Need help with Raised Lighted Rail design

Jake14mw

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Hi guys,

I am making a 58" Round table, no racetrack, LED lighted rail. To make things easier and cheaper for the LED lights, the diffuser is made from clear plastic wall corner guard material. (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Trimaco-5-8-in-x-5-8-in-x-8-ft-Self-Stick-Plastic-Corner-Guard-Residential-11834A/202061361). I am attaching a picture drawn to scale of what the rail build will look like. My issue is, since the plywood for the raised rail is 3/4" and the diffuser is 5/8", the diffuser will press down too far into the 3/8" padding. This is indicated in the picture by the light blue curved line. I guess two solutions for this could be 1) Add another 1/4" ply to the rail, or 2) run the padding all the way to the table edge. I was not planning on doing this because I thought it would be too "wobbly" with 3/8" padding. What do you guys think of this? How thick do you think the compressed padding under the rail would be? 1/8"? Any othe other suggestions would be appreciated. I hope the picture is clear.
table rail.png
 

Al Azouri

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Hi guys,

I am making a 58" Round table, no racetrack, LED lighted rail. To make things easier and cheaper for the LED lights, the diffuser is made from clear plastic wall corner guard material. (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Trimaco-5-8-in-x-5-8-in-x-8-ft-Self-Stick-Plastic-Corner-Guard-Residential-11834A/202061361). I am attaching a picture drawn to scale of what the rail build will look like. My issue is, since the plywood for the raised rail is 3/4" and the diffuser is 5/8", the diffuser will press down too far into the 3/8" padding. This is indicated in the picture by the light blue curved line. I guess two solutions for this could be 1) Add another 1/4" ply to the rail, or 2) run the padding all the way to the table edge. I was not planning on doing this because I thought it would be too "wobbly" with 3/8" padding. What do you guys think of this? How thick do you think the compressed padding under the rail would be? 1/8"? Any othe other suggestions would be appreciated. I hope the picture is clear.View attachment 348109
Just run your padding and felt all the way to the edge of the table. The rail can rest on top of the pad and compress down just enough for the diffuser to meet the felt.
 

Darson

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You have a number of options:
- Cut the diffuser which may be difficult to get the finish nice unless you have fine tooth saws , polish etc.
- Raise the rail which may be easy using a 1/4” plywood sheet
- Use less thick padding, normally we use 1/4” padding
 

Jake14mw

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Just run your padding and felt all the way to the edge of the table. The rail can rest on top of the pad and compress down just enough for the diffuser to meet the felt.
This would be the easiest thing to do, but will that make the rail less solid feeling stability wise? If it was 1/4" volara or headliner, that's a no brainer, but with the 3/8" carpet foam I would just worry about it feeling wobbly. There is only 2" of the 5" rail connecting to the table top.

As far as the use of the carpet foam, as I have tested it out, I really like the feel of it. Volara is good, but a little to firm for my taste, and headliner is a little too soft and thin. Thanks for any further suggestions!
 

Al Azouri

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Sound like you found the Goldie Locks of padding. How are you securing the rail to the table? Six to eight bolts with Tee nuts should do the trick.
 

Jake14mw

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Sound like you found the Goldie Locks of padding. How are you securing the rail to the table? Six to eight bolts with Tee nuts should do the trick.
I always just screw the table to the rail. I just recently added lights to my larger table, and I think there are around 20 screws around the table. I always see people talking about T nuts for this. What is the advantage to using those? Thanks.
 

Darson

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I always just screw the table to the rail. I just recently added lights to my larger table, and I think there are around 20 screws around the table. I always see people talking about T nuts for this. What is the advantage to using those? Thanks.
T-nuts allow easy removal for cleaning, felt replacement and repair. It also allows you to remove the rail and store it separately reducing the carrying weight but giving two pieces.

I also screwed mine together - a lot of this depends on how often you're moving the table around. If it's rarely then screws work just fine.
 

Al Azouri

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T-nuts allow easy removal for cleaning, felt replacement and repair. It also allows you to remove the rail and store it separately reducing the carrying weight but giving two pieces.

I also screwed mine together - a lot of this depends on how often you're moving the table around. If it's rarely then screws work just fine.
And in your case bolts and Tee nuts will allow you to exert more compression force on the padding. Screws by themselves are likely to just strip the wood as you tighten down - unless you use a high quality smooth shank screw. Plus I wouldn't underestimate the value of easy removal as @Darson stated.
 
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