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I am building a table made out of 3/4" walnut. Right now, I have it on saw horses but will soon be attaching legs via cleats. The problem I am having now is that I'm noticing a bit of flex in the center of the table while it's on the sawhorses. I understand this is due to no supports like aprons. I want to avoid aprons, I am 6'8" tall and I hate hitting them. I have formulated three plans and would like to get advice on which one I should use.

the plans:

  1. weld together a rectangle made of 2"x2" steel/aluminum square pip which would be the width of the cleats and the length of between the cleats. Plus I would probably weld another piece of the tube down the center of the rectangle. I would attach this by using some form of bracket.

  2. use a product like these metal stiffeners in between the cleats. I'm thinking 3 or 5.

  3. ripping some walnut to fit very snugly between the cleats and secure them to the table with glue.

Please let me know if any of these would work and which one you think would be better. Also, if I am overlooking anything please let me know. THank you!

  • Make the top thicker. Install a central support (something that spans the length of the table). Those are essentially your two options here if you don't want to use traditional table construction, or install a central leg or legs. I have no experience with the metal type of stiffener you link to (actually never even knew such a thing existed until now!) but it looks like it should work since the V-bend should make that very stiff. – Graphus Jul 22 at 9:01
  • "Also, if I am overlooking anything please let me know." is it at all an option to build the table the traditional way, with aprons, but scale it to suit your enormously long legs? What I mean is, make it much taller than is usual for us shorties. – Graphus Jul 22 at 9:03
  • Personally, I'd go with option #3. Make a strongback down the middle of the table. Attached vertically, like an apron, to the center board of the table, it should provide significant stiffness while minimizing the likelihood of knee bumping. It will also help preserve the "thin table" look. – FreeMan Jul 27 at 15:34
  • You need to also consider how you’re going to attach the legs without aprons. Just screwing the to the top isn’t likely to give you a connection that can resist the forces that joint will endure. – Caleb Jul 27 at 23:52
  • Yes another abandoned Question? – Graphus Jul 28 at 9:10

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