Unique disappearing 7 foot table

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Project by bushmaster posted 01-16-2015 02:50 PM 5647 views 35 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This very interesting table has been a refinishing project last November. It was originally blond oak and then painted orange of all things. That was the color of choice in the 60’s or 70’s I quess. It was a real effort to get it stripped and sanded ready for a more modern finish. I used teak Varathane stain and Varathane diamond floor water based finish. Thinned with windshield washer fluid and sprayed with a hvlp gun. Windshield washer fluid is the best way to thin waterbased finishes as they are compatible. I learned this in the internet, Its been along time ago but I think it was on a homebuilt aircraft site.
The inspection info says 1953, and the slides are from the Watertown Slide Corp in Mn. The internet has a nice history of that company started in the 1800’s and continued to make them up to 1974, then switching to metal. The slots in the slides have been shaped on a router to a T shape. Not available to buy at this time but would make an interesting project To make a disappearing work table in a small shop.
Just for interest sake, this table unit was put on layaway plan by my wife’s mother in secret, her husband was abit surprised when he came home one day. I won’t say what he said. He thought she bought it on credit. Back then that was not the norm. Silverware and dishes where stored in the bottom area.
I hope you enjoy the pictures of this unique table, I have never ever seen one before, we are using it in a spare room for hobbies etc.
Comments appreciated.


-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

22 comments so far

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2599 days

#1 posted 01-16-2015 03:10 PM

Wow! That’s truly amazing! I’ve never seen one like that before either. It would make a fantastic project for someone with the skills to pull it off.
Thanks for posting!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


1065 posts in 3741 days

#2 posted 01-16-2015 03:15 PM

Good morning Brian, This posting is fantastic! It’s the kind of table I need especially in my small kitchen and the large number of family I need to entertain during Christmas and other celebrations. The rest of the year my table requirements are for two so my wife and I can dance in the kitchen/dining room when the table is packed away!
Thanks for the refinishing tips.

-- Author of POWER CARVING BOOTS & SHOES - Schiffer Publishing. Available online or your favourite bookstore.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4157 days

#3 posted 01-16-2015 03:43 PM

Now, that’s different.
I need that in the shop….................

-- mike...............

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30611 posts in 3393 days

#4 posted 01-16-2015 03:55 PM

Very cool design. Great refinishing job.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View KDO's profile


154 posts in 3824 days

#5 posted 01-16-2015 04:21 PM

Neat design. I can see where that could come in handy in a craft room, etc.
Good job refinishing it.
Thanks for sharing.

-- Christian, Husband, Grandpa, Salesman, amateur Woodworker.

View Rocksteady2R's profile


17 posts in 2283 days

#6 posted 01-16-2015 05:02 PM

That is super cool.

That’s the kind of innovation I see and expect from the mid-century. Man I like that.

a) is it solid and stable enough? That’s one thing I might wonder about with all those supports.
b) am I correct that the table leafs are connected in a series of dowel pegs & holes?
c) how does that support origin in teh cabinet get hidden when it’s all put together? I don’t see that part.

anyhow, awesome, and nice job on the refinish, it has a nice sheen.

View bushmaster's profile


4124 posts in 3337 days

#7 posted 01-16-2015 05:17 PM

The center support legs are narrower than the end ones, so when it retracts both legs are behind the doors. With the center legs the table is very sturdy inspite that it has many segments. it does not sag like the center expanding tables.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3730 days

#8 posted 01-16-2015 05:17 PM

That is truly an awesome piece. Nice job refinishing it.
Thanks for “expanding” our woodworking knowledge!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View ralbuck's profile


6722 posts in 3321 days

#9 posted 01-16-2015 05:18 PM

Nice ne-finishing of a very neat table.

I had seen one similar design into a china cabinet in Montana about 50 years ago. Was== Y & S then and still thought that it was neat!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View tyvekboy's profile


2110 posts in 4068 days

#10 posted 01-16-2015 06:19 PM

Interesting table. Nice refinishing.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Woodbridge's profile


3746 posts in 3473 days

#11 posted 01-16-2015 07:07 PM

that is quite an interesting table.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3669 days

#12 posted 01-16-2015 07:31 PM

great job on the finish, ,cool table

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View leafherder's profile


1978 posts in 3007 days

#13 posted 01-16-2015 07:45 PM

Great job! I used to work in a building that was built in the early 70’s – that orange color was EVERYWHERE. Thank you for removing it from at least this one item. :) Wish I could find a table like that now, it would really come in handy for those of us who are wanting to downsize.

-- Leafherder

View dpow's profile


504 posts in 3899 days

#14 posted 01-17-2015 12:56 AM

So, over the holidays, we got together with some friends at their house for dinner. There were 11 of us sitting at this long table which I had never noticed at their home before. I asked if this table was something new. They begin to tell us this story about this table which is identical to yours. An older relative who happened to be at the table, had purchased it new, years before and gave it to her kids to use. I believe it was from the same company you mentioned. They also had checked into buying replacement slides for some that were worn but couldn’t find any available. I had never seen anything like it and find it somewhat amusing to see another fine example of one here on lumberjocks 2 weeks later. Yours looks nice. Its good to see a unique piece like this preserved

-- Doug

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4202 days

#15 posted 01-17-2015 01:05 AM

Man, I’ve never seen a table like this! You did a heck of a job on it, especially the refinishing!

I grew up on the ‘70’s, and wouldn’t have liked the orange even back then!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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