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Table top - wood thickness?

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  • Table top - wood thickness?

    I'm about to make myself a proper work table and have just ordered steel legs (made for breakfast bars) that can take up to 570kg so they should be able to handle my little curtains and blinds. I need to be able to take it apart when the outlaws visit twice a year or so, so can't build anything more solid, but these legs look well up to the job and I'm itching to get them.

    I'm limited with space so the table will sit with the length of it over the width of the double bed, with enough room to get round each end, although in the main I imagine I'll be standing at the foot of the bed working.

    I reckon I'll manage to get 7 foot long by perhaps 5 feet wide. That's basically the limits of my space so there's no point in wishing for any more cos I won't get it.

    Will MDF do the job, do you think?

    I need a minimum of 20mm thickness for the leg fixings, according to the supplier, but will thicker wood increase the strength or weaken it (as the table will be much heavier)?

  • #2
    Re: Table top - wood thickness?

    HI Bluebell

    My table is 28mm thick MDF and then padded and covered.

    Philip
    Have you registered your business yet?

    http://www.ukcurtainmakers.co.uk


    A MyDecozo Directory

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Table top - wood thickness?

      28mm sounds good to me. Ta!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Table top - wood thickness?

        Bluebell - - - MDF is not the best surface material for a workroom table at any thickness. I have seen many made so and watched them fail. I am sure that Philip is pleased with his currently, however, MDF is a composite board made from compressed paper, It has no tensility and will start to delaminate and naturally deform especially when steam is applied by ironing on the board. Steam will penetrate the board and the surface will stars to crumble. It also shrinks considerably in a large sheet.

        Blockboard is by far the best material, it is tensile and will need much less support than MDF. It will not shrink and will always stay straight. Blockboard will take screws well whereas MDF, by virtue of its composite nature, will not accept screws well unless there are a lot of them over a large area. If you are intent on using MDF then you will need to make a frame of something like 3" x 1" (7.5cm x 2.5cm) around the whole of the edge with cross members every half metre or so and you will need to glue and screw a fairly large softwood pad onto the underside at the point where each leg is to be placed.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Table top - wood thickness?

          I have had this MDF padded cutting table for at least 4 years now and it has been well used daily and ironed on with steam thousands of time - I have made every item that has ever left my workroom on this table and it hasn't changed yet. It hasn't bent or bowed..

          I'd say my table has been tried and tested and is therefore fine fit purpose.

          Philip
          Have you registered your business yet?

          http://www.ukcurtainmakers.co.uk


          A MyDecozo Directory

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Table top - wood thickness?

            Philip I am not trying to insult your table or your choice of materials. This is simply an opinion based on half a lifetimes work in the construction industry. I give professional advice on matters related to timber products because I have a number of professional qualifications which enable me to do so.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Table top - wood thickness?

              I'm giving my opinion based on my experience with a 28mm MDF padded table.. I can't speak for other materials as I haven't used them, but I can speak for MDF. I haven't taken you comments as an insult, and I'll say it again, yours is only one opinion of many on this forum.. You need to accept people have opinions based on their own experiences and aren't always interested in the science.

              Justifying your posts every time someone adds an opinion that differs to yours is also becoming tiresome. This is a forum, the users will take what they want from it - right or wrong!

              Philip
              Have you registered your business yet?

              http://www.ukcurtainmakers.co.uk


              A MyDecozo Directory

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Table top - wood thickness?

                My table is 28mm MDF and is about 6 years old now, its been moved to 3 different locations and was made by a carpenter ( my Dad who built the huge arch at Hampton court Palaces' Louis the IV knot garden!) , its still as good today as the day it was made, just quite a few stapled linings to the underside. It has two racks made from battoning under for storage of pattern books and fabric rolls ( and anything else !!) so I too think 28mm will be fine Bluebell , I'd still compare the price of both products though before making your final decision. I have another 28mm mdf sheet that lays over my dining room table with battons on the underside to keep it in place as it holds the mdf tight to the under table top sides. It doubles as a brilliant dining table when friends and family come over and I need a huge dining table, just sling a table protector ontop in case of spillages!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Table top - wood thickness?

                  I too have 28mm MDF table that was constructed 8 years ago and had daily use, this one is uncovered. I have used a woollen underlay ironing mat on it regularly to press my fabrics. It seems fine to me. It does however have a MDF supports underneath along with two lots of shelves.It has also been taken apart and put back together when I moved to my workroom 18 months ago.
                  Kindest Regards

                  Penny

                  Denton Drapes

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Table top - wood thickness?

                    I hadn't given any thought to support underneath at all. Perhaps I ought to.

                    I've bought legs from a kitchen place, which are heavy steel construction and are meant for breakfast bars. I was in my naivity just going to screw these underneath at the four corners.

                    I want a table that's sturdy but also take-apart-able. Doesn't have to be super duper easy to take apart, I'm happy if it'll take 2 people to do, as it won't happen all that often, but it DOES have to be possible.

                    Would I HAVE to make a frame for the mdf? Would it not be safe with just the legs, as it's not going to be a huge table
                    (only about 7 x 5 feet)?

                    Would the blockboard need a frame also? I appreciate I'm asking joinery questions of curtain makers, but so many of you have made your own worktables and that experience is truly valuable, as you're all using your tables regularly.

                    I love the idea of the bigger table top over the dining table too - pity it's a double bed I need to "straddle" with the table as this solution is genius.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Table top - wood thickness?

                      Hi Bluebell
                      If you would like I will take some photos of my tables construction when I get back to work tomorrow and post them for you.
                      Kindest Regards

                      Penny

                      Denton Drapes

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Table top - wood thickness?

                        Could you post photos? That would be brilliant.

                        I'm tempted to speak to a joiner friend now as well, to see what he would advise. I was hoping for a simple solution, but as always with me, the simpler the concept the more time I spend getting it right.

                        thanks!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Table top - wood thickness?

                          Hi Bluebell,

                          I had the same problem - so I got rid of the double bed! We don't have folk staying TOO often so I replaced it with a sturdy double sofa bed (IKEA) which takes up much less space (and is very comfortable so our friends and family tell us!). I then have 3 work tables that all fit together - 2 side by side which make up an area of 1.9m by 1.5m then I have a 3rd table with folding legs that fits across the ends of those 2 for when I have longer curtains. I find this quite practical as most of the time I have a great space to work in and I can still use the room for occasional guest by folding the 3rd table legs in and standing it against the wall, then putting one of the other 2 tables on top of the other and pushing them over to the side. All 3 tables are from IKEA - MDF - with legs also from IKEA. I've covered 2 of them with interlining & lining. They're also nice and light so I can manouvre them about myself if necessary. Oh, and I velcro the legs together to stop them moving about (the table legs, not talking about some bizarre method of contraception!!)

                          Cheers
                          Sue

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Table top - wood thickness?

                            My bench is in my spare bedroom too but it was built in two pieces with hinge in middle & setwith piano hinges so it can fold
                            against the wall. Thats only happened about twice cos if we do need the space we just put air beds on top of bench...perfectly adequate & comfortable
                            Regards
                            Mairi

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Table top - wood thickness?

                              Morning Bluebell
                              Here are some photos of my table for you to see the construction. Hope they help.
                              Kindest Regards

                              Penny

                              Denton Drapes

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