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Advice on a trestle table with leaves12/20
I need advice about the best way to design a trestle table that can expand in length.
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.
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.