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Thread: Another Design Question

  1. #1
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    Another Design Question



    This is the beginning sketch of a piece for a new client. The client is a seamstress who wants a cutting table. I've got the style about as she wants it with these slender turned legs. She wants a shelf at the bottom and that's the subject of my question.

    I think I need to include stretchers between the legs. At least from front to back. What should I do with the shelf, then? Should it wrap around the legs as I've got it? Should I leave the long edges of the shelf short of the legs so there's a little gap? Or should I do something else?

    By the way, there'll be drawers and doors in the space under the top. there are a couple of shelves on the other side.
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  2. #2
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    what are the dimensions of the shelf, Dave?

    3/4" plywood is pretty strong, but the general rule of thumb for bookshelves is that you want to build up the edge of plywood if the shelf is longer than 32 inches. If those gaps are under that length, I would bet you could get away without extra support. Is the shelf intended for bolts of cloth (light) or stacks of books (heavy) ??

    If it is quite long front to back, maybe an intervening leg would suit the design and remove the need for stretchers?

    Now, as a builder, I would find this design a bit of a bear, since you have to get all six of those fitted notches exactly right. I'd prefer if the shelf was between the legs, instead of wrapping around the legs. OR, I would have the legs end at the shelf, and then have some feet that are attached under the shelf.
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  3. #3
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    Art, the top is 60 x 36 so that should give you an idea about the shelf. I don't know exactly what she'll put there but I would anticipate bolts of cloth and build the shelf accordingly. I agree with you about notches or holes for the legs and if the shelf goes that way, I would design the legs to be cut at the shelf rather than passing through. One thing that occurs to me now is that she'll be standing at this thing so perhaps the shelf should be held back inside the legs. I expect my shins would be sore from banging into the shelf if it sticks out too much.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  4. #4
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    I have a little concern about toe clearance. Is the overhang of the top sufficient to keep the person using the table from kicking the lower shelf?
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  5. #5
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    Glenn, that 's what I was thinking, too. I mentioned in my previous post and I think you're right.

    I'm thinking I'll make the shelf narrower--maybe an inch shy of the legs and put in front to back stretchers underneath it.
    Last edited by Dave Richards; 08-07-2012 at 12:37 PM.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  6. #6
    Did she give you measurements for the shelf? My thought was to make sure that the shelf is fully functional for her intended purpose. Bolts of fabric can be harder to accommodate than stacks of fabric for example. If she wanted to store the bolts on their side (assuming they are carded and not round) then the shelf height would need to reflect that. If she wants to store them flat (same assumption as above) it would stink if there was room for 2 1/2 bolts side by side rather than 2 or 3. I would say that it would be best to first clarify the client's intended purpose for the shelf and any minimum dimension requirements for that use.
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  7. #7
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    Hi KaLea. You are correct, of course. I think she mostly intends to keep some cutting mats down there but I would expect other things will wind up there, too.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  8. #8
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    Best to find out what her intentions exactly are, Dave. That information maybe well simplify your concerns. Or not. But to come out with a happy customer you have to go there.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks Carol,

    The basic design is per her request so I'm pretty close. I just need to sort out the construction details for the shelf.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

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