Here's a recent commission for a bespoke extendable dining table. It was handmade in British prime oak with a clear, semi matt oiled finish. The unextended dimensions are 2000x1000mm, which would comfortably seat 8 people (3 down either side, 1 at each end). We also made a bench to match that could slide between the legs and under the table when not in use.
It has two 'store-away' leaves each measuring 1000x450mm. By 'store-away' I mean that when not in use they're stored somewhere away from the table rather than stowed within the table. When these are fitted the dimensions increase to 2900x1000mm and the seating capacity to a comfortable 12 (5 down either side, 1 at each end).
The client was after a tapered leg table with a clean, contemporary aesthetic and didn't want the main table top or the leaves to have breadboard ends.
When working with real, solid timber, we must accept that it will move in reaction to the moisture, or lack of moisture in the environment that it lives in. When we make furniture, it is important to allow for that movement to happen in the form of expansion and contraction, without the consequence of the timber in the piece cupping or bowing.
To put the above statement into context: In order to keep the leaves flat whilst allowing for expansion and contraction, the grain needed to run across the width of the table unlike in the main top where the grain runs down the length. That way the extension prongs could also act as braces for the leaves, keeping them flat.
The grain in the leaf running the opposite way to the grain in the main table top
We made solid oak plugs to fill the cut outs in the rails when the leaves aren't in use - they self locate and stay in place with the help of rare earth magnets.
Have a read of the clients testimonial.