Dining Table extension advice

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Forum topic by ravensrock posted 05-04-2017 12:30 PM 1469 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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513 posts in 2765 days

05-04-2017 12:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dining table extensions design cypress

I have someone interested in having me build a 7 foot dining table by 48” wide – something she wants to be “more polished” than a farmhouse table but not a formal table either. She would like 12” extensions for each end of the table. I’ve seen a couple of ways to do this. One is constructed with two runner type boards protruding from the extension itself that slide into two openings on the end apron of the table. The other style has the “breadboard” part of the table sliding back allowing an extension leaf to be laid in the opening created. She prefers this style.

Has anybody built one like this or have a link for some plans? Is there a real breadboard that stays put on the table end and then a false breadboard that actually slides out to accept the extension?

Also what wood would you suggest? I was thinking about using oak but she’s not sold on that look. She likes a cypress table she saw but I’ve never worked with it before. How is cypress to work with?


-- Dave, York, PA, Wildside Woodworking

7 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile


758 posts in 1742 days

#1 posted 05-04-2017 03:39 PM

I had an Ethan Allen table with the movable breadboard end many years ago and there was no real breadboard. If I recall, the top was veneered to look like boards but the core looked like MDF.

Sorry, can’t help with cypress.

-- Sawdust Maker

View JADobson's profile


1449 posts in 3234 days

#2 posted 05-04-2017 04:32 PM

Check out Mark Kornell’s project:
Click for details

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View ravensrock's profile


513 posts in 2765 days

#3 posted 05-04-2017 04:44 PM

JADobson- thanks for the link. Looks a bit more complicated than I was thinking.

-- Dave, York, PA, Wildside Woodworking

View DrDirt's profile


4615 posts in 4865 days

#4 posted 05-04-2017 04:59 PM

I did this 8 years back… but I had no plans that I worked from.
Look at the base section – the top rail has a gap, because I make a center rail (shown with breadboard end in other photo) that slid in the slot in the post, to support the end.
was 9 foot with 2 18 inch leaves, to make a 12 foot table.

Depending if you hav a design with an apron – another method is called a “Draw Leaf table”
the leaf pulls out then the center part of the table drops down flush.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View ravensrock's profile


513 posts in 2765 days

#5 posted 05-04-2017 06:00 PM

Thanks DrDirt. Very nice table you built but this one won’t have the center rail/trestle style. More like the other one in the picture you included above. I don’t think the extension leaves need to necessarily be hidden in the table somehow with the one I’m figuring out. They can just go in a closet somewhere.

-- Dave, York, PA, Wildside Woodworking

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 2043 days

#6 posted 05-05-2017 03:37 PM


I have never worked with Cypress. The Wood Database may offer some helpful information concerning its properties and workability. It is rot resistant so some added precautions when making dust might be prudent. Since it is a conifer, it could be somewhat resinous. If so, resin could build up of cutting edges and abrasives to a greater extent than when working deciduous hardwoods. However, since I have not worked Cypress, I cannot say whether this could be a problem. The hardness is fairly low so the table will probably develop a lot of character in short order from dings and dents. The Cypress Janka Hardness is 510 compared to white oak at 1360 and the hardest of woods, Lignum Vitae, which carries a Janka Hardness value of 4500.

One thought for constructing the end leafs is to make the breadboard ends for the main table removable. The main table would have a tongue that mates to the groove in the removable breadboard. The breadboard could be held in place with some low profile latches. A removable alignment pin in the center (lengthwise) of the breadboard through the tongue in the table would help keep the breadboard ends from shifting along the width of the main table.

The extended leafs would then be milled to mate with the tongue on the main table and latched in place. Some long cleats could be permanently affixed to the leafs. The leaf could attach to the main table by slipping the groove in the leaf over the tongue in the main table and the cleats fastened with some thread knobs into threaded inserts mounted on the underside of the table. The leafs could feature permanently attached breadboard ends.

This option anticipates no apron on the ends of the main table. Some additional thought would be needed to accommodate aprons on the main table.

View ravensrock's profile


513 posts in 2765 days

#7 posted 05-05-2017 04:48 PM

Thanks for your thoughts JBrow. I hadn’t considered a removable breadboard. I’ll have to give this some more thought and do a bit of research.

-- Dave, York, PA, Wildside Woodworking

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