Having a gateleg table is a great way to save space while always being ready to entertain a larger crowd than normal. With a gateleg table, you can easily add dining space for as many people as you have leaves or expansion sections for. This article will list the steps required to turn a common square table into a gateleg table by adding folding legs to the edges.
Step 1 - Mark Pilot Holes
Turn the table upside down on a firm surface with a blanket or sheet under it to protect the table top and the surface. Also turn the sections you’ll be adding upside down. Align the sections as they will go on the table. Place the hinge strips over the joints between sections and table. Using a carpenter’s crayon or pencil, mark each of the holes for the hinge strips.
Step 2 - Drill Pilot Holes
With the table and additional sections still upside down, measure the thickness of the wood. Divide that thickness in half and measure that distance on the drill bit. Mark it with a piece of tape. This will be your depth guide. For example, if the table edge and added section are 1 inch thick, place your mark on the drill bit 1/2 inch from the tip. When drilling your pilot holes, don’t go beyond this mark on the bit. You’re drilling pilot holes to make sure that when you install the screws to hold the hinge strips on, you won’t crack the wood.
Step 3 - Attach New Sections
Set the hinge strips on the new sections you’re adding and line them up with the pilot holes you’ve just drilled. Turn the torque down on your drill, if possible and install and tighten all the screws into the hinge strips on the section. Line up the holes in the hinge strips with the pilot holes in the table and secure firmly with the screws.
Step 4 - Affix Table Leg Securements
Place a 2 by 2 block of wood in the center of each new table section. Use the 1/16 inch drill bit to drill 3 or 4 pilot holes in the blocks. Secure the blocks to the table sections with the 1.5 inch wood screws. In the center of each block, drill a hole for a wood insert and install the insert following the instructions for it. Do this on every table section. Drill an appropriately sized hole in the center of the new table legs and insert a threaded insert with a stud. Thread the stud into the insert in the table section.
These 4 steps have outlined an easy way to increase your seating capacity by adding leaves to your existing table and creating a gateleg table.