To provide extra seating at the table, add a leaf.
By Bob Highsmith, F258170
RVers who own a motorhome with a booth-type dinette can fabricate a table leaf to provide additional room when four people are seated for a meal, or to accommodate six people at the table by using two folding chairs. I made this improvement to both my current motorhome and my previous coach, each time using the kitchen sink cutout from a piece of laminated countertop for the leaf. Other RVers might want to do the same. Here is the process, described step-by-step, along with a list of materials.
First, gather the necessary materials, listed elsewhere in this article. Drill holes sized for #4x-½-inch screws in 6-inch intervals all the way through the lips of the U-channels. Drill a ¼-inch hole in the top and bottom sides of the U-channels to countersink the screws. File off any burrs that develop on the U-channels so that the plywood will slide easily.
Mount the U-channels on the bottom side of the table. Drill pilot holes for the #4 screws (be careful not to drill all the way through the tabletop). Cut the ½-inch plywood to a size that fits between the two U-channels.
Cut a second, smaller piece of plywood to fit under the end of the table where the leg mounts; the leg will be permanently remounted on this piece of plywood. Stain and varnish both pieces of plywood.
After the U-channels have been mounted, the plywood pieces have been sized to fit the underside of the table, and the table leg has been remounted, slide the larger plywood panel up against the piece on which the leg is mounted. (If the floor where the table leg will sit when the table is extended is not on the same level as the rest of the table, mount the table leg farther under the table so that it will remain level.)
Install the window lock so that it secures the slide panel to the smaller piece of plywood on which the leg is mounted and ensures that the slide panel cannot be taken out accidentally.
Remount the swing-up hardware that was removed from the bottom side of the table to the same position on the new plywood. Set the tabletop in the bed position and remount the swing-up wall hardware. Swing the table up into its eating position and remount the hardware that holds the table against the wall.
Unfasten the window lock and pull the table out to the length desired for the extension. Measure the resulting space between the tabletop and the wall to determine how big the leaf needs to be, and cut the laminate from the sink cutout accordingly.
Drill two holes approximately 3 inches in from the two outside edges of the new table leaf and install the two metal pins. Position the table leaf and mark the locations on the table where the pins will go into the back side of the table; then drill the holes. Be sure the holes you drill in the table leaf are small enough so that the pins fit tightly enough to stay permanently in the leaf.
1 ½-inch piece birch or oak cabinet plywood, large enough to cover underside of existing table
2 ½-inch U-channels to fit over ½-inch plywood, as long as existing table
1 house window lock
20 #4-x-½-inch Phillips flat head wood screws
2 ¼-inch x 2¼-inch metal pins
1 kitchen sink cutout that matches existing table (obtained from lumberyard or countertop manufacturer)
Approximate cost: $20 to $25