Late to the party; hope it'll still help *PIC*

Bill Houghton, Sebastopol, CA
Our dining room table was a factory-built table from the late 19th or early 20th century. It's not an ideal design; value engineering is not a new concept.

Here's a general picture from the side:

The two parts of the pedestal and the center leg run on sets of slides that work like this:

These slides are constructed with long dovetail grooves and dovetail pins running in them; this is a classic method. Some modern tables use devices like drawer slides. This particular design has nothing to center the leg as you split the pedestal except how hard you pull on one half of the table. There are slide designs like this that have toothed racks on the inner and outer slides, with a gear on the center "slide" that ensures the two parts move together. We've gotten by for years without that extra feature.

The bridges connecting the two halves of each slide (inner for one pedestal half, outer for the other, center) are just nailed or screwed with undersize screws (can't now remember) to the slides, one of the several "value engineered" features of this table. Our son bent up some metal braces, which I screwed to the slides to reinforce this joint. I haven't done anything about the center leg, which is under less stress, but should at some point.

The way the pedestal halves are attached to the bridges is weak, too, a bed bolt pulling against a nut into a cross-drilled hole:

The center leg attachment is pretty pitiful. If I were making a table with this design, I'd look at something more robust.

When the pedestal is closed up as a single pedestal, the two halves are locked together with table locks. You can see the two halves at the bottom of the pedestal toward the left side of the picture here:

These are cast iron, a poor material choice. There are various designs available; as an example, look at Lee Valley's offerings, here: (or by looking on their website for "table lock"). One example from Lee Valley:

Not a bad idea to use a set on the table top when it's locked into closed position too.

Hope this will help.

© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.