What is this metal strip under my dining room table?

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by lilredhen, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. lilredhen

    lilredhen New Member

    table.jpg table2.jpg table2.jpg Hi,

    I am wanting to shorten my dining room table, so I had a look at it. I found metal strips in the middle and on either end (maybe 6 inches from each end?) so in total there are 3.

    What are they there for? It was bought from furniture village or somewhere and I've had it years and only noticed.

    Is it holding the bits together and then covered with a veneer or something, or what else are they for?

    I have enclosed some photos of the strip in the middle which you can hopefully make it.

    Oh and PS it is a SOLID piece of wood, maybe 2meters long. It is really really heavy it took 2 strong men to lift it off when I neede it moving. This was after I'd thought I was super woman and tried to do it myself and IT DROPPED ON MY BIG TOE! Weird thing is it really hurt for about 60 seconds then nothing. Next day I dropped a pack of 6 beers on same toe (what had my toe done to my brain to make it hate so much?!) and I was fine....... Until 6 weeks later I was having big pains and ended up having an xray. They said it was badly bruised. "Badly bruised" SIX weeks later!

    Anyway please let me know if you can tell me what they are for.

    Thank you so much x
  2. Jiml86

    Jiml86 Active Member

    They are there to stop the boards twisting or cupping.
  3. As above, it stops the wood from warping. If you cut the table short, just move the bars so you still have one at each end.
  4. lilredhen

    lilredhen New Member

    Thank you very much, that makes perfect sense now you say it..!

    So next question, how to cut a bit off the end it's solid 3inches I would say? And would you bother? Or is it better to get a new, smaller one?

  5. Red Star Boats

    Red Star Boats Active Member

    It’s hard to tell from photos but the metal angle looks to be more than six inches from the end so leave as is. If you move it you will need to cut a housing for the return of the angle, which would be best done with a router. Cutting the ends would be best done with a track saw but at three inches thick you will struggle to find one that cuts deep enough at an affordable diy price point. So either look round for a local joiner to do it for you or it’s a case of careful marking and cutting with a sharp handsaw and cleaning up with a belt sander afterwards. A regular circular saw a straight edge is also an option but again saws of sufficient capacity are not usually in the realm of diy. Check the thickness of the table top if it’s 50mm or less things become a bit easier.
  6. stevie22

    stevie22 Screwfix Select

    How much length do you want to lose? You may have to move the legs in to keep it looking balanced.

    Don't get too stressed about tools if you do decide to cut: just clamp a straight edge to the top and run a circular saw along it then finish off with a nice new wood saw (<£6 at SF) then sand. Take care with the cut and it won't need too much work.
  7. Red Star Boats

    Red Star Boats Active Member

    I think you are over simplifying things, three inches of hardwood with a handsaw is some task, and what circular saw commonly owned by your average diyer is capable of cutting >75mm. I think you are giving the op false hope that this can be accomplished with little effort or investment.
    If they are not careful all they will end up with is firewood.
  8. BiancoTheGiraffe

    BiancoTheGiraffe Screwfix Select

    3" is a hell of a chunk of wood, that not just the depth of the frame?

    I'd say you need to take it to your local timber yard, but given it's size I'd assume that's not really an option!
  9. There’s no easy way to cut that. If it’s 3 inches thick you’ll struggle with most tools. Make sure the blade is new, sharp and correct for the job.

    the best option is get a pro to do it. Speak with a local carpenter or saw mill as suggested above. See if anyone is capable of the task.
  10. lilredhen

    lilredhen New Member

    Hi, thank you all so very much!

    @BiancoTheGiraffe em.. absolutely no chance in getting it to timber yard! I think even if say, I managed to move it, and put it in my car, say, It would literally smash the chassis!

    I have just been to actually measure it and found I have exaggerated a little. It is on the mark just over 2.5 inches deep, precisely 640mm.

    I think I am going to have to do with it a handsaw. I do have a circular saw but it's only a mini handheld one which will run away with fright at the sight of it.

    Thank you whoever said to keep the metal things, I think I can just cut it right next to them. This will also help keep my cut straight?

    Final question: What do I do about new edging? The table is completely solid, like there is no edging you can see on say a kitchen worktop, it all moulds into one.

    Thank you!
  11. If it’s solid wood you won’t need to edge it. You’ll be revealing a new edge as you cut.

    you’ll probably need to sand the cut marks out though.

    I wouldn’t recommend doing this by hand though.
    BiancoTheGiraffe likes this.
  12. BiancoTheGiraffe

    BiancoTheGiraffe Screwfix Select

    I agree, I can't imagine that anyone would get a decent cut with a hand saw.

    I'd possibly give it a go with a tracksaw, but only a decent one with a new blade
  13. chillimonster

    chillimonster Screwfix Select

    the sawing by hand will need 3x new saws, 1x fencer, 1x someone to file then sandpaper
    the inevitable rough cut. If it was 2 foot wide, I'd allow two hours . I'll admit the nearest
    to this I 've cut are the toy sleepers now available for diy projects.
    PS just noticed Mr. Red star boats alludes to the fact cuts at both ends may necessary
    to keep a balanced look, so x 2 the above. From what the O.P. said, it probably won't
    be making a trip to a sawmill.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  14. Red Star Boats

    Red Star Boats Active Member

    Lilredhen, those metal strips are angle iron, if you cut right next to it you will leave the return angle visible on the cut end of your table. If I’m being honest I don’t think from the way you are talking that this is going to have a very happy ending, unless you are going to be happy with a table that looks like it’s been chewed by a bulldog.
  15. stevie22

    stevie22 Screwfix Select

    I did say circular saw first: going to get 40-50 deep even with smallish saw. 65 total gives only 15-25 to go. New saw, line to follow isn't too terrible. Start with coarse sandpaper on a block and work down the grades.

    I didn't say no effort, quite the reverse, but simple tools and minimal cost.

    When I was a wee kiddie we had a 6foot fence installed at home. Somewhere along the line the erectors got a post out of plumb. They corrected it by ripping down a post into a 6 foot long firring piece. Hand saw, far from new. Men were men in those days!!!!
    chillimonster likes this.

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