You've seen all the different table ideas out there that look so cool. You've checked out the various table leg materials. You know you could go to a big box store and buy a modern rustic dining table but you still have a desire to create your own one-of-a-kind dining table. So now what? Let us help you on where to start.
Table Leg ThicknessThis is a huge factor and really depends on the feel you're trying to achieve, but don't forget your legs need to support your table top. A thin plate of glass or stone might work best on thinner legs such as the Inverted Arch as seen to the right. The mounting plate is smaller on these but will still tolerate a heavy load. On the other hand are you totally into the gritty industrial gears and steampunk or petroliana vibe? In that case the thicker the better. Our thickest and heaviest dining table legs are the Classic Drake and Laguna Anchor, weighing in at 54 lb per piece. The bases are 1.75" thick while the top is 7" deep and 13" wide. (see below) Beef up the legs even more by installing trestle piping through the Inverted Arch or Classic Drake table legs for a more substantial feel. As you can see in the top pic of the mounting plate, the holes are oversized. The reason for that is to allow for the wood to breathe. The change of seasons causes the wood to expand and contract so you'll never have to worry about the wood cracking in humidity and cold. This technique is carried throughout our designs.
How Much Weight Do They Support?Besides your own personal style, what it comes down to is what will support your table top? Our Classic Drake and Laguna Anchor table legs, as noted previously, have been put to the test. We loaded them with 5,000 lbs of tree slabs. So unless you're going to live on top of your table legs with your family of 27 then pretty much anything you choose will live happily mounted to Drake table legs. The Inverted Arch is a slimmer leg but substantial enough to take heavy loads. Our opinion is that a thinner cut of wood compliments this style better.
Choose the Perfect Table Leg SizeBefore picking out your legs, you should probably know the material and dimensions of your table top. Is it a small round kitchen table top? Is it a long dining table? Is it going to be a conference table or a desk? Or do you need table legs for a coffee table or bar? Whatever the case may be, we have options. Remember if you are building a small kitchen table, then two big cast iron table legs are going to take up a lot of real estate under your table and you may only be able to accommodate 1-2 chairs. If you are building a dining table, you have to decide if your dining table legs are going to be a center point or are they strictly functional? If you want them to be seen then do not plan on having chairs at the head of the table. Our legs are 28.5"-29" tall so plan the thickness of your table top accordingly so as not to have too much height.
Knee Space Under Dining Table
As mentioned before, if you are building a dining table and already have your chairs picked out, take into account how substantial are the chairs. Will there be enough depth at the head of the table to accommodate table legs, a chair, and a human's legs? You may be safer with a longer table and leaving the ends open so you can enjoy the table legs and not covering them up with chairs. You will also save your guests' knees and they will be grateful. Standard table widths are about 36"-40" as this allows up to 20" of space across from seats, remember that means leg space too.
Distance Between Chair and Table
Standard space from table to chair is about 12 inches. However depending on thickness of the table and presence of an apron and thickness of chair padding, then this space can be reduced to 8-10 inches. Take all of this into consideration when building your table. Our original designs: Classic Drake and Laguna Anchor measure 29" high. We lowered the height to 28.5" on Inverted Arch and 27" on the Enchanted Forest Tree base. The lower dimensions allows thicker slabs without adding excessive height for you and your dining guests.
Extra Drake Casting Flair
Some other things to take into account besides those important functional items are things like lettering. The raised letters have been cast into the piece to give it a little bit more of an older look and feel. Cast iron is the same cast iron from 100 years ago, so that same gritty, imperfect texture has been carried into our current designs. Having said that, you can change the lettering with a little bit of our elbow grease. Customize to your own liking and make it more meaningful to you. Or the Laguna Anchor in dining height only has lettering at the top and leaves the anchor empty.
Don't forget the final finishing touch! The color and the finish makes the piece and creates all different styles depending on your choice. Maybe if you already have a rustic reclaimed barn wood table top, you might not want rusty legs because that could be overkill. A classic black finish with gold gild lettering would help the table top to pop and keep that vintage appearance.
I hope you'll find a wee bit of this information useful in creating your next table. Always feel free to contact us with questions and more important, send us your pics after you've created your masterpiece! Follow us on Instagram to see updates on tips and table ideas.