So I’ve been compulsively obsessing about draw leaf tables. This is one of the problems about getting older. Once you get something in your mind, you can’t get it out. Of course, if you want to remember something, you can’t. But that’s another story and I don’t want to scare off younger readers.
I’ve been trying to find out all I can about Draw Leaf of Dutch Pull Out tables. Surprisingly, after a lot of years in the business, I’ve never built one. But they just make such good sense. There’s a lot of stuff out there on the “Net”. Unfortunately, there are a lot of pictures of 17th century English and Dutch Masterpieces and their modern variants. There are videos of guys opening and closing their newest project table with a “snap”. But information about the actual calculation of runner tapers, lengths, etc. is pretty sparse.
Whenever I’ve had difficulty gathering specific information about practice, I’ve found it useful to just start looking for diagrams and illustrations. It always seems that if I simply immerse myself in the available, pictorial information, somehow, I wind up understanding what’s going on. So that’s what I’ve been doing. This research takes a lot of time. Lucky me, the retiree. I thought it might be helpful to share some of the stuff I’ve come up with so far.
A caveat. If I’m posting information that is sacred, secret or somehow guarded by this country’s laws (or by some other governing agency), I apologize. Remember, I’m not making a dime here and, if nothing else, you’re getting free publicity.
One of the best illustrations I’ve found is the work of a miniaturist. So much of the work these guys do is simply incredible:
Here’s a shot of a small table by a very good custom furniture builder:
This is an illustration from a Fine Woodworking project by Tage Frid about a contemporary draw leaf table. It shows the logic of the tapered runners:
A pseudo Elizabethan model from “Modern Cabinet Work” by Wells and Hooper, 1922:
From Bill Hylton’s excellent book “Illustrated Cabinetmaking” is an update of Tage Frid’s original project from Fine Woodworking:
If you’d like to include a draw leaf on your break front or step back, here’s a plan from “Specialized Joinery”, an Algrove Classic Reprint.
Sylvain, a fellow woodworker from Belgium alerted me to the fact that IKEA sells several draw leaf tables and there is an excellent PDF on their website that shows a slightly more modern approach to the mechanism. http://www.ikea.com/be/fr/assembly_instructions/bjursta-table-extensible__AA-236887-10_pub.PDF
Glen Huey and the fine folks at Popular Woodworking have made available plans for a very nice little draw leaf gaming table, that Glen built a few years back, on 3d Warehouse https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=a2dbd26e8a382509738e43095496b061
And if this isn’t enough information for you, Tommy Mac and his trusty sidekick built a draw leaf pub table during Season 4, eh eh eh eh …Not much on detail, but it’s a good start.
This is not the pub table…