Cherry Drop-Leaf Table

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Project by jaydub posted 01-24-2011 07:42 PM 1825 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this to order for a buddy of mine that I teach with. Bookmatched cherry top and leaf. Rule joint with mortised hinges. Legs are tapered on two sides, and mortised to receive tenons in the apron. A dowel runs through a slightly oversized hole in the “swing arm” and seats in holes above in the top, and below in the apron.

No finish yet – my pal wanted to have his hands in it to whatever degree he could. The plan is Tung oil – I was glad to hear his choice, and look forward to the results.

I have to give a ton of credit to my buddy Dave at our hardware store / lumberyard. He runs their on-site woodshop. He resawed the cherry for top and leaf, and ran the cove and roundover for me. Without a good router table setup, I guess I was a little hesitant to screw up that part. Now I wish I could say I had done it myself, but good inspiration for next time (and to set up a router table). Anyway – thanks Dave!

I’ll post more when finish goes on.

Keep warm!

-- happiness is a sharp plane iron

3 comments so far

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3088 days

#1 posted 01-24-2011 09:27 PM

are those just regular hinges on there? how is that set up? very cool table! whats the reason for only one side having a fold up leaf?

good looking table! thanks for sharing

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3192 days

#2 posted 01-24-2011 09:43 PM

This is a very nice table. Just wondering if it stable with the leaf extended?

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View jaydub's profile


63 posts in 3111 days

#3 posted 01-24-2011 11:55 PM

@dak – there are special drop-leaf hinges. One leaf longer than the other. The barrel is mortised into the top, such that the center of the barrel is at the center of the roundover radius – therefore requiring the longer hinge leaf to reach out to the table leaf. I just mortised the hinge leaves flush with the surface on the bottom (in addition to cutting another mortise for the barrel itself), and the rest seemed to take care of itself.

@Rex – great call about stability. Top is 18” wide, and leaf is 12”. Not the most stable in the world, to be honest. It is a fairly common dimension, at least based on the antique model I referenced. (That said, old chairs and tables are definitely shorter, as people were just smaller, apparently, which would make things inherently more stable. I’m sure an inch here and there actually makes a pretty good difference.) I did run a very rough test just now – with no standard weights around the house, I put my plunge router (I’d bet 10 lbs+) on the leaf and nothing tipped until it was more than half way hanging over the edge. I guess I’ll recommend a nice heavy center-piece!

-- happiness is a sharp plane iron

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