the seat should not be flush with the edges of the seat.

Not sure what you were up to but the file got bloated. I purged a bunch of unused stuff. Adding the holes did increase the file size some. You had some weird stuff with a group nested inside a component for those top end cleats. There's no need for that.
 

Attachments

Jeff

New User
Jeff
That's taking shape nicely, particularly with approval from the chief designer!

If you have access to FineWoodworking on-line search "trestle" and you'll get a bunch of how-to tips including design and a variety of joinery options. Try Daniel Chaffin, Charles Durfee, and Gary Rogowski.

I'd love any further feedback, specifically surrounding my thoughts on the keyed tenons?
Here you go, a video series by Gary Rogowski (membership required).

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/57024/build-a-trestle-table
 

rob.nester

New User
Rob
That's taking shape nicely, particularly with approval from the chief designer!

If you have access to FineWoodworking on-line search "trestle" and you'll get a bunch of how-to tips including design and a variety of joinery options. Try Daniel Chaffin, Charles Durfee, and Gary Rogowski.



Here you go, a video series by Gary Rogowski (membership required).

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/57024/build-a-trestle-table
I actually have Gary Rogowski's "Joinery" book currently checked out from the library... I should open it up, eh? :wink_smil
 

Dutchman

New User
Buddy
After a 'follow-up' with the "primary design approval agent", this is what we have:



I'd love any further feedback, specifically surrounding my thoughts on the keyed tenons?
i think your overall design looks good. The Keyed tenons are an important design feature. Make sure you have enough allowance for the bench base to fit "comfortably" between the table base. Minimum 1 1/2" each side or so. How wide is the bench top? Don't go to wide on that, maybe consider a little less width. The bench top looks a little wide in proportion to the table top. I would at least consider just putting the stripe on the bench in the center instead of offsetting as shown, or maybe a double stripe to tie in with the top striping.
 
Last edited:

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
Rob, I used a keyed tenon when I built my trestle table and it works beautifully. I found that it took a whole lot of work with hand tools, especially floats, to get the proper angle in the mortise, but if properly designed and built it is a very stable joint. That said, I did not use a keyed tenon on the bench. After watching my grandsons (ages 8, 5 and 3...the table was built for my son's family) treatment of their chairs around their old dinner table, I rethought the bench design. Consequently, I eliminated the keyed tenon and opted to anchor the stretche tenon in the mortise with epoxy and screws. Although the trestle table is moved very infrequently, the bench is moved many times everyday, moreover the boys are in constant motion while sitting on the bench. While a keyed tenon may hold up under this kind of stress, I was leery.
 

Chemeleon

Administrator
Matt
I played around with it a little bit, just minor changes/suggestions from me:

  • I widened the tenons that stick through the legs so there'd be more meat on either side of the key
  • Made the stretchers maple, but with a laminated curve of bloodwood to draw the color downward, and bloodwood keys so they stand out.
  • Narrowed the bench legs ever so slightly, so the bench top sticks beyond them, both for appearance, and because I think it'll be more comfortable if your legs are hitting in that area
  • Added a slight curve under the feet - like mentioned previously, it'll help stability (and shouldn't be a strength issue if the grain is horizontal) and adds just a little lightness to its stance

If you affix the stretcher on the bench more permanently like drw suggests (which I agree is probably worth doing), I would still have the keyed tenon design as a visual element, even if its no longer needed for structure. It will just help keep the bench and table tied together visually.

robsTable_wip1.jpg
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Our Sponsors

LATEST FOR SALE LISTINGS

Top