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I'm planning to do my first dining table. I know most of my research tells me that well clamped glued edges can support the table.

The thing is, I plan to use hairpin legs so the weight will be distributed at the corners but I'm thinking maybe I should reinforce the bottom?

Note: I don't have a fancy table saw to probably create some sophisticated joinery.

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    Maybe edit and show your plans or photos of what you mean? Even a back-of-the-envelope sketch. (I sometimes feel that the best education for woodworkers can be a few semesters of practicing isometric drawing at the junior high shop level...) – jdv Feb 11 at 14:34
  • Well-made glue joints are stronger than the wood around them, wooden constructions all around you every day rely on this fact, so there's no reason to doubt it. But the strength of the joints isn't the only issue with your proposed table, because of the placement of the legs you also have to be concerned about the stiffness of the top, i.e. in how it will resist bending (sag) not just with any expected loads that will be placed on top but under its own weight. – Graphus Feb 11 at 14:41
  • Now regardless of the theory, have you the means on a practical level to clamp the boards together strongly enough? If you want to be absolutely sure of the joints (which you would for this design) you need a sufficient number and strength of clamps, very likely more than you currently own so bear in mind before you even start. – Graphus Feb 11 at 14:45
  • @Graphus I have purchased 3/4" pipe clamps to secure the bond while it sets. – martin o Feb 11 at 23:33
  • Good. But how many? A suitable number may surprise you, see previous Q&A, I calculated the recommended number of clamps required for my table top and the answer seems insane :-) – Graphus Feb 12 at 7:59
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It should be strong enough. The boards should have square and straight edges, most construction lumber is not. The lumber must be straight, dry, and of good quality. SEE: comments above.

You could just assemble it just using cleats on the under side with no glue just screws, this would be the simplest method.

  • I'm thinking of cleats, too. Maybe I'll just add 3 of them just for my peace of mind 😊 – martin o Feb 11 at 23:37
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    @martino, adding cleats/battens on the underside for peace of mind is certainly not a bad idea and will, among other things, help to keep the top flat (it may have a natural tendency to cup depending on the cut of the boards you've selected). But do make sure you attach them properly, so that the top isn't constrained from expanding and contracting through the seasons. – Graphus Feb 12 at 8:02

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