table design Hello, all. I'm designing a dining room table, here mocked up real size in 2x4s and plywood, prior to final construction out of maple. the table top is 48" square, and the base has outer dimensions of 24" x 24".

we're putting int into a corner bench arrangement, so I want to avoid legs on the corners, so I started out with a pedestal design, but have moved now to a sort of trestle.

My challnge is he inherent tippiness of the design: lean down too hard on the edge, and the thing tips. (see bottom right image) Constraints: Knee clearance means I can't push the trestle any wider. maple vs pine with make the whole thing somewhat more massive, which will help. Also, I intend to double up the thickness of the legs, from 1.5" to 3". again, more wood = more mass.

Any thoughts on design improvement?

Thanks, Dave

  • 3
    Wow! beautiful leg design. Possible remedies: Put an oversize pad under the feet. Reduce the overall size of the table top.
    – Paul Logan
    Jan 20, 2018 at 18:51
  • without changing the size, all you can do is add weight. i had a picnic table that had a base you filled with sand or water, perhaps something like that would work for you; it could dangle from the crossbeam to keep legroom open.
    – dandavis
    Jan 20, 2018 at 21:03
  • Usually you put a rectangle of cross pieces on the underside of the table so as to increase rigidity. Even 1" plywood is going to flex if you put 40-50Lbs weight 2-4' from support. Jan 20, 2018 at 21:03
  • +1 for dan's suggestion. If you like the proportions of what you have, you need to add weight...either by bolting it to the floor, or using something much heavier for the base. We have a table with similar proportions, but the bases is made out of solid steel, so weighs a lot more than a person leaning on the edge.
    – DA01
    Apr 18, 2018 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


The inset from the edge of the table to the legs in either direction look way bigger than needed. The main clearance is for knee room, a persons feet can move around an object a lot easier. If you have 16" offset from edge of table to the legs from the end, that is more room than you need although if it were practical, it would be nice, but the table needs to work. 12" is the number I would work with to start, on the distance from the end of the table and the spread of the legs, the way you have the nice curve moving away where the knees are, if you moved the bottom of the legs so the feet rest about 6" vertical drop from the edge of the table, you should find it will greatly improve the tip resistance.

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