Introduction: Extending Hall Table
This table is made using inexpensive pine from my local hardware store. The original idea came from a TV show here in Australia called 'Better Homes and Gardens'. I've attached the original build guide which contains extra information. You can find the original article here:
Step 1: Cut Timber to Length
In step one you’ll cut all the pieces to length. You'll need the following pieces:
4 x 700mm x 42mm x 42mm
8 x 250mm x 42mm x 42mm
1 x 400mm x 42mm x 42mm
2 x 285mm x 1200mm x 19mm
These sizes can be purchased at most hardware stores and can be changed to suit your design.
The cuts can be done with a handsaw, circular saw, or mitre saw. If you can use a stop block to ensure all the legs and rails are the same length that going to help too.
Start by cutting the 4 legs, then move onto the 8 rails, then the single cross rail.
Step 2: Cut Half Lap Joins
In step 2 you’ll cut the half lap joins. These are a strong yet simple joins. If you’re using a circular saw spend some time dialing in the depth. Once you have it setup you’ll make all the cuts on the same setting.
Start with the legs and line all of them up to get cut at one time. This will speed up the process but also give your saw more surface area to rest on.
Make a sequence of cuts, roughly 5mm apart, then knock them out using a mallet.
An easy way to clean up the surface is to run a circular saw back and forth sideways. Make sure to wear eye protection for this cut because chips tend to fly everywhere when you do this.
Once the legs are done move onto the rails. Pay attention to the drawing here because the cuts aren’t the same at the end of each rail.
Step 3: Assembling the Legs
Begin step 3 by marking each half lap join so when you go back and fine tune them with a chisel you know which belongs to what.
I found it easiest to glue each join as I finished with it. Spread the glue in the join before clamping. I’ve always used my finger because I always have one on hand, but you can use a brush. Use a single clamp to hold it in place while the glue dries and make sure they dry at a 90 degree angle. You can check this with a speed square.
Once the glue dries in each joint drill an 8mm hole and insert a dowel right through. Make sure to apply glue to the hole and dowel, because this spreads a the glue a lot better.
I’d suggest starting with the corner rails then add the legs to them.
Step 4: Assembling the Tabletop
In step 4 we assemble the table top. This is made up of 2 pieces of timber with the same measurements. I used 2 285 millimetre wide boards, but you could also use a laminated top.
Line them up with each other along the long edge and clamp them together using a few clamps. You want both boards as tight together as possible.
Then attach your hinges. I used a router to mortise mine but you could also use a chisel. There’s lots of ways to attach hinges so I won’t go into that detail in this Instructable.
With the boards still clamped together pre drill holes for the hinges. I used a self entering bit, or a 'Vix bit', and this makes sure the hinge is centred exactly where you want it.
Now lie the table top down and cut to width. Generally a board is a little longer than it's described length so you can cut it back to an exact length. In this case cut the board to 1200mm. Keep the boards clamped so they are exactly the same length after the cut and if you’re using a circular saw make sure to apply some masking tape before cutting to avoid any blowout.
Then go ahead and dismantle the top.
Step 5: Finish and Final Assembly
In step 5 we’ll start by sanding all the pieces. Once that’s done you can apply a finish, or in my case, stain first and then finish. I used an oil based walnut stain, then applied 2 coats of polyurethane.
When everything has had a chance to dry we’ll start by attaching the 2 legs to the centre rail. Place all the pieces upside down on a flat surface and line them up against a straight edge. Once they’re in place clamp them down.
Now screw in the 2 strap hinges and then place the leg assembly on the bottom half of the table top and centre it against the back edge.
When you’re happy it all looks good screw the cross rail into the table top making sure the screws don’t go all the way through.
Now flip everything over and attach the hinges and top half of the table top.
You’ll also want to add 4 stop blocks, a pair for the closed position and and another pair for the open position. This makes it a lot easier changing the tables configuration.
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