Expanding Round Table

Construction Blog: Page 16
It's Finally Complete

Even though the task of mounting the main wedges to the substrate takes just a couple of hours, I actually spent several days of mounting them, remounting them, and tweaking them for an optimal fit. It isn’t just a simple matter of getting the wedges to fit together with each other, but to also fit together with the more than 40,000 permutations of the insert leaves too. (Because each leaf is not restricted to being inserted into any single position, there are actually 40,320 different combinations of installing them in the table.)

Obviously I can't test all 40,000 permutations, and that is why it has been so critical that all of the components of the table be identical. Life would have been easier if I numbered each leaf and specified that it had a certain position in the table, but this is too much of an inconvenience for the owner of the table. So instead, I have moved them around enough to verify that they are all fitting the same regardless where they are positioned. 

By the way, when you take into consideration that the main wedges can also be installed in different positions, there are actually 1-1/2 billion permutations for how this table can be assembled. I had to pick the best, without having to try them all.

Compounding the alignment choices I had to make, I could not complete this assembly while the table was resting on the pedestal. All of this work had to be completed while the table was resting on saw horses so I had access to the mechanics below the table. I needed to be able to easily connect the linkages between the wedges and the drive system.

This meant that flex and disposition of the components could not be fully set while I installed the parts. I had to leave everything loose and couldn't do final fitting until everything was in place, but I also couldn't determine where everything went without the final fitting. This "Catch-22" gave me a few headaches and sleepless nights, to say the least.

I am not going to explain any of the details of this picture, and I actually did not intend to ever show this part of the table, but I guess that without the engineering calculations, even this picture does not reveal too much of the design.

After the table was assembled on saw horses, I then had to relocate it to the pedestal. Because the upper half of the table weighs over 300 pounds, this was not a simple task.

The picture below is the closed table. The picture may be deceiving, but remember that in this position the table is 5-1/2 feet in diameter.

Here is the open table before the leaves are installed.

Here is the table with the leaves in place and the table re-closed on to them.

Up Next: Since everything is complete this should be the last page. If I end up needing another page, then I will change this page to reflect that.