The upper one is the old "draw-table", and is not used much now. A study of the drawings will show that the leaves enlarging the table are slides that pull out from 1 beneath the top. Each slide is about half the length of the top, so the table is nearly doubled in length when both are pulled out. It should be noted, too, that to be of service the slide must be pulled out its full length, otherwise the top and slide are not on the same level. This means that there are but two changes in size for this kind of a table. Either it is increased by the whole of one leaf or by both. The top of the table is not solidly fastened to the frame, but is free to move vertically, a little, though prevented from moving in any other direction by keys fastened to its underside and passing through a rail, the same thickness as the leaves, fastened to the frame. Each slide has two bearing pieces fastened to its underside, one at each end. The bearing pieces are as long as the frame of the table, or a little longer, and when the slide is drawn out one end of them bears against the underside of the rail to which the top is keyed, while their lower edge rests on the frame of the table, notched to receive it. They are cut at the proper bevel, so when drawn out the top and slide are on a level, and the slide is held securely in place against the edge of the top.
The common extension table, like the one here: expansion dining table, is familiar to every one. The picture presents it in the simplest form. It is really a table with a telescopic frame, and provided with extra sections of a top that may be added till the frame is extended its full length. The leaves are made of sizes from twelve inches to twenty wide, and the tables are made to extend as desired, the average being from twelve to sixteen feet.
Each manufacturer has his own method of constructing the telescopic frame, or slides as they are called, the differences, depending on patented devices for holding the slides together. The principle, however, is the same in all. The diagram illustrates a section through two slides showing one device. The sides of the slides are grooved to receive keys that dovetail them together. Each slide when pulled out to the extreme laps over those adjoining it about one-third, and stops ;are provided to prevent their being separated more than this. The slides are of wood, an inch and a half to two inches thick, nearly as wide as the table frame is deep and about as long as the underside of the table, when closed, will permit. The number of slides depends on the length to which the table is to be extended. There are two sets; an odd number on each side of the table. The outer pair are screwed firmly to the underside of one-half of the top, and the inner pair to the other half. All the slides, except these, are free to move. As most tables extend too much for the slides to support the weight at the middle, it is usual to provide a center leg. This leg is fastened to the middle of a transverse rail screwed securely to the middle slide of each group.
The frame of the table when extended is separated at the middle, and if a cloth cover is not used the slides are exposed to view. This interrupted frame is unsightly, and each leaf may be provided with its section of frame so that when in place no gap is left between the extended ends. There are card tables made so two of the legs and one side can be pulled out to support a leaf when it is open. They are small extension tables, the frame itself forming a part of the slides.
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