oak extending dining table

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Project by jmp posted 12-30-2011 03:49 PM 3819 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was a commission, from my sister in law Tessa. I had previously made her a small coffee table and she now wanted a much larger extending dining room table, in oak, to match. I was able to select a waney edged 17 foot length of pippy oak , which was cut from the centre so was figured like quarter sawn, add to that there was almost zero waste, so I was very pleased. After cutting the top to rough size lengths they were left in my lounge for 3 months to stabilize.
The construction is a standard mortice and tenon jointed one piece frame The legs are laminated to 4 inch square. The length is 6 foot closed and extends a further 18 inches. I liked the look of extension slides which I found very hard to source in the UK and were actually an import from Denmark. The finish had to be almost clear and as I had previously had good results with General Finishes wipe on varnish (which is now no longer available in the UK) I used their water based high performance top coat. I applied 5 coats with a 4 inch foam brush which I found easier to do than I expected. It dries very quickly so enables all the coats to go on in a couple of days. I was very impressed all round and will definitely use again.
I found it hard working with such heavy pieces which, because of recent very wet weather, I had to keep moving in and out of my garage. Next time I would plan it for a summer build. There was also the logistics of delivery which meant I had to part build, finish, and re-assemble once delivered The final request was to be ready for Christmas Day Dinner. Needless to say it went to the wire and was completed on Christmas Eve evening. As you can see it made a splendid centre piece the next day. We were all very pleased with the result.

5 comments so far

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3187 days

#1 posted 12-30-2011 03:59 PM

Beautiful, great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Gabe C.'s profile

Gabe C.

288 posts in 2461 days

#2 posted 12-30-2011 05:10 PM

That’s a great table! Nice job!

-- If I could just get this whole "Time/Money" problem figured out...

View sras's profile


4874 posts in 3249 days

#3 posted 12-30-2011 05:54 PM

Very nice! I like the simple lines and the heavy top – works out very well.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View SteveW's profile


394 posts in 2978 days

#4 posted 10-18-2012 04:16 PM

Wow! I am impressed with this table design….very nice!

Did you have a plan to build by? I am thinking of building a similar table, but don’t have an
inkling of the pieces for the underside that would hold the extension hardware.
Any help would be appreciated.


-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! SteveW

View jmp's profile


40 posts in 2812 days

#5 posted 10-18-2012 07:55 PM

Thanks for the comments Steve. No I didn’t work from any plans, the dimensions were chosen by my sister-in-law to fit in with her room. I was helped by an article by Chris Tribe which describes techniques for building a similar sized fixed top table. The underside actually wasn’t too difficult. Essentially there are two cross rails housed into the main side rails . Their position depends upon the size of the table top leaves which determine where the extension sides need to be fixed. The middle of the extension slide is then bolted to the cross rail. There are a number of articles on fixing extension slides I found one by Jeff Miller in FW helpful. I also used the cross rails to hold the table top extension leaf when not in use. This means that the cross rails have to have enough depth to accommodate the thickness of the table top leaf and to be able to slide the leaf in and that’s why they taper at each end. Do give it a go I would be happy to offer more help if needed but i am sure you will be OK.

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