Add Leaves To a Trestle Table
A reader had an interesting question; “How would you build or put leaves (mounting) in the 599 dining room table? ” The great thing about trestle tables, such as the L & JG Stickley No. 599 (sometimes referred to as the mouse hole table) is its simplicity, a big thick top on a simple base. But most extension mechanisms either hide behind an apron, or have the end extension folding but still visible as part of the original design. How can we keep the simple look, but still have a place for Uncle Al and Aunt Katherine to sit at Thanksgiving? Here is how I would do it, and the pictures are from a different, but similar table, the Gus Stickley No. 622 Trestle Table.
I believe that the hardware to do this used to be commercially available, and it still might be. A quick search of the usual online suppliers didn’t turn up anything, but this can be accomplished with trip to the local hardware store. Tow metal bars, 3/8″ x 3/4″ are screwed to the bottom of the table extensions. Steel or aluminum would work. I would run the grain on the extensions at a right angle to the grain of the top, and wouldn’t make them any wider than 14″ or 16″. It will take a bit more room to store them with the bars attached, but I don’t see that as an issue.
On the underside of the table, you’ll need some brackets for the bars on the extensions to slide into. If I couldn’t find them, they would be simple enough to make. These guys will be hidden, so function trumps appearance. These simple bends can be made with a small vise and a hammer.
If you know of a source for the hardware (or have a better idea than this one) leave a comment or send me an e-mail.
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The slide idea looks good Anything wrong with putting the metal brackets on both the underside of the table top and the leaf, sometype of pin in bar to keep it from pulling out too far. That way the bar could be stored under the table (maybe a small notch on the top rail for the bar to slide thru.Any reason why you’d run the leafs grain at right angle to top? Last question without breadboard ends on the 599 is there any problems with keeping the top flat?
That would work just as well, and it would make the leaves easier to store. I would run the grain of the leaves across the grain of the top simply to make the leaves easier to build/surface/smooth.
With a top that thick, I don’t believe the breadboard ends are needed. In fact, I’m beginning to think that breadboard ends aren’t really functional for preventing the wide top from warping. The question that keeps rattling around in my head is this “which is easier to bend, a wide piece of wood across the grain, or a thin piece of wood along the grain?”. Seems to me it’s like paper, scissors, rock and in this case wide bends thin.
I found mirror brackets from motteco.com that would work for the bent metal pieces and at 75 cents I think I’ll try them.
This is a great idea that solves a design issue I am having with my table. Did anyone find a source for the metal bracket and bars? I am looking at 18″ x 40″ x 1 1/4″ leaves but could go a bit less. I do need something heavy duty.
I built Bob’s Spindle chairs… about to to do the table. Can’t find a source of 16′ 8/4. Only 14′. That’s not QUITE long enough for the 7 foot table.. I’ll cheat and make end leaves, with grain running the same direction and a brace underneath, routered into the wood to keep the pieces strong.