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#1 jrgpots

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:20 PM

I just picked up three old drafting / art tables for $2.25 each.  What type of table  top  would you suggest I make?  I want to keep one table as is so I can tilt the top when drawing or sketching.

 

Jed



#2 neilestrick

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:54 PM

3/4 inch MDF. Hard as a rock, smooth. For clay work table, apply 6 or 7 coats of linseed oil to keep it from delaminating when it gets wet.
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#3 Pres

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:57 PM

What a steel, I am soooooo Jealous!  I would cover them with some sort of smooth material, birch plywood, masonite, or something similar. You could even make a top that has a rim on the bottom that would fit over the table and stay in position even then if you anchored them with screws you could do it from the side not having any screw marks in top to gather clay.. These are great.  You may even find that you need to cut the legs down a bit as they are usually higher for a drafting stool.  I think masonite is the old term for MDF. . . am I right Neil?


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#4 Mark C.

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:02 PM

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#5 jrgpots

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:10 PM

Someone suggested making a Tyvek covered wedge table.

#6 oldlady

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:11 PM

cover one with drywall and you will have a space to handle items that you want to dry more quickly and a space to do handwork.  do not paint the drywall.  

 

we typed at the same time.  yes, tyvek is a great cover. it is washable and clay will not stick to it.  if you have some you will love the surface.  mine is from about 1991 or so.


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#7 oldlady

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:16 PM

consider placing them parallel to each other about 4 feet apart so you can work on several things at a time by swinging back and forth from one to the other. 


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#8 jrgpots

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:23 PM

consider placing them parallel to each other about 4 feet apart so you can work on several things at a time by swinging back and forth from one to the other.


I like that. My garage can handle that type of layout!

#9 jrgpots

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:40 PM

...  You may even find that you need to cut the legs down a bit as they are usually higher for a drafting stool....

 

I know wedging tables should be lower than other tables.  How do I know what height?  They are 31 inch high now.



#10 jrgpots

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:51 PM

3/4 inch MDF. Hard as a rock, smooth. For clay work table, apply 6 or 7 coats of linseed oil to keep it from delaminating when it gets wet.

 One table with MDF, one table shorter for wedging, one table with Tyvek and dry wall.  I need to add a shelf at foot level. Soon I will have my garage transformed into a nice studio.

 

Thanks



#11 Isculpt

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:34 AM

I hate to disagree with Neil, who knows darned near everything, judging from his helpful posts over the years, but..... Coming from a custom cabinetry and construction background, I would only use MDF if it had a great deal of support under it.  It is often used for relatively inexpensive custom cabinetry bookcases, but I've seen it sag in a 24" span under a load of lightweight books.  The same is true for its coarser cousin, particle board. For my slab roller table, I chose to use a solid-core exterior plywood door from Lowes. I cut it to the size I needed (hence the sold-core over the hollow-core), and then I glued formica to it.  The formica isn't necessary, though....a good quality water-proof finish would work, too.   It's nearly indestructible, and so far shows no signs of sagging.

 

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#12 neilestrick

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:30 AM

I hate to disagree with Neil, who knows darned near everything, judging from his helpful posts over the years, but..... Coming from a custom cabinetry and construction background, I would only use MDF if it had a great deal of support under it.  It is often used for relatively inexpensive custom cabinetry bookcases, but I've seen it sag in a 24" span under a load of lightweight books.  The same is true for its coarser cousin, particle board. For my slab roller table, I chose to use a solid-core exterior plywood door from Lowes. I cut it to the size I needed (hence the sold-core over the hollow-core), and then I glued formica to it.  The formica isn't necessary, though....a good quality water-proof finish would work, too.   It's nearly indestructible, and so far shows no signs of sagging.

 

Jayne

 

*blush*

 

I agree that MDF is not great for long spans carrying any weight. But I've got two 4x8 foot tables in my studio that have held up great under all the abuse my students have brought for the last 9 years. I do have a couple of supports across the width of the tables, but I would do that with plywood, too, to take the bounce out of it.


