|Project by Mark Kornell||posted 05-04-2015 01:33 AM||2789 views||18 times favorited||24 comments|
I was commissioned to build a walnut dining room table for a client. She had some fairly specific requirements which made this a bit of a challenge.
Requirement #1: 8’ long extensible to 10’
Requirement #2: No center divide, extensions must come from the ends
Requirement #3: Extensions must store inside the table
Requirement #4: Use this specific design (hers) for the legs
Needless to say, this took a bit of engineering to come up with a package that worked. First, the legs are only 2” thick. There isn’t enough bearing surface to counter end-to-end racking forces. The solution was to have T-shaped metal brackets fabricated that I mortised and epoxied into the top of the legs. The brackets are bolted into the apron structure
Second, because of the need to have 12” extensions that pull out from each end, the normal position for the legs would interfere with whatever this pull-out mechanism would be.
Third, the extensions needed to fold in half to store inside the table. The client wanted an underbeveled edge, meaning that I could not have a single-piece pull out (or flip-out) extension.
So, I ended up building the apron so the end would pull out, and contain a butterfly leaf assembly. The apron end would also form the support for the butterfly leaf when pulled out, so it could not collapse when in use.
I had prepared an animated GIF to show how it works, but apparently I can only embed JPEGs. So, here’s the sequence:
The edge of the slab is underbeveled, so to carry that around the ends while accommodating the “drawer” I made a removable end cap, held on by magnets.
Easily removable when the extension is needed, it stows to the right side of the apron under the top.
Overall dimensions are 96” x 43 13/16”W x 29 1/2” (LxWxH)
The primary wood is walnut, with hard maple as the secondary wood in the apron structure. The legs are walnut veneered onto beech. I cut the veneers from the same flitch of boards that were used in the rest of the table so I was able to maintain consistent color and grain.
Because of the grain orientation of the butterfly leafs, I also used shop-sawn veneer on baltic birch plywood to ensure they remained stable.
The finish is Varathane Nano-Defence, satin sheen.
-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design