We were approached by a client who couldn’t find a table to suit her very specific needs. She wanted something that would start out small but could extend, opening from only one side, and would be only 95 cm wide, with a shelf and storage cabinet underneath. The design had to be very accurate to be functional since there was very little space to fit everything in. We made a couple of drawings and discussed the sketches with her. After several changes we had a working drawing and started building it:
We choose wood from the lumberyard, taking into consideration grain configuration, grain colors, and grain shape. All the leg pieces are made from the same board for a perfect color match . We then process the wood from a rough board to a smooth surface. W e glue up the panels and plane the edges . In order to create a seamless joint
Cutting the joinery: On the edge of the table we fit two end pieces whose grain each goes in a different direction. This is done because it is a solid wood top which will absorb/lose moisture and will move naturally with the seasons. We use a traditional method called “breadboard end” where you attach a piece with multiple tenon joints and drawbore them (a technique that greatly strengthens a mortise-and-tenon joint, transforming it from a joint that relies on glue adhesion into a joint that has a permanent and mechanical interlock) with handmade wooden pegs, only gluing the middle peg.. This allows the top to move and breathe freely while keeping it flat. This is not only an aesthetic consideration but one of longevity, so that the tabletop will stay flat 100 years from now.
Making the legs: The advantage of joinery is that it lasts; only “wood with wood” withstands all the seasonal changes and movements. If you have a screw or a bolt, the wood will expand when it gains moisture and shrink again when it loses moisture. With time the bolt is loosened and the threads get worn out. One hundred years from now the screw will be useless, but with joinery it will last and this table will be an antique one day.
The table closed.
View of under-table storage cabinet with space for 6leaves.
Table — side view.
Table extended with all 6 leaves.
The table top has been inlayed with solid venge wood in a traditional pattern.
The professional staff of Restorno will be happy to answer any questions that you have in the areas of custom made furniture, upholstery, furniture repairs and restoration. Your questions can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, and may be published in an upcoming issue of Bizness.