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#13 oldlady

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:40 AM

sorry i misled you.  tyvek OR drywall, not both on the same table.  a wedging table with shorter legs on one side helps your back. don't know measurements but if someone would help you, decide the correct height by using a tape measure while you try "air" wedging and leaning into the wedge. the best wedging table i ever saw had a hinged top that allowed for red clay on one surface and white on the actual tabletop.  another had a square of slate from a former school building. 

 

in addition, if you handbuild spend a few bucks on a slide out drawer to mount under the edges and get a good rolling chair of the correct height.  

 

your studio is going to be great!


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#14 Chris Campbell

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:39 AM

OK ... Really dumb question here ... Isn't tyvek a fabric? Are you all saying to cover the top with it or is there some other product I am confusing it with. I need to get rid of my canvas cover on my table, so was wondering since I want a good, smooth surface that can handle abuse.

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#15 Stephen

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 03:12 PM

I believe they are talking about a house wrap that acts as a moisture barrier for the construction of a building. It goes on before the final exterior wall is added such as a siding.

 

Tyvek is a brand but I assume any of the competing brands would work as well if made from polyethylene. The hill to climb I think is getting as small amount of it as most building supply houses sell it by the roll so for a table I think the best bet is to around to anyone that has recently built a building of some sort such as a studio, shed or garage or of course a house.



#16 Pres

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 03:51 PM

I measured myself with help from my wife, looking at elbow length to my height, a piece of clay 20#, and a comfortable stance and elbow bend.  So my height for wedging table is . . . .31". So for a wedging table, I would assume them to be the correct height-I thought they were taller.  As far as other work, from the charts you will find different places you may want to actually raise them unless of course you are going to work on banding wheels or other types of supports like Marcia's slab box support.

 

Good reference for ergonomic table heights here.

https://www.google.c...bles%2F;940;627


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#17 Biglou13

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 06:58 PM

...  You may even find that you need to cut the legs down a bit as they are usually higher for a drafting stool....

 
I know wedging tables should be lower than other tables.  How do I know what height?  They are 31 inch high now.

For wedging height it's different for every person.
But ergonomics is key here.
I would try different height stool/ risers to stand on. To find optimum table height. When you find it measure/riser height and cut that much off legs. You want it be able to wedge with body weight , Arms straight, not too bent over at waist.

You won't need whole table for wedging. So stool technique could be permanent, and would make table space more usable.
I recently saw a table with sheet rock, covered with, canvas

After re looking at pictures, I envisioned a ware board drying rack, storage system under at least one of these
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#18 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 08:13 AM

Nice score! I use formica on my table tops. I can always put canvas down if I need it.
I like putting thrown pieces under plaster containers on the formica as a mini damp box.
It cleans well after glazing. I have sheet rock boards and ware boards for other work.
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#19 jrgpots

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:48 PM

Nice score! I use formica on my table tops. I can always put canvas down if I need it.I like putting thrown pieces under plaster containers on the formica as a mini damp box.It cleans well after glazing. I have sheet rock boards and ware boards for other work.Marcia


The table tops have formica now. I like the idea of making mini damp boxes by turning plaster containers upside down on the table.

Thanks. I'm slowly getting my studio into shape.

Jed

#20 Mart

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 04:20 AM

formica? But clay stick to that stuff like a fly to a flypaper. I use MDF for all the table tops (yes, they have plenty of support underneath but I never added any linseed oil... do I have to?). We also have pile of small MDF boards (<40x<50cm) for moving stuff around in the shop or creating additional works areas for visitors/students in different rooms.
I am not sure why people mess around with canvas+plywood and elaborate systems how to keep that canvas on the board. Use 3/4 MDF, it's made for this stuff. You can use even thinner MDF, if you have a solid table underneath and the board is not too large.




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