Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Tutorial: Making a Table Leaf

How to make a table leaf

Sometimes when we get older tables, we don't get all the pieces. This little round table was solid oak table, well made. It even had a nice little letter from the manufacturer to the first owner. So considerate!
But the original leaf or leaves were missing.

Well, I really thought since my client, who has 4 kids like me, would want the option of the added seating a leaf can give you. I'm all about transformer furniture.

So I bust out the power tools:

I cut a piece of wood to size. In this case one of my favorite finds from big orange--really nice 7 ply 3/4" plywood. They always have it stock for $25.

To make the dowel inserts I lined up the leaf with the table edges, marked the holes and using my 1/4" bit drilled out the insertion holes on both sides. Then on one side I glued in 1/4" dowels. Sorry no pic of the dowels.

The table had a skirt on it, so I also needed to add one. And in a once in a millennial occurrence, the scraps from the leaf were perfect for the skirt. I lined it up, glued & screwed it on!

Tip: I don't have once of those neato pocket hole maker things, so to make my pocket holes I first drill straight in where I want the pocket to start and then once my drill has a grip, I angle down sharply to make my pocket hole.

Lastly I sanded, sanded, sanded. I opted not to route the edges to match since the bevel on the table lip was so slight. I just sanded it down to match.

And here she is primed. The leaf isn't perfect by any means, we all know I'm a painter, not a carpenter, right?? But it'll definitely do the job and doesn't look half bad. Come back tomorrow for finished pics!

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  1. I always admire a person that can use power tools. Yay you. Loved the title of your blog. I saw that you had commented on my raspberry pink painted oak piece and I wanted to return the visit. I must need readers. :) I thought it said paintingmyhair. I was definitely curious. hehe. Now I am off to have a look around.

  2. What courage! I don't think I would have tackled that but you made it seem easy! Great job!

  3. Oh gosh, I hope your ok with all my comments. I LOVE that you showed us how to do this, I have a 100 year old table that I was just about to give away because it didn't have enough room (missing the leaf). Thanks again!