Best type of wood for support legs under breakfast bar

doingygirlJune 28, 2007

We have a soapstone breakfast bar requiring two decorative support legs to be placed at each end. Does it matter what type of wood (i.e. pine, oak, or maple) we select if we are goin to be painting it? Our cabinets are a maple glazed vintage white. My main concern is in the strength of the wood which the support legs would be comprised of. Obviously maple or oak would be a lot more expensive than pine however, oak would be a lot stronger than pine. Should this be a concern since this will be supporting approx. 180 lbs. of soapstone? We also have a stud framed kneewall and under counter table made of plywood.



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Any of these woods will be fine unless the legs are to be of toothpick-like proportions. 180 pounds may seem heavy to you, but it's virtually nothing compared to the bearing capacity of a typical table leg.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 10:02PM
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Jon1270, Thank you for the information. I didn't want to spend extra money on more expensive types of wood if I didn't have to especially since I will be painting it.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 9:01AM
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I would be more concerned with denting and gouging of a softer wood from incidental contact with chairs and shoes.

At this link is a table of compressive strength.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 9:05AM
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kmealy makes a good point about surface wear. It's also worth mentioning that, while some of these woods would be more expensive if you were buying cabinets for a whole kitchen, the price differences would probably be insignificant for just a couple of legs.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 11:06AM
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Just for kicks, I checked some of the legs at that site I referenced. For a couple of samples, pine was just over $80, and oak and maple were $110 and 120 each. So you are looking at only a $40-60 savings.

I frequently see pine furniture (including a piece this morning) and tell people if they want pine, they are going to get dents. Not maybe, definitely.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 1:29PM
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-Thanks eveyone for your insightful information!! I will definitely look into investing a small amount of money for material that will hold up and look nicer over the test of time.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 9:48PM
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Why not use maple---to match the cabinets?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 7:46AM
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-Handymac, I may use maple legs. I'm going to price the ones that our cabinet manufacturer carries and see how their price compares to buying a set of maple legs and painting them to match our cabinets.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 4:00PM
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