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Author Topic: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table  (Read 1663 times)

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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« on: April 18, 2022, 09:07:56 PM »
I started planing and jointing some maple to build a 42" x 42" extension table that will have one 12" leaf to add to it.  I was going to buy a set of pre-made extension slides, but read an article about building tables and it suggested buying heavy duty full extension drawer slides and making your own extension slides.  I ordered a set of 36" slides that are rated for 260lbs.  These will be made into table slides using wood that will be attached to the underside of the table.  This will be a learning process, as I've never built a table like this.  One thing different about this kind of table is that the top needs to have grain running across the table instead of the length of the table as I'm used to.  Have to be more careful about wood movement with that grain orientation.
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2022, 06:16:34 AM »
I never have, but we had a kitchen table 50 years ago when we first moved into dad's grandfather's place. It had hinged leaves, and a pull out arm for the leaves. This was not a huge table like you southern boys like to build though. ;)  How will the slides deliver the leaf so that it is level with the top?

Looking forward to your project. :)
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2022, 09:35:56 AM »
My kitchen dining table is a drop leaf with hinges that pop up and hold the leaves. Check out Woodworking | Woodworking Tools | Woodworking Hardware | Woodworker's Supply in New Mexico. They have much hardware useful for furniture builders. They also have knowledgeable tech line help. 
My large dining table used for family get together dinners, the extensions remove for everyday space factor. We store them under a bed. I made them table width (~ 36") and ~ 24" deep. They have a self-made American (wormy) Chestnut veneer tops glued to plywood and edged with chestnut. There are two sliders that silde under each table end into wooden blocks sized to barely allow them to slide. I wrote a reference letter under the extensions as they are finicky about being in their own slots. Works great but obviously designed for periodic use such as birthday's and holidays.
The table itself is a full 2" thick and has breadboard ends designed for wood expansion via hidden design features.
Have you ever tried old time maple finishes such as used by flintlock gun makers? IMO, maple likes some finishes much better than others.  
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2022, 03:43:41 PM »
Be careful with the ball bearing slides. if they are not perfectly true they will not move nicely. Plus you may want to add a latch under the table to hold the halves together. The slides will not have the ability to keep them from pulling apart.

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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2022, 05:12:39 PM »
The leaf will be basically just be a 12"x42" board that gets put in when the table needs to be bigger and under the bed when not needed.  The wooden part of the slides will support the leaf when you put it in. There will be little dowel type pieces in the table halves and the leaf to make sure the pieces align and stay aligned.  I have thought about putting some little latches to help hold them together attached to the under side of the table.  I would put them on the table and the leaf.  I will evaluate the slides when they come in to see if they are suitable for what I'm doing.  If not, I will send them back to Amazon.
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2022, 05:24:49 PM »
I think I would make it like any table with leaves in the centre. Pull the table apart and drop in the leaves, push together. ;)
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2022, 10:02:31 AM »
My drop leaf stays down and suitable for two people, empty nesters, who watch TV when they eat dinner in another room anyway. 
When the kids come we pull up the drop leaf, snaps in place, or use both for holiday meals to hold all the food dishes, handy dandy.  
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2022, 12:00:51 PM »
I just ordered some clamps to put on underside of table and leaf.  They are a kind that you don't have to look at to use, so easy to just reach under and do it by feel.  Customer told me he wants high gloss and tough finish.  I almost never do high gloss, but he will get what he wants.  I'm thinking of using lacquer.  I have not used it a lot, but I can spray it and it will dry fast which should be good.  I have several gallons of lacquer that I got in an auction that I would like to use.
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2022, 12:53:33 PM »
Lacquer is a good thing to have in your repertoire and its got a lot of advantages for certain uses - like a kitchen table. Like any type of finish, theres a learning curve, but you wont have too much trouble with that.

There are different types and formulations for specific applications so do a little homework on that and make sure the stuff you have fits the job.  I know youll end up with a good finish on your table and youll have another tool in your finish tool box for the future. 

Ill be interested to see how the table turns out. Ive seen a few of those but they were entirely made from wood including the under supports. Worked well and a good choice for something like a smallish kitchen table.  Im kinda surprised I dont see them used more often.


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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2022, 02:38:05 PM »
Dovetail table slides expand off center  keeping the strength in the center of the slide as they open, bearing slides get weaker as they open so I wonder if they are the right solution. With a small table like yours they will probably  work fine but for multiple  leaves I wouldn't recommend them unless you add runners to stiffen the table when open. 
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2022, 04:26:14 PM »
Thanks Btulloh, I will definitely check the product I have.  I don't remember if its brushing lacquer or for spraying.  Perhaps it has instructions for spraying, like thin with lacquer thinner.  

