Amish stowleaf table slides

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Forum topic by Doug posted 04-04-2014 03:11 AM 3756 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1544 days

04-04-2014 03:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: amish stowleaf table refectory draw leaf slides mechanism extension

A customer asked me to build a table with leaves that extend and retract from the ends of the table. I discussed the options that I know of, dutch draw leaf or Amish stowleaf (refectory) table. He decided on a dutch draw leaf, which I was preparing to build, but later changed his mind and asked for a refectory table instead. (The difference is that the table top is fixed on the Amish stowleaf, or refectory table, the leaf pulls out and lifts up to the level of the table top. The Dutch draw leaf has a top that “floats”; in order to pull the leaf out, the table top is lifted slightly then drops back down once the leaf is pulled out.) I read a forum post here from a year or two back where there was a discussion about the mechanism for a stowleaf/refectory table. No one seemed to be able to find plans for stowleaf slides. Apparently they’re a closely guarded secret. Has anyone been able to find plans for these slides? I’d be forever in your debt.

4 replies so far

View JADobson's profile


1036 posts in 2111 days

#1 posted 04-04-2014 03:33 AM

This video gives some action shots and a look under the table. Might help give you an idea:

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

View Doug's profile


3 posts in 1544 days

#2 posted 04-04-2014 12:36 PM

Thanks for this video. Like you say, it gives me ideas, probably my main idea. Turns out I’ve watched it over and over for just that purpose. It provides a lot of information but some mysteries remain, but most of what I need is there. I could mock it up and work it out. I’m hoping the Amish will give me plans, but I’m not confident. Seems proprietary. I like the one in this video better (at 50 seconds). And I like the music better. Thanks again.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15353 posts in 2618 days

#3 posted 04-04-2014 12:57 PM

Look here.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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3 posts in 1544 days

#4 posted 04-04-2014 03:51 PM

Thanks for this. The second photo posted by Dan Krager looks like the one in the video that JADobson posted above, and helps. I’ve seen it on other forums too, I think. Unfortunately your link is to an old thread, and the original video is no longer available. Looks like Lee Barker was looking for the same thing I am. Responses to him refer mostly to Dutch draw leaf tables. Tage Frid has a very helpful chapter on this type of table, and I was all set to build it before my customer changed his mind. Following other links in the LumberJocks thread likewise lead to expired or non-existent pages. I can’t believe this is so hard. These tables have been around for a long time. Selby makes rectory table hardware, but it’s pretty meager. I bought it and sent it back.

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