Advice for supporting long tables

Will your legs work?

We often get asked will our legs support a long table or bench (2 meters +).

The legs themselves will not have an impact on how long your table can be. If the total weight is within the limits set out in out weight guide then your good to go from the perspective of the legs alone.

However, on long tables you will need to consider the structure of the material you are using and whether this will be strong enough to take the weight and not sag over time.

Examples

The below examples are really just a guide and will not guarantee results in all situations. They are simply a collection of things we have either tried or seen our customers complete with good results.

Plywood - Tables

  • 24mm thickness will be suitable for a table up to around 2 meters in length, just under the length of an 8'x4' sheet.
  • 32mm thick will work up to around a 3 meter length, just under a 10'x5' sheet.

Plywood - Benches

  • Without any support a standard 24mm thick sheet wont really hold any more than 1 adult without it bouncing.
  • A 32mm will support up to around 1.5 meters and 3 to 4 standard sized adults.
  • 50mm will support up to around 3 meters and 5 - 6 standard sized adults. You would however be pushing it on the weight for the hairpin legs so make sure you go for either a heavy duty 3 rod hairpin, or some of our industrial box section legs.

Scaffold Boards - Tables

  • Scaffold boards are designed to hold a lot of weight. A single thickness board (38mm) will make a pretty solid table up to its full length of 3.9 meters, assuming everything is tied together well underneath!

Scaffold Boards - Benches

  • Standard 38mm board will easily hold 4 adults if not 5, up to around 2 meters in length.
  • The thicker 56mm boards will hold quite a few more adults but this is not something we have tested. If you have - let us know! :-)

Solid wood

  • Solid wood has a huge range of soft and hard woods to choose from. Its very hard to predict but as a rough guide you could treat a hard wood with the same rough guide as the plywood examples above.
  • For softer woods such as pine reduce these by a little and be prepared to need to add some support... read on below!

Chipboard & Particleboard

  • While these kinds of woods appear strong to start with, they do have a tendency to sag over time. For anything over more than 1 meter we would suggest adding additional bracing.

Support

So you have finished your table and it didn't turn out quite as expected, maybe sagging in the middle or not feeling quite as stiff as you had hoped. Here are some options to get it fixed up!

Steel brace

Probably the easiest option from a building perspective is to head down to your local hardware store and buy some Box or L-profile steel bars. Ideally you would be looking for something greater than 35mm along its edges. Simply drill some holes into this and affix one or more bars to the underside of your table.

Wooden brace

Much the same idea as above but this will require a bit more work on your behalf. We would suggest bracing with strips of wood approximately 5-10cm thick, forming the brace into a T-shape with the top.

And thats about it, if you have any other questions on this do please get in touch!

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