I need advice about the best way to design a trestle table that can expand in length.
Here are the details: Solid wood (walnut) construction, top approx 42 X 72, extending to 42 X 120. Top will be solid, 1-1/8" to 1-1/4" thick.The grain of the top will be running lengthwise, with breadboard ends. The base will be a trestle, with two pedestals connected by rails, and the finished height will be about 33".
My question is how to add leaves to this table, given that the top is solid wood. If I make the leaves with the grain running in the same direction, I'll have two leaves about 42" wide X 24" long. That seems to almost guarantee warping. However, if I make the leaves with the grain going across the width, that will contrast with the rest of the top.
I am considering using regular table slides to expand the top. The client would like for the leaves to pull out from the table, but I can't think of a way to accommodate that. A Dutch pull-out might work, but is a 24" overhang at the ends too much?
I would appreciate any advice.
How are you going to mount the top if you use slides? If you screw the center of the slide to some stretchers, the top is going to expand in it's width. So any solid fastening of the slides to the base is going to put the top in a bind. 33" is way too tall in my book. I make most of my tables 29 to 30". I always consider how the people will sit when doing leaves. At 42" wide, two can sit on the end if they favor themselves to the outside. I usually figure 24" per person. Now you have those people on the edge, and then it gets them too close to the person that centers up on 24" leaf pulled from the end of the table.
There are several ways to do leaves in a trestle base table. If you want to pull the top apart and put leaves in the center, you will need to build a frame with a solid bottom that's attached to the top of your trestle base. Steel bottom mount slides have flanges that mount to the bottom of your frame and to the underside of your top. The frame has to be sized to accommodate the slides travel and length of your leaves. leevalley.com carries these slides in several lengths. To keep your leaves flat, screw some solid wood cleats approximately 1.25 x 2" to the underside on each end of your leaves. To accommodate seasonal wood movement, counterbore your cleats on the ends about 3/4" deep on the edge against the underside of your top. This will allow your top to expand or contract without splitting the top or breaking a screw. I've built quite a few tables this way and never had a problem.
Thanks for the responses. Both were helpful.
Rich, I had planned to make a framework to attach the slides to. However, duster's idea of a platform and the Lee Valley slides may work better. The table will be higher than normal because my client is tall and wants the extra leg room. However, I may be able to accommodate that without making it so high.
Duster- nice work! Thanks for pointing out the Lee Valley slides and your method of attaching them. I think that will work for my table. Does the table you show have a solid top and leaves?
Most people, tall or not, that want more leg room at a table actually want the apron to be very narrow or gone. Apron to chair seat clearance is what is wanted so they can cross their legs, etc. A trestle table typically will have no apron, so will solve that.
Also, a tall table will put anyone else at the table ill at ease, with their plates at chin level. You might seriously consider removing 1" in height from the client's chair.
At any rate, mock it up directly in front of him to be sure before you start cutting wood.
When I first started out on my own, I would take odd requests and think I was doing the world a favor, finding a niche, etc. After a couple of reworks once the clients got what they ordered and saw where they went wrong, I relied on my knowledge of design and historical precedent to keep everybody happy.
The housewife that demands seating 16 at an 8' long table by making it 10' wide gets a quick math and design lesson, and is sent off, unfulfilled. At least by me.
Yes Rick, that table was all solid alder except the 3/4 ply base I used in the frame to attach the slides.
I agree with David that 33" is too tall for a dining table, and would make your clients guests feel like a little kid at the adult table. Maybe that's the point...
That being said, a new trend is bar height dining tables that use barstools instead of chairs. I've done a couple lately including this one in walnut that was 60 wide x 84 long x 36 high. The designer put 10 barstools around it.
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