Installing Table Hardware For A Table Leaf

What You'll Need
Table Leaf
Measuring Tape

If your dining room table just isn’t big enough to fit your family, add table hardware and a new table leaf to extend the length. You can use the same process to add length to any table.

This article will address add-on leaves for a dining room table.


Step One – Take Measurements

Take measurements of your dining table from end to end and side to side.  This will give you the width of the leaf you need to order and purchase, and will also give you an idea of how long you can go for the add-on piece.

Step Two – Purchase

Order your table leaf in the type of wood that most closely matches your table. You can also try going to your nearest home improvement or woodworking store to see if they may have something in stock. 

This is a good time to purchase your needed hardware also. You will need at least 2 hinges—maybe more, depending upon the size of leaf you are working with. You will need to purchase metal drop leaf supports and appropriate attachment hardware.

Step Three – Measure and Outline

Set up a workspace large enough that you will be able to turn the table upside-down on a clean, flat surface. Gather all materials. 

Line up the table and the leaf so you can determine where the hinges will go. Measure to the exact center for the center hinge and 2 ½” from each edge for the outer hinges. 

Place the hinges so that the longer hinge leaf lies on the table and the hinge barrel is ½-inch from the edge of the leaf. Trace the outline of both pieces to mark the right location.

Step Four – Mortise

Using your chisel and hammer, gently mortise the outline. Stop periodically to make sure that the fit on both sides is still exact.

Step Five – Attach

Lay the hinges. Attach them to the table and leaf using screws and a drill. Do not drill to tightly or the materials will crack. Once you have attached the hinges, attach metal support pieces.

Step Six – Check Fit

Once you have attached all hardware, double-check the fit and the function of the hinges. If there are any “sticky” points, use your sandpaper to smooth them out.