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Fold out extension for large, thick table.

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Forum topic by Mark posted 06-21-2018 01:42 PM 377 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark

40 posts in 473 days


06-21-2018 01:42 PM

Hello all,

I just finished and delivered a 4’x12’, 1 3/4” thick Alder dining table for a customer. 2’ of that length comes from two 1’ extensions. The design is a triple trestle, with 14” from the end trestles to the table top end.

I designed the extensions on simple wooden sticks that slide into large rabbets in the top of the trestle. However, the customer is unhappy as they aren’t self storing. She envisioned a fold down mechanism, and she paid enough money that I’m yes ma’aming and will alter it as needed.

But.. how?! The simplest solution would be to hinge it and use those same wooden runners to slide forward and support the underside, but the hinges would be visible when the extension is not in use, assuming that the plate is screwed into the end edge of the table top, and the inside edge of the extension.

Is there a hinge that would mount to the underside of the table and be open flat when in use, yet close flush on itself when the extension is stored under? Doing this, you would still see the barrel when folded under, but at least not the big plate.

Any other ideas?

Thanks


9 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1867 posts in 1994 days


#1 posted 06-21-2018 02:17 PM

You might check out a Rule Joint. The king of table joints it’s a very beautiful joint done right.
And should satisfy a perfectionist

-- Aj

View Mark's profile

Mark

40 posts in 473 days


#2 posted 06-21-2018 02:44 PM

Thanks AJ. That looks like the solution right there. Just got to see what size bits I’d need on this massive table.

View Rich's profile

Rich

3864 posts in 786 days


#3 posted 06-21-2018 03:06 PM

She wants them hanging vertically off the ends of the table when not in use? Or does she envision them folding down and under? Either way, it sounds like your design is nicer. Table leaves often aren’t self-storing.

Anyway, it sounds like you’re stuck doing it, and I agree with Aj about the rule joint. You can pull it off easily with a cove cut and a matching radius round over router bit. Let the cove cut bit leave a thick lip, and set the round-over bit deep by that amount so it all comes out flush.

You need a full quarter-radius with the cove bit, so choose one with a suitable radius. For example, if you want that lip to be 1/2” on your 1-3/4” thick top, get bits with a 1-1/4” radius. Some of those values might wind up being driven by the hinges you select.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Mark's profile

Mark

40 posts in 473 days


#4 posted 06-21-2018 03:46 PM

She’s wants the leaf to fold all the way up under. I’m going to have to manage her expectation a little bit, because she also talks about it’s strength, having ‘large’ family members etc. To which my response is, if you can fit a 12’ dining table, you should’ve ordered a 12’ dining table, not a 10’ with extensions!

I’m thinking as well that the rule joint with cove will just look bad on that table. I’ll look at getting a hinge like that, but most likely will just have to settle for the barrel showing. It won’t be noticeable if I get a dark hinge to blend in with the dark stain. I know you’ll end up with a small gap but it’ll have to do. She wanted chunky rustic, not slim and ‘fine’ (in finish only – quality is fine!)

Seeing as I didn’t know the name of the rule joint, I’ll try asking this – are there established mechanisms for table leaves that folder all the way under? Googling yields nothing.

View Rich's profile

Rich

3864 posts in 786 days


#5 posted 06-21-2018 05:28 PM

If I’m picturing what you’ve got correctly and the extensions have arms that slide into slots in the top of the trestle, is it possible to cut through mortises right below those slots so that the extension can slide into those, flush and out of the way?

Without photos and more info, I can’t tell if that’s possible. Even if it works, the extensions will show on the edge. Frankly, I think your client is clueless, but of course you can’t tell her that.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1867 posts in 1994 days


#6 posted 06-21-2018 05:33 PM

Have you looked at table leaf hinges or folding leaf hinges. That’s the only thing that comes to my mind.

I agree with Rich storing the leads separately underneath sounds right to me.
Good luck

-- Aj

View Mark's profile

Mark

40 posts in 473 days


#7 posted 06-21-2018 05:47 PM

Yes, client always understood that storing them under means the table ends are double thick.

Cutting extra through mortises wouldn’t quite work, as the thickness of both extension and extension rods are the same, so the through mortise would join together to create one big one.

Alright, I’ve had another thought. What if I create a dado half of the thickness of the extension rail in both the underside of the table and the underside of the extension. When in use it’s functionally identical to what I do now, and when it’s not in use I flip it over, slide it underneath, and the half depth dado that shows at the edge is filled perfectly with the extension arms.

No hinges involved. Just got to flip table over and make a template.

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3177 posts in 2453 days


#8 posted 06-21-2018 08:55 PM

Mark, take a look at this project. You might be able to retrofit your table to allow the leaves to slide under the ends. It is similar to what you have already done. HTH

-- Art

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1281 posts in 2307 days


#9 posted 06-21-2018 09:20 PM

Check out Mark Kornell’s table from a while back:
Click for details

I think this is the hardware he used (or something like it):
http://www.leevalley.com/us/garden/page.aspx?p=66489&cat=3,43586,43594&ap=1

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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