Wow. Beautiful Expandable Table Strategy

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Forum topic by Scottlj posted 11-04-2014 12:11 AM 1387 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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87 posts in 1741 days

11-04-2014 12:11 AM

While searching on here and elsewhere for plans for an Expandable / Extension Dining table to build, I came across this:

Here’s the YouTube Video for how it works…

Wow. This is beautiful. The only thing I’d change – or will change – is I’d like to use some kind of trestle or other leg system to avoid having folks bump their own legs on table legs. My goal is to have the basic table ready to seat 8 and on expansion handle 12.

The problem? My building skills are still novice, but getting better. My design skills… are… well… let’s just say somewhere from slightly less impressive to nonexistent.

Anyone know if there’s any plans around that are somewhat close to this? I’ve seen a couple of other threads on here when searching for “extension table” but nothing really comes close to something like this. This is a similar solution that does use a bottom more like I want, so I’d be going for something in between.

Thanks for any suggestions!

3 replies so far

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5702 posts in 2836 days

#1 posted 11-04-2014 12:18 AM

Sometimes called a butterfly leaf. Looks pretty challenging to install.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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1802 posts in 2340 days

#2 posted 11-04-2014 01:09 AM

It’s a very old design. Michael Fortune has been doing the butterfly leaf for awhile and he’s done an article on building it and has also taught a class at Marc Adams school on the topic. He didn’t invent the idea though, but found a picture in an old woodworking book and spent some time figuring out how to make it work.

Michael Fortune on Butterfly Tables

-- See my work at and

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87 posts in 1741 days

#3 posted 11-04-2014 02:12 AM

Ah… butterfly… that’s the keyword I needed.

Will have to study up on this and maybe practice on a mini-model. My plan is to sort this out and next Spring actually build it. (Since I cut everything in driveway, I’ve only barely got weather to finish one more project.)

But at least now I know where to look for the techniques.


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