With the gazebo table top mocked up it was time to focus on what would actually perform the supporting role. And the winner was…a 6.5” diameter piece of pipe! I was able to get my hands on a 26” section of the pipe and the girth looked right so I went with it (it was actually free so how could I refuse). I didn’t have a game plan for the base so I took a look at the metal extras I had laying around the shop and started to piece the structure together. The only thing I wanted to make sure of is that the base was visually pleasing. The backyard is built on a hill and the gazebo sits approximately half way down the total slope. When you are at the base of the slope your eye would be level with the base of the gazebo table therefore I needed it to be more then just a stick holding up a table top.
Most of the projects I build end up being over kill. When in doubt build it stout, why stop now? Since the table top substrate was wood I wanted to ensure it was well supported and that there would be as little flex as possible. It was going to have to withstand “table elbows”. I used some 2 x 2 x .100 steel tubing and built six outer supports. They consisted of nothing more then a 45 degree capped end and 3 holes drilled in each to allow for screws to fasten the top to the base. Once the sections were built they got butt welded to the center pipe using the TIG. At this point the supports were plenty strong but the visual was fairly boring and basic.
I had 20 feet of 5/8” hot rolled round bar kicking around. I bought it in anticipation of using it for a previous project but it never got used. I thought I would see how the metal bender would perform with round bar. I took a ten foot section and ran it through the bender till I had a radius that visually looked good. The bender did a good job however the bar wanted to “fall over” through the bending process. I clamped a set of Vise-grips onto the end of the 5/8” bar so that I could tell which way was up and then I clamped a second set of Vise-grips onto the bar so that I could manually hold the bar straight as it went through the roller. Worked beautifully! I then took my carpenter’s square and measured out 6 even sections along the circumference of the bend. Lit the plasma up and torched the sections out (it too started to behave)
I TIG’d on the six angle brackets onto the existing 2 x 2 table supports. I think they worked out well. They do add strength however I don’t think they are structurally necessary. To add some finishing work to where the 5/8” rod attached to the support pipe I ring rolled a 1” x 1/8” section of flat bar and tacked it in place.
The main table structure has been fabricated. I was going for a 29” table top height, as that is standard, as it sits now I am at 28”. No problem. Next stage of the process will involve building a support plate to bolt and level the table to the gazebo floor. I will ensure that I gain an extra inch of height when I finish off the base.
I am still working on table top finishing ideas and things are coming together quite nicely. I’m still hogging the details to myself until I have all my required materials organized. I’ll keep you posted.