|Project by Tenderfingers||posted 09-13-2011 12:28 PM||973 views||0 times favorited||1 comment|
My brother-in-law handed us an oval oak tabletop years ago. Actually, it was in three pieces – the center and two end leaves that had been cut off with a table saw, and the edges wer routered. When I got around to making a base, I found that the each of the pieces had cupped, but none to the same extent. They just didn’t quite fit. Since the plan was to create a drop-leaf, I had to somehow get enough of the cup out of each piece to make a smooth top when the leaves were up and to allow a rule joint to function while not cutting any more off of either top or leaves (the oval would no longer fit). I tried everything, including wetting the surfaces and clamping a caul across each surface. All that got me was the start of a split. Thought of ripping a kerf down the center of the bottom to at least make it look flatter, but that might have yielded a gull-wing surface. In the end, I settled on screwing hardwood cauls into the bottoms of the leaves and using a number of steel S-clips under the top to attach it to grooves cut into the inside edges of the skirt. As you can see in the photo if you look closely, neither the top nor the leaves are perfectly flat, but it’s close enough that the rule joint works fine – and they fit flush when opened. Special rule joint hinges and drop-leaf brace underneath complete the installation.