Fixing up solid oak table

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New member
2 Aug 2019
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Hi all, long-time lurker, first time poster here!

I picked up a lovely oval multi-leaf table recently and am looking for advice on restoring it.
There are 2 "D" end shapes (950mm) & 2 middle leaves (400mm) for 2700mm total.

There are a few issues
- I'd like to have the 2 extending leaves in permanently. But the proportions look a bit "off" with both in. It looks like it was made expecting 1 or 0 leaves in use most of the time.
- The gap between the legs is a little on the small side for our chairs. It is currently 1050mm. Depending on seating arrangement on side vs on end, I think somewhere near 1200 (2 people) or 1800 (3 people) would suit.
- Perhaps the wood has moved a bit, there's a gap where the pieces should be touching. Also, it looks like there's a roundover on the edges which leaves a groove at the join.

So then, what do people do in these situations? Extend the aprons & stretcher? Replace the base altogether? Skim a few mm off the joins to flatten and square them up?




Unrelated, but there's a makers badge on it.

Does it really need restoring? It is quite a nice, tidy table - but it is what it is. All the faults you outline are a result of the way it has been designed and built. Lots of furniture outlets put great emphasis on their products being made of solid wood - though this isn't the only thing that is important. Selecting the stock and carefully matching boards; and taking into account timber movement also counts.

The reason lots of the edges have been rounded over will be to disguise any ill fitting extension leaves which will have to be interchangeable on a factory production run of many tables. Also, solid wood moves which explains the inconsistent gaps. Furniture firms like G-plan worked out, years ago, that they could get finer more stable furniture if they used man made boards. along with solid wood.

If you want to have a go at sorting things out, then you could certainly remake the base. You could also square up the top edges, though this will draw attention to any step between the top and the extension leaves. Or you could leave it and enjoy it as it is, putting up with all its little faults. :)

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