• Cherry Wood Extension Table

Building an Expandable Dining Table

Large dining room tables can be difficult to find, and ones that suit your particular space and style are even harder. We design beautiful solid wood dining tables from a variety of hardwoods. We can coordinate design elements and finishes with existing woodwork or furniture. We have designed a variety of expandable dining tables with self-storing leafs which allows you to adjust your table size giving you both flexibility and convenience.

All of our custom dining tables start with a consultation and a hand drawn design.

Drawing of a custom double-pedestal expandable dining table.

Custom Hand-Drawn Designs

We believe in using quality materials and our solid wood dining tables are constructed from quality hardwoods. The project begins with a stack of rough sawn, kiln-dried, hardwood. It has to be planed smooth and sorted for use in the table.

Stack of hardwood for a solid wood dining table.

Rough-sawn Hardwood

Rough sawn boards must be straightened on the jointer to prepare the edges for gluing and fitting. The jointer is the most dangerous machine in the shop.

Rough sawn boards being straightened on the jointer.

Straightening rough-sawn lumber on the jointer.

Boards ready for selection for large dining table top.

Boards Ready for Selection

One of the design elements in our dining tables is the wood grain itself. There is often a great deal of natural beauty in the graining of hardwoods. We carefully select boards to highlight the natural artistry of the materials. The planed boards for the table top are all laid out on a work bench and arranged to create a pleasing look for color, graining, and width of pieces.

Selecting and Arranging for Color and Grain in the Table Top

Selecting and Arranging for Color and Grain in the Table Top

The pieces are all numbered to keep the chosen pattern correct.

Numbered boards keep the carefully selected pattern in order.

Numbered Boards Ensure Beautiful Completion

A large expandable dining table top must be glued up in sections, sanded smooth, and then the sections glued together to create the desired size. This is carefully planned work for an error can destroy hundreds of dollars worth of materials and labor.

The Custom Dining Table Top is Glued Up in Sections.

Glue up of Table Top Sections

Drum Sander for Sanding Large Table Top Sections

Drum Sander for Sanding Large Table Top Sections

Sections of table top are sanded smooth.

Sections of Table Top are Sanded Smooth

For a pedestal table there is always a center support or ring that has to be tremendously strong. The challenge on this large table was to achieve the strength required while maintaining its beauty.

Center Support Ring for Pedestal Dining Table

Center Support Ring for Pedestal Dining Table

The legs for the pedestal dining table must appear elegant and yet be able to bear the weight of a heavy table top (300 pounds for this table). A hand drawn pattern is used to trace the legs. Then the heavy pieces are band sawed to rough out the shape. After this the curves are sanded with a special spindle sander and rubbed out by hand to even the curves.

Table Leg Shaped on the Bandsaw

Table Leg Shaped on the Bandsaw

Working on Pedestal Assembly

Working on Pedestal Assembly

Pedestal Dining Table Coming Together

Pedestal Dining Table Coming Together

The table under-framing has to be very sturdy to resist bowing or cracking under the constant pressure of the large expandable table top. We are thankful none of our table bases have ever failed.

Sturdy Underframing to Support the Expandable Dining Table Top

Sturdy Underframing to Support the Expandable Dining Table Top

We are also able to include handcrafted touches to many of our pieces. This table received a total of 78 hand-cut insets in its top, apron, leafs, and base. The insets are created by hand chiseling out squares from the face of the wood surface. Then a thin square of wood is set into the cut out at 45 degrees to the wood grain which was removed. This makes and elegant decorative touch unique to our work here at Old Virginia Woodoworking.

Hand-cut Insets

Hand-cut Insets

Insets Layout in Dining Table Top

Insets Layout in Table Top

This table extends by means of a leaf on each end. The leafs are stored in a drawer in each end of the table. When in use the leaf is connected to the end of the table with hardware and supported with the drawer, for a unique expandable dining table design. Self-storing leafs are a big plus for keeping your table leafs in good condition as well as saving you storage space elsewhere.

Inner-Workings of the Self-Storing Table Leaf System for the Expandable Dining Table

Inner-Workings of the Self-Storing Table Leaf System

The completed extendable dining table will serve this family for many years!

Double-Pedestal Expandable Dining Table

Double-Pedestal Expandable Dining Table

Expandable Dining Table Extended to its Full Length

Expandable Dining Table Extended to its Full Length