BayLUG / BayLTC new table design

BayLUG Graphic by Fred Yokel.

Many members of the BayLTC felt that the PNLTC-type table design was too costly, or too complicated to build. Some felt the designed sizes should have been different. Others wanted to try using old meeting tables with fold-up legs...

After a few meetings, preparing for a GATS appearance, the topic of tables was honed down to a partial design spec. Wayne Gramlich built a prototype, and brought that to our January 2002 meeting. While light, and large, it was sort of flimsy, and the suggestion was made to try a 3/4" Cedar plywood (instead of 3/8"). Wayne and I tried to make a prototype using the thicker wood, and it seems very sturdy. The pictures from our building day will help document the process, in lieu of making real building plans, for now.

Here is part of Wayne's sawdust and wood-chip factory! You can also see the spectacular finish on this cedar playwood! We took one 4' x 8' piece of plywoof, and cut it into one 30" x 60" table top, and one 30" x 30" table top. The remaining wood was cut down to become the edge/lip pieces for the table, since it was 3/4" thick, and therefore we can screw into it directly (without needing additional bracing.

We made marks for screw placement, 3/8" from the edge, at roughly 7" intervals. Some corner clamps came in very handy when anchoring the lip/edge pieces. Scraping some dry soap from an old bar onto the #8 1-1/2" woodscrews makes it much easier to screw them in. Using a countersink bit also make the job quick and easy!

We started by clamping one long lip/edge to the table, drilling and screwing one screw into the lip at the center of the long edge, making sure the edges were flush. Then we screwed down each end of that lip, and then finished with the remaining holes. Next, we secured the second long lip the same way. Then we flipped the table over, measured the sizes of the short edge lips, and flipped the table back over to secure the short lips, using a similar pattern to the long lip.

The metal folding legs are too long to fit under a 30" x 30" table, and the excess length can bee seen below. We put the legs in first, and made sure they were offset enought to fit nicely when folded. Next, we drilled one pilot-hole, screwed the table leg mount to the table, and then drilled another pilot on the opposite mount, and screwed that down. Finally, we drill the rest of the holes, knowing that the leg mounts won't be moving while we work!

Building the leg extension/levelers - These are simply dowels, inserted into the hollow metal table legs until the fit tightly against the bent in the legs. mark the wood for length, as well as marking the leg and the dowel (leg A, B, C, etc.), since each leveler is cut for a specific part of the table leg! You need to drill out a hole in one end of the dowel (deep enough and wide enough for the leg leveler to fit all the way into, as well as a shallow, slightly larger hole for the threaded collar). When you insert the collar, and tap it in with a hammer, the wood will probably split a bit...but this will actually help hold the leveler into each leg!

  1.)  Cedar is an 'open grain' wood, like Mahogany...if you don't apply a finish (sealer, paint, etc.), it will 'feather', making it easy to get slivers, and it is not a good wood to leave unfinished.
  2.)  Because it is an 'open grain' wood, it will soak up a lot of wood finish or paint!
  3.)  Sand with 240, use a sealer or primer, and sand with 600 to get rid of stray feathers, then use the sealer again.
  4.)  I tried a basic aerosol paint, a grey primer coating from Orchard Supply (OSH All-purpose Grey #649 1446), and it comes out fairly close to LEGO baseplate grey.

These pictures were taken with a Canon PowerShot Pro 70, in small/coarse mode.