here are we going to put them all?” your spouse asks you. “We’ve got 15 people coming for Christmas dinner and we can only get eight around our table.”
Not wanting to appear unhelpful you answer, “Well, we can put the three teenagers in the kitchen because they don’t want to sit with us anyway. If we squeeze 10 around our table and use the coffee table, we’ll all fit.”
Your spouse is not convinced. “But we had eight at the table for Thanksgiving and we could barely move. Not only that, Uncle Enormo is coming and he takes up as much space as two people.” You wonder what to do next.
Wonder no more. Ancient Acres to the rescue! We had the same dilemma a year or two ago, and one of our sons mentioned that a neighbour just placed a sheet of plywood over the table top. This would work in a pinch but I had visions of someone leaning a bit too hard on one end and the turkey getting catapulted through the air and landing on someone’s head with a sodden plop.
Instead, we cobbled up a bit more of a permanent solution. We got a sheet of three-quarter- inch plywood, rounded off the corners and sanded off the slivers. We didn’t have to get too fancy because the boss was covering it with a tablecloth anyway. We then opened up our dining room table and measured the maximum opening. I screwed a couple of one-by-fours on the plywood to fit inside this measurement.
Then I drilled a couple of holes in the plywood in the centre that would go through the existing table opening and attach to another one-by-four under the table. When these bolts were tightened, the plywood became as solid as the rest of the table. See the following crude drawings for the details.
Looking at this further it could probably be extended to any length practical unless the Federal Department of Tables and Chairs doesn’t become involved. Then we’d likely have to have engineers draw blueprints and do crash tests. (Do they have crash test turkeys?) You could probably extend to 10 or 12 feet by securely screwing two sheets of plywood together.
A couple of other notes:
1) Countersink the bolt heads in the top plywood so they are level with the table top. Otherwise you’ll end up with a couple of bumps in the middle just high enough to topple over the fancy candleholders with the flaming candles in them.
2) Watch the overhang on the end. If it gets too long and unsteady you could add some auxiliary legs if needed. I’ll let you figure those out yourself.
Enjoy your holidays and all the good meals to come!
RonSettlerandhiswifeSheilaandtheir sonsBenandDanfarmandrunarepairand salvagebusinessatLuckyLake,Sask.