Doing it right, the second time
Shortly after writing my last post, I decided that the best way to complete the dining table I was working on was to scrap the old top and begin anew. But this time there was no skimping. I went out to Sharples and picked up some nice quarter-sawn red oak and jointed up a new top. It’s an excellent look and is dead flat. It’s a job handling long stock. But my friend and workmate, Les, volunteered his assistance and we had it together in no time. Thank goodness for friends.
After staining, filling and varnishing the table was ready for delivery to Chicago. Good weather prevailed and the delivery was made without incident. With the company boards in place, the table is nine feet long. It will provide plenty of space for any number of uses.
My Grandson and I conferred about a number of things that I might have done differently. Although, overall, the project seemed to be to his satisfaction.
On our trip home, it dawned on me that I had overlooked one possibility for handling the design and construction of such a large surfaced table. I might have built it as a “draw leaf” table. The draw leaf mechanism is a very old design that is seldom seen these days. It’s simple but requires a little geometric calculation. In some cases it will nearly double the amount of top surface area. I’m not sure where I’d put it, but I may have to build one. Here’s an example:
Of course the design can be very simple or ornate. The mechanism is the thing.
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