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Thread: Project: Cherry butterfly leaf dinette table

  1. #1

    Project: Cherry butterfly leaf dinette table

    The dinette table in our RV was a really ugly muddy composite surface, and DW asked that I make a cherry table to go with the rest of the woodwork. The original table slid out from the wall a total of 8", and was not really large enough to seat 4. I made a replacement with a 16" butterfly leaf instead of just a pullout, resulting in something that actually works. I had a stainless steel frame welded up to mount to the wall (the original had a square aluminum frame that would not hold the leaf mechanism. The finish is Waterlox. The photos make it look yellower than it looks in real life - it doesn't clash with the existing cherry.

    The finished table:
    01 Finished.jpg 02 Leaves.jpg 03 Opening.jpg 04 Opened.jpg

    The frame and leaf mechanism:
    05 Stainless frame.jpg 06 Leaf mechanism.jpg

    Finishing (the shop was closed due to COVID):
    07 Finishing.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Lancaster, Ohio
    well done ..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    What a great way to get a really nice table into a very small space! Bravo on that project!

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Beautiful results from a well executed project! Well done Sir!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    McKean, PA
    Very nice table. I really like the gain. I'm curious as to how the table is supported. RV walls aren't generally structured to support a cantilevered table.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  6. #6
    Yeah, I was worried too! The original table was screwed to the wall. The walls in my RV (an Entegra) are built somewhat like a house wall - studs with insulation between, and the fiberglass skin fastened to the outside. They are not the typical RV vacuum produced RV walls. The studs are aluminum. There appears to be a wooden cross-piece between studs where the table mounted, and the old table frame was simply screwed into it with lag bolts. I did the same, into new holes. There are 5 5/16" lag bolts holding the table. The table also sits on a cross-member in the front of the cabinet from which it protrudes. That gives it a support point 1 foot out from the wall, so my table at full extension (4 feet) has a 4 to 1 mechanical advantage against those bolts. Thus the use of 5 large ones. The old table had 5 smaller bolts, and extended 3 feet 4 inches. I think I am in OK territory, as long as my wife doesn't sit on the table at full extension.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Cashiers NC
    Very nice work.
    Charlie Jones

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Morocco IN
    Brilliant piece of work, and a beautiful table. Very cool.
    Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Clarks Summit PA
    Nifty and very attractive too!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I agree, very nice and functional table. Did you design the butterfly mechanism?


  11. #11
    Yes, after having seen examples online. It was surprisingly tricky to get it to work correctly. You need to get the pivot correct on a left-right axis, such that the entire folded leaf fits inside the frame, while matching the table edges when extended, and you need to place it low enough so that the folded leaf sits below the table. Moving the pivot slightly lets me use the frame as a ramp while opening, so that the bottom folded leaf slides up at an angle and into position.

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