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Extending table leafs

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HappyHacker

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Advice and guidance please on my current project.
I am trying to make two inserts for this table which is four foot wide.

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I have bought an old mahogany table which has provided the wood.

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Front of boards with right two cut down and roughly sanded. Left hand board is still in original condition.

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Back of boards

Unfortunately there is a split on one of the pieces approx 1mm wide at the edge.
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Do I try to close it up, fill with sawdust to try and disguise it or make it a bit of a feature with clear resin filler?

If I go for close it up

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Clamped with edging end grain strip at top.

it will still be visible but not too obvious . To match the existing top I need to add a piece of endgrain underneath along the edge. This will not provide any strength so i would need another piece long-grain about 2” wide behind, screwed and glued by the crack and screwed to allow movement at the edges of the top. If I glue over a 6” length by the crack will this provide adequate strength to stop the crack opening, would I be better putting an inlaid butterfly patch in the bottom as well as the long grain backer strip?


Finally; how would I go about carving the edge?

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It is a 1/2 in radius and I have a round over bit that can cut the profile. The individual details are an inch apart and have a slight curve, slightly flatter than a No7 sweep. I may put this detail off for a few years, depends on how the managements other projects go.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Kevin
 

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Mike Jordan

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My suggestion would be to rip the board to slightly reduce its width and remove the split before rejoining the two parts with a glue joint. The gadrooned edge could possibly be made as a separate piece to fit later, as you say the overall shape is not a problem but the carving will be mega man hours.
 

HappyHacker

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Mike,

Many thanks for the suggestion. It is of course the best way of doing it and resolves any issues about tensions in the wood if I close the crack. However before trying your suggestion, it would be along the most figured bit along the length of the wood, I have tried cutting the crack with a saw so I could insert a thin strip. This did not work too well as the cut was slightly uneven so it was not possible to make an insert that did not leave small gaps. I have now widened the gap to 3mm with a Dremal and have tried again, I will have to wait for the glue to dry to see if I have succeeded. This will still leave some small visible cracks toward the centre of the table but I hope these will add to the character

The name of the carving was most welcome. I have looked at the you tube videos showing how simple it is :lol: In the short term I will leave it as a rounded edge while I practice and try to get to a reasonable consistant standard before trying to make a mess of it. I should add that I have absolutely no experience of carving but have acquired a few carving chisels from my local Uncle Wainright in a couple of job lots of stuff I did not know I desperately needed until I went into his shop :)

Many thanks
Kevin
 

Inspector

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What you could do for the crack would be to bandsaw cut it and continue following the figure all the way to the other end or do the same with a router and a spiral up cut bit following a pattern you clamp to the table. When you re-glue it the joint if done right will be pretty much invisible unless you are looking for it. Unless you plan on having the leaves in the table on show all the time it will only be out for scrutiny when you extend the table for a gathering, and then it is most likely under a tablecloth.

When my father repaired antiques he would make new leaves on occasion. He would cut the ends and glue them under to replicate the table edge moulding and rough shape it with a table saw, router and then hand planes and sandpaper. His planes were a couple of home made hollow and rounds and "V" shaped plane. He would put the leafs in the table and plane the roughed profile to match the original. Then carve the edges. At that point he would have put the leaves in the table and laid it across the stroke sander to sand everything flat. Those leaves would only have taken a several hours to do before he passed them on to the finishers to stain and lacquer.

Pete

Forgot to mention you may want to size the width of the leaves so the carving intervals match when in the table.
 

HappyHacker

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Inspector, many thanks for your suggestion. Plan A has worked reasonably well (widening crack and inserting a small strip) and while it is noticeable you would have to be looking for it. As you say it will normally be covered when in use

Thanks for the tip on the width relative to the carvings. I had assumed they were an inch apart having measured one but I checked and there are approximately 18 to 16.5 inches. I say approximately as they vary around the table.

I have done a couple of trial carvings and while I am getting the basic shape it is no where near as good as the original, I will have to keep practicing :)
 

Bod

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Regarding the carving.
Will the table be used in the extended state, with or without a table cloth?
With a cloth, the carving won't be seen, nor would it when the leaves are in storage.

Bod
 

HappyHacker

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Bod, you are of course correct. My wife thinks I should just put a lump of ply in and why am I taking so long? However it is such a nice table I thought I would try to do the job properly and I would notice :)
 
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