Sunday, July 7, 2024

Table extensions for a Barnsley Hayrake table

 10 years ago I made a Barnsley Hayrake table to a friend of mine. The table ended up looking a bit weird since the legs were to close to the ends and the sides, and they were also too large compared to the size of the tabletop, giving it a bit of a clumsy look. 

The problem back then was that I had first been given a size that the table should end up being, and I started constructing the lower part of the table according to that. When I was done with the legs and stretchers and all assembled, my friend suddenly called me and asked how small I could make the table..

She had forgotten to take into account that in order for a table to work, it is fairly important that there is sufficient room for someone to pull out a chair to sit in.

Anyway, about half a year ago, she called me and asked if I could make some extensions for the table. 
I was curious to see how it looked, and I loved the idea of having a chance to make it look a bit more harmonic.
I drove up to see her and took some measurements of the table. the top had shrunk a bit unevenly, so one side was 3/4" narrower than the other end. But all in all the table still looked great.
As luck would have it, I still had a bit of larch left in dimensions that could be used for the extensions.

In order to avoid having to make an extra leg or some swing type support, I chose to make a frame and panel type extension. That way it could be held by just a couple of long sliding sticks underneath the tabletop. Also this meant that the extensions could be removed and there wouldn't be anything to interfere with the knees of the people sitting at the ends of the basic table.

I didn't do any finishing, but she said that she planned on giving it some soap just like the rest of the table had been treated with. 

Trimming of tenons.

Proof to Brian Eve that I still use his old plane :-)

Barnsley Hayrake table with extensions.

Frame and two panels.

Marking up for the holding sticks.

Working on the underside.

All completed.


  1. If I comprehend correctly the table extensions simply rest atop the holding sticks, which, in turn, can be withdrawn and pushed back underneath, hiding them from view?

    1. Hi Mitchell
      That is correct.
      The holding sticks (I don't even know if that is a correct word) are seated in square holes in each of the battens that hold the tabletop. There is also a smaller square hole guide a bit farther in under the table, so the sticks can only go straight in and out. To prevent the sticks from being drawn out too far, a dowel is mounted in the end of each one preventing them from going through the square guide holder.
      In the end that is nearest to the end of the table, a small notch in the bottom makes it easy to pull the stick out with your finger.
      In the upper side of the sticks, there is a hole that corresponds with a peg in the table extension itself, so that the extensions can't slide from side to side.
      On the underside of the extensions where they meet the table, two short battens protrude under the real tabletop. Those battens fit precisely between the holding sticks. And they also secure the extensions from side to side movement, and furthermore prevents the extensions to flip if someone places their elbows or some other heavy weight near the outside end of them.
      I didn't take a picture of all the details since it is pretty much like another old table that we have at home.
      Brgds Jonas

  2. I remember you telling us about this table.. The frame and panel looks good with the original, good idea!

    1. Thanks Jeff,
      I think it came out pretty well too :-)
      The original table was all made out of larch, so I was glad that I had a bit of larch left that I could use to make the extensions. It just looks better if it is all the same species of wood. Especially if it is to be used without a tablecloth.
      Brgds Jonas

  3. Hi Jonas, I love that tabel and the extensions. How did you fix them to the Tabel? thorugh the frame? Cheers Pedder

    1. Hi Pedder'Thanks for the nice comment :-)
      The extensions rests upon two sliding sticks. THey go through the frame in the end of the table, and then a little further back they go through a small block of wood with a square cutout.
      I think I made an end stop, so you can't push the sticks too far in. But I can't remember exactly, and I didn't take any picture of it :-)
      The table looks really good with the extensions on. The larch has only received soap as treatment and it has aged beautifully.

      Brgds Jonas