When you know How-to Make Modern-Rustic Dining Tables from raw logs and cold steel you will never go hungry … because everyone has to eat, right? … and what better place to do that than sitting at a handmade modern-rustic dining table.
One of the best things about building natural edge dining tables from burnt logs is bringing that dead tree back to life. Milling someone’s yard tree into their dining table is always an honor. Folks spend a great deal of time at the dinner table, it’s usually one of the most popular spots around…
Dining tables are made for dining. That means they need to be easily accessible to dining chairs, while also allowing plenty of ‘knee room’ for users. The style of base and size of table will dictate how many can be easily be seated at any dining table.
Trestle Style Dining Table
Trestle Table How-To
This “Trestle-style” dining table incorporates two, separated steel pedestals tied together with one Live-edge “beam” or timber.
Standard Dining Table Specifications
Most dining tables are crafted in three basic shapes: rectangular, square, or round. The width, depth, or diameter of the dining table may vary based on the shape and or personal need. The following are standard table sizes for each of the basic shapes.
- Square table sizes: Square dining tables are typically designed to seat four people. “Four Tops” are usually between 36″ and 44″ square. In some homes and restaurants, square tables are used at counter height rather than standard table height, meaning they measure between 34″ and 36″ tall, while square Pub or Bar Tables measure 42″ tall.
- Rectangular table sizes: Rectangular tables are the most common shaped dining table. Most rectangular tables are between 36″ and 40″ wide. The overall dimensions of rectangular tables vary depending on how many are to be seated. A good rule of thumb is to allow 24″ of space per seat at your dining table. “Four-top tables” should be around 48″ long. To seat six people, your table needs to be at least 60″ long. For eight or more, your table should be a minimum of 78″ long.
- Round table sizes: Diameter is the key measurement for a round dining table. While round tables are best suited to maximize smaller spaces, they can also be a great way to decorate a large, formal dining room. You can easily seat four people at a round table that is between 36″ and 44″ in diameter; four to six people will fit at a table that’s 44″ to 54″ round. Your table should be at least 54″ in diameter or more, to fit six to eight.
Flared Leg Dining Table
This triangulated, “Flared Leg” dining-table, has been designed for optimal leg clearance and plenty of space for chairs to slide under from all angles. Made with 3″ x 3″ steel legs, this table can be used indoors or out with either a “glue-up” style slab, or three individual 2″ x 12″ boards, like a ‘picnic’ table.
Manitou Brewing Company Banquet Table Build, Live!
Standard Dining Tables can vary in height from 28” – 31” tall. This measurement is typically calculated to match closely with the Dining Chairs to be used.
Note: When making custom dining tables, it is best to always consult with your customer and confirm what chair height is to be used with the table before cutting any of your parts.
Straight Leg – ‘Traditional’ Dining Table
The key to making the Straight Leg table as stable as possible is rigidity. This is accomplished by using heavy gauge steel. Minimum ¼” x 2 1/2” strap is preferred. I like to use ¼” x 3” strap steel for the majority of my straight leg tables, when space allows.
- These legs can be made from any size square or rectangular tubing desired. For a balanced look I choose to use either 1 ½” x 1 ½” or 2” x 2” square tubing. Minimum ¼” thickness is required to maintain rigidity.
- Straight Leg table frames can be designed for any size table. Use the same ¼” x 2 ½” strap to cut 4 – lateral corner braces for each corner, at least 8” in length. Depending on the overall size of your table, for additional rigidity, there may also be a need to add an additional brace at midpoint.
“Golden Rule” of Knee-Room
- 11″ – 13″ clearance from top of chair to bottom of table, or rail.
That is the standard for a comfortable clearance between your knees and bottom of the table, or table rail. You should always maintain no less than 11”, no more than 13”, from the bottom of the tabletop, or table rail, to the top of the dining chair seat. This is a golden standard to work with when designing your new dining table and dining chairs.
Because of the “rail system”, straight leg tables typically don’t have as much knee clearance as other table base designs. The straight leg dining table offers a classic look with a maximum overall footprint and good general stability.
Attention Log Furniture Builders!!! The following BTS, ‘Behind The Scenes’ video, offers tips and tricks to quickly fabricate the “Straight Leg” Dining Table base.
This table base consists of 26 individual parts and pieces. It will typically take around an hour to weld together once all the parts have been cut, drilled and prepped.
Weld a Straight Leg Steel Table Base
Live-Edge “Custom” Dining Tables
Once you have all the basic dimensions, and you know what look your customer is after, it’s easy to design and build just about any size and style dining table you and your customer can imagine.
The Live-edge table featured in the following video is a good example of this concept. My customer had limited space but wanted a ‘hefty-rustic’ look and feel.
For large dining tables it is sometimes easier to construct the base using multiple pieces. Applying two individual steel legs under one large table top is a great alternative to a single base, and allows for easier moving and set-up.
The lateral support for this leg system is achieved by the wide upper-plate. It relies mainly on the fastening hardware for stability and could easily be adapted to accept a cross member, or beam, just like the ‘Trestle Style Table’.
Outdoor Dining Tables (aka Picnic Table)
Log furniture is as much at home outdoors as in. Watch DIY Picnic Table Made Easy for ideas about how to make tables for dining outdoors.
DIY Picnic Table Made Easy
The big difference is in the table-top itself, not so much the base. For Picnic Tables I like to use individual boards, or slab cuts, to create the top and benches. For indoor dining tables we use one large slab or “glue-up”, to create the table top.
Are you ready for more information about dining sets?
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