Butterfly leaf table questions

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Forum topic by Monte Pittman posted 09-19-2016 01:41 AM 652 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Monte Pittman

29934 posts in 2507 days

09-19-2016 01:41 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource

I am preparing to build a butterfly leaf table. There is to be 2 butterfly type leaves in the table. I have watched LOTS of videos and looked at lots of designs and pictures. They all do the exact same thing. They either use all of the leaves or none of them. So my question is, can they use just 1 leaf with gear-driven slides? I have both types of slides, but would prefer to use the gear-driven.

Thanks in advance.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

4 replies so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8706 posts in 3012 days

#1 posted 09-19-2016 02:39 AM

Sorry I can’t help you Monte. I am looking forward to seeing the build. sounds like a challenge.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2700 days

#2 posted 09-20-2016 02:42 PM


There is an issue with gear-driven slides, in that they force each half of the top to open equally. What this means is that you’d have to build the butterfly leaves so the can slide. If you want one leaf in place, it needs to slide to the middle (and the other leaf slides out of the way). To get two leaves in place, they need to slide so that the seam between them is in the middle.

With non-gear slides, you can open up one end of the table of the other, no need for the leaf assemblies to slide back and forth.

I think you could go the gear slide route,, but it would take a bit of thought to make a mechanism under the table that allows the leafs to slide.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2973 days

#3 posted 09-22-2016 02:01 AM

No help from this rookie…Sorry Monte

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1089 days

#4 posted 09-22-2016 11:57 AM

Monte Pittman,

Not having built a butterfly leaf or any other adjustable table top, I am on thin ice. But it seems that two butterfly leafs and the gear drive slides could all be incorporated.

The idea is to build a top that when in its shortest position and the leafs stowed, the top would consist of a center section and two outboard sections. A pair of slides (two pairs in all) mounted to the center section and an outboard section would allow one end of the top to pull open while the other end remains locked in place. The butterfly leafs would be installed between the center section and each outboard section.

Sizing the center section to match the gear slides would be required or, if possible, the gear slides modified so that the gear slides fit under the center section without projecting beyond the center section. Any projection could interfere with the butterfly leaf operation.

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