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Table toppers - support questions

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Table toppers - support questions

Post  Judy McConnell on 6/9/2014, 12:24 pm

1) Twelve (or so) years ago, I built 6 - 4' x 8' raised beds from standard pine boards.
Of course by now, they are rotting out.

2) In those years our trees and the adjoining neighbors trees have grown and are shading two of the beds, so these beds only get about 6 hrs of direct sunlight.

3) This spring I purchased HD table tops (2' x 4') and LOVE them, after raising them to 36" tall.

Having read everything you all have posted about table tops, my questions are:
1) do you find unmortared cinderblocks sturdy enough to support the tts?
2) or were you able to find a metalworker who constructed supports for tts?

My thoughts center around making 3' x 8' tops of wood, with planting space 8" deep.
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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  boffer on 6/9/2014, 12:33 pm

Have you seen this thread for TT ideas?

1. Kay (walshevak) and others  have their  TTs on cinder blocks.

2. I build my own steel tables, and don't recall anyone hiring out that task.
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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  Judy McConnell on 6/9/2014, 1:35 pm

Yes, Boffer - I reviewed the stickie before posting this - thank you so much for taking the time to write it in the first place.
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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  rabbithutch on 6/9/2014, 4:44 pm

Judy, how thick were the boards you used?  Boards of nominal 1" thickness are actually only three-quarters of an inch thick.

I built 4 TTs this year and used 2-by materials throughout.  The sides are single 2x8s high (but I will probably add a row of 2x4s)  which allows me to put about 7" of MM in them (and about 10-1/2" with the additional row).  The legs and bracing and supports are all 2x4s.  I did not use treated lumber but I did paint the insides faces with raw linseed oil - not the boiled kind but the raw kind that old-time painters used - and allowed them to dry thoroughly.  I then painted all the outside surfaces and painted the inside surfaces on 2 of them to see if it makes any difference in how long they last.  (At my age, I might not find out.)

As for resting on blocks, yes I think you can safely do that if you use 2-by lumber unless you make some really long ones.  Up to 8' in length will be no problem.  Over that and you will need to add cross bracing underneath to keep them from racking.  With the added bracing, you will be ok up to about 16', I should think.

My TTs are on legs made of 2 2x4x laminated together with glue and screws.  One piece is shorted than the other by about 6" so that the sides of the bed rest on the legs which are then bolted to the ends of the beds.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  Judy McConnell on 6/9/2014, 6:05 pm

Rabbithutch  - thanks for your response and I did see the pics of your beds - they are GREAT!

- I used 2" x 8" for the original boxes (on ground) and will do the same for the table tops.

The tts that I bought this spring are 1 bys and they probably won't last as long as the original in ground units.
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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  jimmy cee on 6/9/2014, 11:04 pm

For me
For anything needing support above the ground I'll use 4x4 treated lumber.
It's cheap, easy to work and once supported correctly anything erected on it will not come down.
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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  lzalvis on 6/28/2014, 10:58 pm

Huh.  The bottom of mine consist of cedar boards spaced to leave 1/2" or so in between each board.  I then placed them up on 2 plastic sawhorses (from HD) that run perpendicular to the cedar boards.  

This is the first season, so far they're fine.  Was this wrong?  I've never seen anyone mention this as a solution, we just came up with it.  ....

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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  jimmy cee on 6/29/2014, 9:31 am

try adding an image
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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  walshevak on 6/29/2014, 5:57 pm

@lzalvis wrote:Huh.  The bottom of mine consist of cedar boards spaced to leave 1/2" or so in between each board.  I then placed them up on 2 plastic sawhorses (from HD) that run perpendicular to the cedar boards.  

This is the first season, so far they're fine.  Was this wrong?  I've never seen anyone mention this as a solution, we just came up with it.  ....
If it don't fall down it's A OK

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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  lzalvis on 6/29/2014, 9:41 pm

I"m not sure if JImmy Cee was referring to me, but I'm posting images anyway!  My previous SFGs were on the ground, but it hurt my back too much.  SO, on page 183 of my book, there's a picture of a person in a wheelchair and their garden looks to be up on sawhorses.  That's where I got this idea.  I lined them with chicken wire and then weed guard (2 layers, one running in each direction so there's overlap all around - I was a little paranoid about losing precious MM  Smile ).

so far, so good!  




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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  jimmy cee on 6/30/2014, 9:56 am

@lzalvis wrote:I"m not sure if JImmy Cee was referring to me, but I'm posting images anyway!  My previous SFGs were on the ground, but it hurt my back too much.  SO, on page 183 of my book, there's a picture of a person in a wheelchair and their garden looks to be up on sawhorses.  That's where I got this idea.  I lined them with chicken wire and then weed guard (2 layers, one running in each direction so there's overlap all around - I was a little paranoid about losing precious MM  Smile ).

so far, so good!  



Yes I was.
Your stands look secure enough, however I tend to be quite over cautious when it comes to structures be it in my garden, house or any where else...
In my many years working in a power plant I have come across some very poor methods of getting people to where work is needed.
Maybe you want to consider anchoring the horses to the ground, then the beds to the horses..you have lots of weight up in the air with no apparent connection to the ground..
Please remember this is my opinion and not necessarily the way to go.
12 years ago when I erected my beds I piled drived (sledgehammer) 8 foot 3/8th inch angle irons 4 foot into the ground. very happy I did this as I am using these for everything I'm adding...excessive ???....yep...but thats me and it drives my wife crazy....LOL
You should see what I go through to hang up a picture on a wall... Laughing
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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  llama momma on 6/30/2014, 10:59 am

I like Jimmycee's advice for your box.
Here is my story. One of my 4 by 4 ft. beds is a table top.  The outer perimeter of the box has 4 solid walls of cinder blocks that are stacked 4 blocks tall plus a tower of cinder blocks in the center for more support.
Would you believe come spring time the winter winds shifted the entire box a couple of inches?
Granted this past winter was a doozy, but still I never thought the 8 inch deep table top would move, and it was made from almost 2 inch thick wood.
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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  sanderson on 6/30/2014, 1:45 pm

@jimmy cee wrote:
You should see what I go through to hang up a picture on a wall... Laughing
 lol! 
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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  ralitaco on 9/13/2014, 8:28 pm

@rabbithutch wrote:My TTs are on legs made of 2 2x4x laminated together with glue and screws.  One piece is shorted than the other by about 6" so that the sides of the bed rest on the legs which are then bolted to the ends of the beds.

RH,
I like that idea...ALOT.
I was just messing with some 4x4's, I think they will be the best for my 4'x4'
I have plans to do a 2x8 and think I will use your method but with 2x6's two feet from each end and either 2x6 or 2x4 on the ends, if needed.

any particular glue?
how many screws?
any kind of dadoes?
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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  sanderson on 9/13/2014, 9:24 pm

Rabbithutch has not been online for a while.

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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  ralitaco on 9/13/2014, 9:52 pm

Thx...I will go with some Liquid Nail and 2.5" deck screws.
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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  sanderson on 9/14/2014, 1:37 am


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Re: Table toppers - support questions

Post  ralitaco on 9/14/2014, 9:18 am

Sanderson, 
thanks for the pictures. I really like your designs. I noticed the change in design with the short side overlapping the post now. I see that gives you lots of room for screwing the short side and plenty of room for bolts on the long sides. The older method had the butted end concealed and I like that too.

I am planning on extending my posts above the box to use for a trellis, so I am going to try laminating some 2x's together for support legs under the box. (1 @ 30", 1 @ 6-7'). Once I start building them, I will post pictures
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