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I want to put a slab of wood on top of my .5" x 39.5" long x 21.75" wide x 13.75" high tempered glass coffee table. Will it hold it?

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  • Be VERY careful not to get any hard things (sand/grit/etc.) in between the wood and the glass. Tempered glass shatters when scratched, so you do not want anything that might scratch it trapped between the wood and the glass. – Ecnerwal Feb 19 '18 at 4:53
  • I planned on putting a bead of silicone on each end of the glass and let it dry, to keep the wood from sliding. – Janet Feb 19 '18 at 5:23
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According to hunker.com, a piece of 1/4" tempered glass, supported every 12 inches can support 292 pounds per square foot. The same web site suggests that 3/4" tempered glass supported every 12 inches can manage 3268 pounds per square foot. This implies a non-linear increase in strength based on thickness. Being very conservative, one might simply double the 1/4" thickness figure and round it to about 600 pounds per square foot, if supported every 12 inches.

Your table is approximately 6 square feet in area. This implies that one could apply 3600 pounds to the surface of the table if it was supported every 12 inches. It is not.

It's unlikely that your slab of undefined wood of undefined dimensions is going to weigh 3600 pounds.

If your slab of wood is going to match the size of the top, placing the weight uniformly over the table, it will be well enough distributed. Such distribution will also place the forces on the vertical legs of the table.

I think it's safe to say that you could have two hundred pounds of wood on this table and not fear to break it. One should not apply side forces to the table when moving. Remove the slab if you have to slide the table unless otherwise managed. I'd be willing to go as high as four hundred pounds if the table is never going to be moved, but what kind of wood slab is going to weigh four hundred pounds?

These figures are conservative, which means I might be on the safe side by many orders of magnitude.

  • Thanks. Will this work even with the curved edges of the glass? I planned on 1 1/2" maple about 44" x 24". – Janet Feb 19 '18 at 4:28
  • according to cedarstripkayak.wordpress.com/lumber-selection/162-2, the density of maple is less than 50 pounds per cubic foot. I'll use 50 to be conservative. Your dimensions are less than one cubic foot, therefore less than 50 pounds total weight. You have a large safety margin. – fred_dot_u Feb 19 '18 at 10:13
  • I think you are over thinking this pun intended. With the wood spanning the surface the "legs" will be carrying the load and it would actually make the table stronger a bead of silicone to hold the wood in place is a very good idea. I have seen similar coverings on a glass dining table that the owner liked but it had become scratched they found a burle from a large oak and put it on top I thought it looked fantastic and it repurposed the scratched glass table that would have been tossed. – Ed Beal Dec 27 '18 at 14:27

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