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This thread offers good analysis of table structure, veneering techniques for complex shapes, and the business problem of trying to compete with cheap manufactured goods as a custom furnituremaker. I would agree on the veneer core as a substrate over MDF, as MDF would be too weak for the leg joints, in my opinion.
I would explain to the customer the poor design issues as related to the ruggedness of this table. If she wants a natural (not filled) look, I would consider a thinned polyurethane finish; it offers good protection without the plastic look (low build). Sandwich a quarter inch steel plate at each corner between two layers of whatever substrate you use. If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. Our Removable Dinette Table Leg Assembly is perfect for those who need a removable dinette table for use with our 035, 122 and 124 Booth Dinettes from Flexsteel as well as our Villa Dinettes and Sectionals. What's even weirder - my experience dealing with furniture suppliers for large-scale purchasing has shown me that the supplier is willing to modify stock designs to accommodate your preferences, often for no additional charge. Its just that its probably never occurred to the purchaser that 3 legs might be better than 4. Except that if you lose one leg out of those four you aren't left with a useable table - it'll just fall over. You do realise that conflict with human feet are not the main problem with table legs, but the legs of the chairs those humans are using. I can tell this - three legged tables - especially with the small footprint shown in your photo, are much much more likely to tip.
My proposed solution would be to have a large, circular base that is flat enough not to interfere with foot placement, and large enough in diameter to avoid the tip-over problem.
So, even though 4-legged tables have a greater tendency to wobble, they are more stable in the structural engineering sense. What would the strongest method of joining the legs to the top be (so that 2 leg edges are flush with the edges of the top)? I know times are tough right now, but that's not an excuse to be knocking off somebody else's work. I don't see the table as being robust enough with that construction, but it all depends on the end use. You will not build this table and make any money and you will not make this client happy, period. Rather than a urethane bag, I make my own disposable bags out of the embossed Airtech plastic joined together with butyl tape.
Again, it all depends on what stresses the table will be subjected to, and what the customer will accept.


People assume that custom makers provide a product of higher quality no matter what the design, so if you accept this commission and build it, you are on the hook for it for a long, long time.
Then you would have a nice detail that demonstrates that the piece was made by a real craftsman.
Recently I was asked to refit an antique full size bed to fit a king size with rounded corners.
I'd rather not do that as well, but thought maybe this lady is looking for a particular size, or the table has been discontinued.
The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses. I understand in the old style table, where legs were at each corner of the table, four legs facilitates having 1-4 guests at a table without the legs getting in the way. A three-legged table will conflict with the legs of four chairs around it; if you reduce the number of table legs to three, you will have to reduce the number of chairs to three too. If you require further details regarding the transaction data, please contact the supplier directly. The list above represents angle sizes that have been or are still produced by specific Mills worldwide.
My thought is that a mortise and tenon is the only joint that might stand a chance over time.
I normally use a catalyzed lacquer finish, but recently learned that this finish can crack when applied to paper-backed veneer that is applied with contact cement. That is either a low quality table that's wobbly as hell, or somebody has a tremendous amount of engineering invested to get the thing to work. Imagine yourself as a teenaged boy, and ask yourself how long it would take you to bust a leg off that thing.
Make a recess at the bottom of the leg and insert a quarter inch thick square piece of steel, put nuts on each end and tighten the heck out of them. It will cost 15x as much as the Chinese version you found, and I refuse to guarantee it." Should go over great.
Put a handcrafted price on it and you need to be ready for a whole different set of expectations. I told her that any way it was done, it would look like it was cobbled together and I wouldn't have anything to do with it. I did have my doubts about this person, but times are very tough for my business right now, so I feel inclined to take what I can get. I presented her with two renderings each of two versions of a solid walnut dining table I had designed some time ago. And contact cement of any type is never a good adhesive for veneer, paper backed or otherwise. However, a childless, refined customer that may rarely even use a table might be happy with it.


The picture shown here is poorly designed, will not last, and what's more, the Chinese will pump out 50 of them for what you can build one for. A roll of that embossed Airtech bag material is expensive, but the stuff is magic, and is worth every penny for bagging oddly shaped parts. If you want to succeed as a furniture maker, you need to develop your own compelling designs that can be produced at a reasonable price. The only way to survive as a business is to control the product design - otherwise you are competing with very cheap labor and very low expectations, a game you will lose. My designs were very clean, simple and contemporary-looking, and maybe along the lines of what she might appreciate.
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I would stop the mortise just shy of breaking through the top to ensure that it doesn't telegraph through your veneer. If you are intent on working with this client, find out how much money they have to work with and design something that fits the budget, that will stand up to that teenager, and that will still allow you to make a living. I discovered it from my landlord, an aerospace contractor that's building (was building?) F-22 parts. You will then have the opportunity to omit troublesome techniques and details, and build in the quality your clients expect.
Spring activated trigger release provides positive locking in both open and closed positions. Double-tenon and lag screw the legs from the top, bondo and sand the lag head hole flush, and bag the top. Before I discovered Airtech, I'd been known to occasionally use Visquine for the one-time bags and bubble-wrap as bleeder mesh (face palm). In the past I have turned down work from her that involved fixing veneer on lesser quality Grand Rapids furniture. I also pointed out that the design she is interested in is not structurally very good; that it's on the weak side as many of you have pointed out.
I'd say "Go get the job!" if you've veneered before, but if not, you might be in for a learning curve. Some customers use them on drop front desk or drop down laundry tables as the addition of a leg offers more support for this extra deep drop downs.
The materials will cost you next to nothing, but it's a labor-intensive job that's going to require you to develop some veneer chops.



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