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I need help with forces

  1. Sep 25, 2004 #1
    I am trying to determine how much force is necessary to make a round table topple over, or what information I need to make such a determination. The table is 30" in diameter and 1 1/4" thick, made from medium density fiberboard (MDF). The MDF has a density of 39 lbs/foot3. The table has three legs, equidistant from each other, placed at the edge of the table. The legs are made of aluminum, but I do not know their weight or exact size. The legs are 22 1/4" in height and are secured directly to the bottom of the table.

    Is there a way of roughly calculating how much weight would be required to topple the table if the weight were placed precisely between two of the legs at the edge of the table?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2004 #2


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    Are the legs straight or splayed, and if the latter, by how much? Maybe give the distance between the legs where they are fastened to the table and also where they sit on the floor. Then we can work up the shape that has to be toppled. Generally you can see what has to happen by lifting the table up by one leg and balancing it so its center of gravity is over the other two legs. You will have to lift its center of gravity to do that, and that will take work, i.e. force times the distance the center rises.
  4. Sep 26, 2004 #3
    The legs are curved but the bottom of the leg touches the floor directly below the point where the top of the leg is attached to the table, as though the legs were perpendicular to the table top. Does that help?
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