Have legs, need table top
February 27, 2017 1:16 PM   Subscribe

I recently bought some table legs and now need a table top. This will be a kitchen/dining table. The size requirements are flexible. Ideally it would be pretty close to 1 1/2" thick, and 36x48ish. Basically, I want a 3' by 4' by 1.5" piece of wood, ideally finished, that I can clamp the legs onto. And it is proving very difficult to find anything like this that doesn't fail some criterion. Where should I look, and what can I reasonably expect to pay? Happy to buy online or locally (Chicago). I'd love something with a kind of light, gold look--like the color of maple/pine/etc.
posted by pdq to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
IKEA used to do have table tops that you could buy.
posted by Ftsqg at 1:26 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

You can buy table tops at Ikea, you you could just buy a whole table there and use your own legs. You'll most likely need to drill your own holes for the legs, but that would be trivial.
posted by bondcliff at 1:27 PM on February 27, 2017

Should have mentioned - I've looked extensively on Ikea and Amazon and found nothing that would work. Something like this would be perfect, if a bit shorter and thicker. Oh, and rounded corners won't work either.
posted by pdq at 1:31 PM on February 27, 2017

Have you gone in person to a local hardware store/lumbar yard? I bought a pre-made table top once that I just needed to put a finish of my choice on from such a place.

A little googling also suggests that ebay is a possibility.
posted by Michele in California at 1:33 PM on February 27, 2017

I've used TableLegs.com and was very happy with the results. Unfortunately they only go up to 1 1/4" thick, which sounds like it may not work for you. Though if they are clamps it may be possible to shim just at the clamp to make up the distance.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:35 PM on February 27, 2017

I once made a 3' x ~6' table from a Home Depot hollow core door. The door was 3' wide, about 1.5" thick, but I needed to cut it down to the right length (added some scrap wood to support the interior of the cut end) and I added trim around the edges. Attached the legs to strips of wood under the table top.

I stained and varnished my table, but I'm sure you can buy a finished door.
posted by she's not there at 1:36 PM on February 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

This can get expensive fast, especially that thick. I'd start here if you want prefinished.
posted by supercres at 1:38 PM on February 27, 2017

We have a local specialty wood shop that will custom-mill things (and finish them, even). There's got to be a similar place in the greater Chicago area---and you can get something awesome for not so much money. A friend of mine got a absolutely beautiful table top made there.

My guess is some of the stores linked from the Chicago School of Woodoworking would be a good place to start---you could call and explain what you want and see if they do that sort of thing.
posted by leahwrenn at 1:38 PM on February 27, 2017

I use this from Ikea as a desk top. Its intention is as a kitchen island top. It has the thickness, it is solid, but too long. Not sure if you could just cut it down to size or not. Also, it is heavy! Very heavy.
posted by AugustWest at 1:39 PM on February 27, 2017

It's very common to add 1 1/2" wood on the edges of 3/4" wood to make it look thicker and more solid. If you can find the wood for the top, you can buy, for example, oak boards at home depot. Saw, miter box, glue- I know, it gets complicated fast, but basic handyman stuff.
posted by H21 at 2:14 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Your choices are going to open up immensely if you change your size criteria to "minimum dimensions" and then cut the bloody thing to the size you want.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:24 PM on February 27, 2017

McMaster-Carr has 36 x 48 x 1-3/4" Maple with a mineral oil finish for $229.74. That stuff is way heavy to ship but there is a good chance you can will-call it at their Chicago warehouse. If shipping is required, I've found McMaster to be reasonable.

I've had a custom maple top lab bench made by Bench-Tek... they got the maple from a bench hardware supplier catalog. I don't remember the catalog maple cost being much different.
posted by tinker at 5:43 PM on February 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

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