Here’s what the client wanted:
A large table made from reclaimed fir beams, which he would select and have resawn.
Large would mean about 8 feet.
It should expand to twice its size. That, yes indeedy, would be 16 feet.
Something that would go in his house of lots of reused wood things, mostly softwoods.
No crack in the center where leaves would go.
My first suggestion was a trestle table with ends that pullout to include a leaf. Not enough net gain of real estate.
I cast about for other ideas and came up with nothing until I recalled a Tage Frid article in FWW about a Dutch Pullout. I researched on the web and found only a few pictures. Here’s a beauty.
I found the article in Winter 77—when FWW came four times a year. I recalled reading that article 25 years ago and thinking, “I’ll never be able to make something that cool.” And it is indeed cool.
I see now there is a more thorough treatment of his project in Book 3 of his sublime woodworking series. What was in the magazine article—four pages—was enough to get me through.
Here is the longer article, p. 56.
Client signed off on the idea and delivered the material.
-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"