Sometimes a client asks you for something that's a pain in the ass, but by pushing yourself and engaging that design brain, you're able to make gold out of it.
Daniel Chaffin Furniture Makers, based in Louisville, received an unusual request for a dining table: "The client wanted to seat up to ten guests at times, while having the table function as an architect's desk at others," they explain. The architect client wanted to be able to spread full-size (36" x 48") blueprints on it, but "also wanted an elegant and simple way to make the table thin, minimizing its footprint in the space the rest of the time."
DCFM's designers got to work and came up with what they call the Primmer Expanding Table:
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We chose to create a Dutch pullout system, [which uses] a series of rails attached to the leaves. Each leaf stores underneath the top when collapsed. To expand the table one simply pulls on the leaf. As the leaf moves out, the top lifts up. Once the leaf is clear the top drops down to its initial height.
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The problem with this system has always been the loud bang associated with the top dropping back into place. We resolved the issue by placing small hydraulic pistons underneath the top to dampen its fall. Now, when the leaves clear the top settles gently into position. The system works with minimal effort despite this unique application and the steep angles required to make such short leaves function properly.
Here's how it operates: