I’ve got the table all done and it’s now getting some finish. Lots of photos below, at the time the photos were taken I had some turning to do on the feet and was adding the bead on the bottom apron. The table is basically a period extension with some contemporary flavor in the base.
Be sure to get a good sound base under it your table, especially on a single pedestal. In this case, the heavy material in the base as well as the length of the bottom base add a ton of stability. Be sure to consider the stability of the table fully extended. Having a heavy base is a good thing, it adds a lot of stability, in a case such as this where the pedestal is hollow, I add a top and a bottom. If the weight of the pedistal is not sufficient, simply drill a hole in the top and using a funnel, fill it with some dry play sand. I’ve also used clean, dry gravel. A bead of silicone on the bottom will insure no leaking sand. Just be sure that anything you use to add weight, it is dry. Sounds crazy I know, but the weight of the base adds a lot of stability.
To understand making the pedestal, watch the bucket making video, its exactly the same, this is a 8 sided one, so its 22-1/2 degrees on the side angle, and its a 3 to 5 taper, meaning the small end of each side is 3″ wide and 5” at the wide end. Click Here to Watch the Bucket Video.
Now, lining up the leaves and table tops. I have used all sorts of leaf pins, wood and so forth. The metal ones are the best. I prefer brass with the sockets but could not find them so we had to use steel with a brass coating. While they are called brass they are not solid. Click Here to View the Pins I Used.
Alignment is made simple by using a self-centering dowel jig. Just be sure to be as accurate as possible in your layout and be sure to keep the sockets and pins orientated, mark the leaves for the best placement. No matter what you do and how careful you are they always seem to fit in one direction the best… They are available in 8mm or 5/16, so be sure the dowel jig will accommodate the pin you choose and also be careful to drill to the correct dept. Oh yea, be sure you are correct before installing the pins and sockets because they cannot be removed easily. Drilling them out is the only way. One last thing on this step, be sure to sand or scrape your edges before installing the pins. This table is 40″ wide and I used 4 pins for each leaf.
The apron was installed using simple pocket screws. Be sure to drill the holes oversize to allow for expansion and contraction. I drilled at 1/4″ and used a washer head screw. I did the leaves differently. I added a cleat to the apron and used slotted holes to install the apron, this will also act as a batten to prevent the leaves from cupping in the future. Be sure to finish the bottom of the table and the leaves.
I hope this blog will help you to get a basic understanding of how to build a pedestal table with leaves. Just be sure all your material is the same thickness, sand/scrape the top with the table together and on a level surface, this will ensure a flat even surface. Don’t try to fit the seams dead tight. I like to put some small felt dots to keep the leaves and the table from going tight together because I have seen a lot of tables with the edges chipped. The small gap is not an issue and prevents this from happening to the finish. Also, be sure to ease the edges of all the leaves and the table seam. Sharp edges also are a set up for a chip.
Today we continue with the finishing and are hard into some other projects I have to get wrapped up. Having had the flu twice and the trip to New York has us way behind, so we are slamming hard to get caught up, want back on track as soon as possible. I don’t mind being busy but I dislike being so far behind. Complaining and worrying about it wont help anything, but working will, so guess its time to get to it,
Tomorrow we will take a look at the Pie Safe and make a final decision on the wood we want to use .. so if you have a preference please post it.. Okay, last cup of coffee is down so time to Rock and Roll.