I know what you are saying 21.  I bought 36" slides, with the idea that only opening 12", there will be little to no sag.  I will check them out and if they seem to sag too much, I will look for something else.  Some reviews I read on the premade table slides said they sag too much too.  With this only being a 42" table, whatever I use needs to fit in a pretty small space when fully closed.  I'm guessing no more than 36" between aprons on the underside.
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2022, 06:23:21 PM »
12 inches really shouldn't  be a problem. I wonder if you set them up so they are rotated 180  and traveling in different directions  would be stronger because  because  the heavy outer slide members would be closer to the center and always  crossing  the gap. Can't wait to se it finished. 
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2022, 07:20:08 AM »
That could be done.  What I didn't describe is the way these are used to make the table extensions.  You use a piece of wood, maybe 1 1/2" x 3" and make a dado the size of the slide and set the slide into it.  Then you use another similar or same sized piece of wood and screw the part of the slide that slides out and screw it to this other piece of wood.  You screw these wood members to the underside of the table.  They can be fastened tightly at the center of the table, but toward the other end you use oversized holes to allow for some wood movement.  I could swap ends as you suggest and it not really be noticeable from the underside, especially when the table is not extended.
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2022, 07:33:12 PM »
All that i've done so far is planing and jointing and gluing up one half of the table.  This maple out of my kiln is really pretty.  It's almost all curly.  I wish I had milled this log sooner than I did,  because a lot of it is no good.
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2022, 07:35:42 PM »
I decided to use my lock miter joint bit to make the table legs.  The legs turned out ok, but there are some gaps in a few legs.  I think they will go away once I stain the wood and the gaps will not be as obvious.  I have the table top parts cut to size.

 

 
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2022, 08:22:28 PM »
OK, where did you get that bit? I have seen those on commercial shapers, but never for the smaller machines. Very neat. Did you need to fill the center of that leg, or was it a design choice?
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2022, 09:20:35 PM »
I have no idea where I got it.  I've had it a long time.  It is 1/2" shank and should be available from somewhere like rockler or whiteside or some other router bit source.  I needed to fill the top of the leg at least as I will be putting threaded bolts in there for attaching the legs.  I put it at the bottom just because I could.
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2022, 09:23:47 PM »
OK, I guess I gotta find something that takes a 1/2" shank. It's a weak spot at the moment. Neat joint. A buddy of mine was making full height columns on his shaper with the same joint type.
 
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2022, 09:26:45 PM »
Tom, you can find them anywhere. All over amazon

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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2022, 04:44:46 PM »
I'm pretty sure my miter bit was a cheap no name brand.

Heres a pic of the 2 halves of the table top with the leaf in between.  Also pictures of the table extension slides that I made with heavy duty 36" drawer slides.  I think those are gonna work out well.  They are very strong.

 

 
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2022, 06:19:33 PM »
Very precious and accurate work. So far beyond my skill. Somebody is gonna get a beauty!
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2022, 07:55:34 PM »
I like the way you did the slides. I was thinking flat underneath but thought that would allow to much flex. much better idea!

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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2022, 10:46:21 PM »
Ahh, yeah that would not work very well.  I could have described it better when I first mentioned it.
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2022, 06:10:20 PM »
I mostly built the table today.  One of the hanger bolts I bought to hold the legs on came with no threads, so I had to order some more to be able to put that leg on.  Tomorrow morning I will buy some prestain conditioner to avoid blotching on this maple.  Hopefully it will not make the color be too light though.  That can happen.  I don't work with maple often, but it can be blotchy.  I installed the extension slides.  I need to put in the little pins that help keep the two halves aligned.  I'm gonna make a little drilling jig to help get the holes just where I need them.  


 
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2022, 08:23:19 PM »
Natural finish or stained?
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2022, 09:33:32 PM »
I have to stain it and then spray with lacquer
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2022, 11:23:54 PM »
Hard or soft maple?  If its hard maple you might need to use some toning lacquer to get it to take any color. 
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2022, 07:14:04 AM »
It is soft maple, I don't remember which one perhaps red maple.  I already did some samples with a few different stains and it seemed to take the stain well.  I'm gonna use gun stock color as it matches what they wanted pretty well.
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2022, 07:40:49 AM »
I have pretty good luck with maple using transtint dye.  It comes in a variety of colors and if you spray it on evenly and do not touch it, let it dry, does not seem to splotch as bad.  Mixed with denatured alcohol it I remember correctly.  Oil stains are more blotch prone in my opinion. 
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2022, 07:53:31 AM »
Danny, if you're familiar with the late Charles Neil, he was of the same opinion and had a video on the subject.  I just watched it yesterday.  My problem with using dye is that its over an hour drive to get somewhere that sells it.  I do have one little bottle of transtint dye that I bought years ago.  Maybe I will make a little sample to try it on and see if the color is good for this project.
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2022, 05:46:09 PM »
The table is done.  Other than it drying fast, I'm not sure I will do another big project with lacquer.  There are downsides that go along with drying fast.  Also it really needs to be sprayed and not brushed.  Trying to brush on a second coat is problematic, since the second coat burns into the first.  They wanted glossy and I almost never do glossy finishes.  It shows blemishes too much.  I'm happy with the extension function.  The table is very solid.  I would not hesitate to build another.


 

 

 
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2022, 08:31:21 PM »
That looks really nice

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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2022, 07:55:23 AM »
That curl in the maple really pops!
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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2022, 11:56:39 AM »
Really a nice finish with the curl, great job!

It appears the slides are mounted to 1x or so strips that are connected to the tabletop via slots, I assume to allow for movement.  Below that in the bottom edge of your slide 'beam' what are the 3 holes bored vertical for?

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Re: Has Anybody Built an Extension Table
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2022, 05:43:55 PM »
The slotted holes that you see are indeed glued to the slides and then screwed to the table top.  The other holes are also attachment points.  On one end they are screwed tight.  In the middle and other end there is an oversized bore to also allow for movement.  I wanted to over-do the attachment to ensure it was strong.
Woodmizer LT15
Kubota Grand L4200
Stihl 025, MS261 and MS362
2017 F350 Diesel 4WD
Kawasaki Mule 4010
1998 Dodge 3500 Flatbed


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