|Project by kordwood||posted 02-12-2012 02:48 PM||3662 views||7 times favorited||11 comments|
It’s particularly gratifying to do something in a medium in which I’m not really comfortable—and in my world, that’s learning advanced woodworking techniques. It forces me to stretch well beyond my comfort zone to dig for solutions to unanticipated problems.
This drop-leaf table, loosely based on a small Stickley end table, is just such a case. The web didn’t offer step-by-step instructions on ways to support the leaves, so I was challenged to come up with a solution on my own. I ended up using a childhood memory of our kitchen table as a starting point … we had a very nice sturdy maple table when I was a kid, and my job prior to dinner was to lift the leaves and fold out the support.
Once the notion of support was designed and the mechanics had been worked out, the next challenge was to craft rather tricky drop-rule joints for the leaves that are both snug and yet loose enough to fold up without rubbing or binding. If they aren’t tidy, the piece fails. I’d never tried something so ambitious … it’s much harder than hanging a door. And it had to be successful twice.
The table stands about 22 inches tall. Fully opened, the top is 24×24. Closed, it’s about 8 inches wide.
Nearly all of this table is made from scraps that we picked up at Keim Lumber in Charm, Ohio. They have bins and bins of endcuts and extras from their cabinet division … like pieces of 8/4 qswo for as little as $1.10. When we drive through Amish country, Susan and I always make a stop and load up. I did have to buy one 4/4 board from Woodcraft to build the top. But when it’s all said and done, this piece has less than $50 of materials, including hinges.
And learning something new was priceless!
-- David in sunny Cleveland, Oh