Table for a Unique Kitchen

In 1972, I bought a very old (1896) farmhouse which had been abandoned for a number of years. My creativity gradually made it into a very modern-looking house of that same basic size, including having wide glass windows from floor to ceiling for the entire 42-feet height of the three-story farmhouse. One such large window was in the kitchen, where that single glass panel of 1/4" storefront plate glass was 108" tall (due to 9-foot-ceilings in the house) and 42" wide. It was a wonderful place to sit and view the grove of Southern Pine trees adjacent to it. So the kitchen table soon was established at that location.

But I wanted more! I got some pieces of 3x3x3/8 angle iron and welded them together into a 36" square frame with two extensions of 36" outward. The house, being built in 1896, had been build from oak trees from the property, and so all the wall studs were immensely strong, and they were actually 2x4 inches and not the modern 1.5x3.5 inches. So I did some calculations and realized that I could bore a bolt hole through the two (hidden) wall studs which were on both sides of the giant kitchen window, where I could bolt the ends of the extensions to those studs. That meant that I only needed a single leg for the table, right where the X of the angle-irons crossed.

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So the table cantilevered out into the room from that single leg.

I got pieces of walnut wood and cut deep grooves into each, to cover over the upward-aiming side of each of the angle-irons. So now the table was cantilevered and also a simple walnut square, upon which I placed a 1/4" glass tabletop. So we ate on that table.

In addition, there was the flat flange of the angle irons which were hidden under the walnut boards. I bought a sheet of single-strength glass which sat on small rubber blocks on those flat flanges. This then provided a second glass surface which was about 3" below the tabletop.

I put some of my collection of gemstones in that surface, where they then seemed to hover under the plates of food on the table. Over the years, the gemstones were sometimes replaced by pretty flowers or autumn leaves or other decorations.

A rather unique kitchen table, pretty walnut which appeared to almost hover without table legs, and where pretty decorations always appeared to hover below a card game or food. Occasionally, one or another of the nine housedogs would break a rule and sit under the table to look up through the table at plates and food, and where we would look down to see drooling faces down below! Until they would be reminded that there was a rule against begging and they would go into one of their rooms!


This presentation was first placed on the Internet in April 2012.

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C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago