5th Wheel Project: Enlarging the Dining Table
Off and on over the past several weeks, Paul has been working on a project to enlarge the dining table in our 5th wheel. The table that came with our 5th wheel was a pedestal table with a drop leaf to extend the length.
Although we frequently eat outside at the picnic table when we're with family and friends, there are times when we want to eat indoors because of inclement weather. After spending Memorial Day weekend with Lora, J. Michael and Lydia, we realized Lydia was growing fast and would soon need to have a seat at the table. Our original table was comfortable for the two of us; but it was crowded for four, and it didn't have near enough room for a 5th person.
We began to brainstorm ways to enlarge our dining table. The plan we came up with was to split the table across the middle and add slides that would allow the table to expand so we could insert leaves.
We ordered wood and hardware for the modification of the table from several sources. Over a period of several weeks, Paul started the process of making, sanding and finishing the new wooden parts so they would be ready to go as soon as the mods to the table itself were complete.
Because the table would likely be out of commission for at least several days during the final stage of modification, we waited until after Lora, J. Michael and Lydia had left following the July 4th weekend to start work on the table itself. While the original table was being modified, we used our folding table. It was a little crowded, but there were only the two of us so we managed for the three or four days the table was being worked on.
Paul disassembled the entire table, eliminated the pedestal, split the main section of the table, added new legs and modified existing components to accommodate the new design.
Key to the function are the slides Paul added that allow the two halves of the table to separate so the leaves can be inserted. Paul ordered the slides from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware. He laid out the location for the slides and screwed them to the underside of the table top sections.
After the table was modified and all the components were dry-fit, Paul took everything back apart so he could sand all the newly-cut edges of the pieces that were modified. He then stained them and applied several coats Minwax Wipe-On Poly finish. The staining and finishing took several days. When the last coat of finish was finally dry, Paul was able to reassemble the table.
The table is now ready to go the next time we need to seat 4 or 5. Without the leaves inserted, the table is the same size as it was before and is plenty roomy for the two of us.
With one leaf, it is 12 inches longer and will be very comfortable for four. With two leaves, it is 24 inches longer and extends almost all the way from the wall to the island.
With the project complete, we headed out for some sightseeing. We'll tell you about it in our next post.