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William 4th Dining Table Leaf

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This image shows the start of the making of an additional table leaf for a William 4th mahogany extending dining table! The piece of wood shown is a solid cuban mahogany cabinet side for which I paid nearly ¬£150. (note the dovetail joints to each end) This slab of wood was too thick to match the existing table leaves so had to be reduced. As it’s too wide for a standard machine thicknesser, the only way to reduce the thickness is by hand using a router – very laborious and time consuming! Approx 4mm had to be removed – the pile of shavings is that missing 4mm.

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after the routing of the rear face of the timber, the surface needs to be made perfectly flat – this is done by hand using a sharp Try Plane with strokes across the grain. There is about 2 hours work getting this bit right. After hand planing, this surface is machine sanded.

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Here, with the original polished side upwards, the new leaf is taking shape. This image shows the leaf cut to the exact length of one of the original leaves.

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The new leaf now with the ends moulded using a router to match the profile of the original leaf. Also, along the long edge of the leaf there are now holes drilled for the fitting of the locating dowels. This has to be done precisely as the new leaf needs to sit dead level to the original.

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This image shows the new leaf stained and part polished. There is a lot more polish and subtle colouring to be applied before it matches the colour of the original. This is one of those jobs that had to be a VERY good match to the original in terms of grain pattern and colour. The table once fully extended seats 12 generously (14 at a push) with the new leaf increasing the capacity from its original number by 2 seats. Sadly I have no image showing the complete table but it was for a private client in the Cotswolds. (please note, the table base showing in the images does not belong to these leaves) Alot of time and expense went into this leaf, but the client really needed to increase the seating at the table almost at any cost – there was huge excitement at the finished job!

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