Butterfly leaf opinions please

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Forum topic by JerseyJoe posted 05-09-2015 12:55 PM 2382 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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63 posts in 3558 days

05-09-2015 12:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table kitchen table walnut butterfly leaf oak stain plans pivot hinges

Hi everyone,

I am starting a new project for my daughter. She wants a kitchen table with leaves. I’m thinking about making a Butterfly leaf table, so I have some questions, and who better to ask them of but you all.

1. Does anyone have plans or know where I can get them for a 4 legs table with Butterfly leaf?
2. Do you know where I can get the pivot hinges ( I tried looking at Rockler, I’m probably searching for the wrong term)?
3. She wants a Black Walnut finish, any recommendations on what wood type would be best to use, – should I use Black Walnut ( never used it except to make pens), or can I use White/Red oak and stain, or another wood type?
4. Should I make the table slides or just buy them?

5. Any other suggestions that would help.

Your information/ opinions would be very valuable and appreciate.


-- Joe Massanova, Somerdale, NJ -

3 replies so far

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2531 days

#1 posted 05-10-2015 03:57 AM


I just finished a walnut table that used butterfly leaf end extensions. Posted as a project here. Maybe not exactly what you are looking for, but could be helpful.

To answer your questions directly:

1) Fine Woodworking has a couple of recent-ish articles on butterfly leaf tables, both of which I referenced. One by Michael Fortune, here. The other by Paul Schurch, here.

2) You don’t need to buy special hardware. You can use wood blocks and brass/stainless rod to very easily make your own.

3) Discuss the wood choice with your daughter. You can make the table out of any wood and stain or dye it to get a color similar to walnut. But there’s nothing quite like real walnut. The downside is that walnut is at the upper end.of the price range for domestic hardwoods. Unless you can find a great deal, maple or oak would be.much less expensive.

4) How are your wood working skills? Slides can be made, and they aren’t difficult, but require a high level of precision so the work well (that is, slide with binding but not have too much slop). I believe FWW has a couple of articles on making slides in their archives.

5) Have fun!

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2643 days

#2 posted 05-11-2015 03:46 AM

This LINK shows some great pictures of the set up but does no go into the geometry of the pivot position. Looked for plans but there does not seem to be any which gives real detail.

By trial and error you may be able to duplicate what is shown in the pictures.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2643 days

#3 posted 05-12-2015 12:09 AM

Here is a LINK to butterfly leaf hardware sets. This is from WWW.RAPIDSTARTUSA.COM.

-- Respectfully, Paul

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