Building a dining room table extension
Posted on 13 Nov ’07 by Earl Moore
A while back I had mentioned that I was taking on the project of building a table extension. I’m happy to report that that project is complete and that I’m mostly satisfied with the results.
Our dining room table is a unique South African slate topped unit. The slate from South Africa is unique both in its coloration and by the fact that it’s some of the oldest in the world, estimated at 4 million years. We love the table but it would only comfortably seat six people.
With recent family growth we found ourselves wishing for a table that would seat at least 8 so that we could all eat at one table for those occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I’ve got some woodworking experience so it wasn’t too much of a stretch for me to consider building an extension for our current table. I wanted to make an extension that would allow two more people to be seated comfortably and that would fit well with our current table and dining room.
It would also need to be something that can be stored easily when not in use and would need to be completed by our Thanksgiving get together.
As you can see from the photos below I think I accomplished my main objectives with this extension.
[ click above thumbnails for larger images ]
I didn’t try to match the tile inserts because it was very difficult to find matching South African slate and using slate would make the extension very heavy.
The extension is the same height as the original table and you may also notice that the extension has three legs. I used three legs for the following reasons:
- since it takes three points to make a plane, the extension always sets level without the occasional rocking due to an uneven surface that you might get with four legs;
- with only a single table leg in the center of the long side of the extension facing the table, it gives unobstructed leg room to the guest using the extension; and
- with the extension butted up to the table there is little danger of the extension tipping over due to only having this single center leg on that side of the extension.
The original table’s wood is a cherry. My extension used a combination of pine and birch board so I couldn’t match the finish. By using a dark mocha brown I came up with a color that was at least complimentary to the table.
The legs of the table can quickly be screwed off for easy storage. Also, with a table cloth across the table and extension you can’t tell that it’s not one long table.
I’m fairly happy with the results of this project. Of course I could tell you everything wrong with it and would make changes and improvements if done again.
I may have made a mistake tipping my hand that I can do woodworking. I’ve now got a couple of rooms of crown molding to put up, build a new mantle construct for a fireplace and eventually take up some carpet and lay a wood floor.