Enhance your projects with easy-to-carve accents
Combine a full-size pattern, an inexpensive chip-carving knife [Sources], and a little patience to give your project a custom touch. When carving hardwood, sneak up to the pattern line, making repeat cuts as shown. In softwood, make one cut to the pattern line on each side of center.
The 1∕8" groove, dado, and rabbets in the rail (O) create the appearance of drawer fronts.
Add the leg assembly
1 Cut parts O and P and form the mortises and tenons [Drawings 3 and 3a]. Rout the bead, groove, centered dado [Photo B], and rabbets in the rail, and drill the handle [Sources] holes.
2 Mark V-groove stop lines on the legs (P) [Drawing 3] and rout the grooves [Photo C]. 3 Finish-sand the rail and legs and glue and clamp the assembly. Cut the plinths and capitals (Q) and rout the round-overs [Drawing 3]. If you wish, carve the capitals [Skill Builder, page 29]. Glue the plinths and capitals to the legs.
4 Cut the slide blocks (R) and leg blocks (S). Glue and screw the leg blocks to the slide blocks, and then glue and screw the leg blocks to the legs, flush at the top [Drawings 3 and 3b].
5 Attach the table slides [Sources] to the case [Exploded View, Photo D], and then to the leg assembly [Photo E].
6 Slide the leg assembly against the case face frame. Retrieve the trim (K) and fit it between the legs (P), trimming it to leave a 1∕16" gap at both ends. Glue the trim to the face frame [Exploded View].
Build the doors and shelves
1 Cut door parts T–V. Groove the stiles (T) and groove and rabbet the rails (U) [Drawing 4]. Assemble the doors.
2 Screw each hinge [Sources] to the doors, aligning the outside point of the finial with the inside edge of the rail. Drill holes and install the knobs [Sources]. Mount the doors in the case with even gaps all around. Fasten the catches [Sources] to the catch blocks (N) and the strike plates to the doors. 3 Cut the shelves (W) and banding (X). Glue the banding to the shelves [Exploded View]. Drill shelf-pin holes in the case sides [Drawing 1]. Drill holes in the same locations in the divider (F).
Tip! The leaf hinges may have slight inconsistencies. To ensure successful reassembly, label the hinges with their locations when removing them prior to applying finish.
Top it off
1 Cut six 3∕4×12×361∕2" blanks for the folding leaves (Y) and fixed leaves (Z). Arrange them for best color and grain match. Keeping the leaves in order, cut them to finished lengths and mark the locations on masking tape affixed to the bottom faces.
2 Make the table-pin drilling jig [Drawing 5]. Drill both edges of the folding leaves (Y) [Drawing 6, Photo F]. Use the same method to drill the inside edge of each fixed leaf (Z). 3 Position all the leaves upside down on your workbench. Mark their sequence (1, 2, 3,…) and orientation (left, right). Attach the hinges [Drawing 6, Sources] to the folding leaves (Y) [Photo G].
4 Glue table pins [Sources] into the holes in the fixed leaf that mounts onto the case. Install figure-8 fasteners in the case counterbores, center the leaf on the case with the back edges flush, and fasten the leaf to the case [Exploded View].
5 Slide the leg assembly against the case, and apply double-faced tape to the tops of the table slides. Position the remaining fixed leaf against the case leaf, engaging the caseleaf pins. Firmly press the leaf onto the double-faced tape. Carefully slide the leg assembly away from the case and screw the leg leaf to the slides.
6 Pull the leg assembly all the way out. Glue table pins into the holes in the front edges of the folding leaves and fit them in place. Remove any squeeze-out. After the glue dries, tightly clamp together the leaves, sand the ends and tops flush, and rout the edge profile [Exploded View, Drawing 6].
1 Remove all hardware and the tabletop slides. Mark the folding leaf halves for reassembly. Inspect all parts and assemblies and finish-sand where necessary. Apply a finish. (We used a water-based satin polyurethane.)
2 Reassemble the buffet and fasten the back to the case. Rest the shelves on shelf pins [Sources]. Close the buffet and stow the folded leaves inside the cabinet. Remove the old dining table and enjoy the extra space!
side of center. Make multiple concentric cuts, working from the center of the carved element to the pattern line, rotating the workpiece as necessary.
Cross-grain elements Long-grain elements Cross-grain elements are easier to carve cleanly than long-grain elements. To keep longgrain elements from splintering along the edges, make more small cuts.
Use our pattern for a complete custom look, or design your own.
Trace the cut-out pattern onto the workpiece.
Rotate the workpiece and repeat the cut on the other
Make a cut inside and parallel to the pattern line. Start shallow, increase pressure to cut deeper in the middle, and finish shallow.
Rout the leg grooves, starting at the bottom with the router against a start block and ending at the stop lines.
Rout the center dado with a 1∕8" straight bit, guiding the router with a straightedge. Use the same setup to rout the end rabbets and groove near the bottom edge.
Screw the table slides to the cleats (M) flush at the top, and with the slide ends against the back rail (L).
Fasten the table slides to the slide blocks (R) with a single screw at the top front. Make the space between the stiles (H) and legs (P) equal at top and bottom, and drive the remaining screws.
Align the edge of a 3"-wide spacer with the edges of the folding leaves (Y). Position the hinge against the spacer with the knuckle centered on the joint between the paired leaves. Screw the hinge in place.
Drill table-pin holes using a brad-point bit and stop collar. Flip the jig to drill the mating folding leaf, always clamping the jig to the top face of the leaf and orienting the outside end of the jig with the outside end of the leaf.