Many homeowners who have a dining table or a smaller kitchen table, have the ability to make the table larger when extra space is needed. Using a Table-Leaf is a great way to accommodate an extra family and friends around your dining table. Many dining tables and kitchen tables pull open so that you can insert an extra piece of wood, called a leaf into the opening. Pushing the table closed and locking the leaf in place provides a solid, steady, larger table for everyone to sit at comfortably. When you do not have extra guests and family, removing the Table-Leaf is easy. Open the latches, slide the table back and remove the wood table insert then slide the table back together and lock it in place.
When the leaf is not in use, storing it can be an issue. Standing a wood Table-Leaf upright inside of a closet can cause the leaf to warp. After a Table-Leaf warps, it will no longer fit into the table smoothly or at all if the warp becomes severe. If you stored the leaf in an area that was damp, it can cause the wood to warp. If your Table-Leaf is finished on the top and along the sides, the unfinished underside will absorb moisture and warp. You will not be able to lock the leaf in place. You do not have to worry about discarding the leaf, buying a new leaf or buying a whole new dining table, you can simply, straighten the warped leaf.
Repairing the Warped Wood
Lay a large tarp outside on a hot and sunny day.
Wet 2 or 3 large bath towels and wring out the excess water. The towels should only be damp, not dripping water. You can also use a folded sheet if your towels are particularly fluffy. You do not want the material to be overly wet, just moist and damp.
Lay the bath towels on the tarp.
Place the warped Table-Leaf on top of the wet bath towels or sheets.
Position the Table-Leaf so the warped bubble is facing up. The two ends of the leaf should rest on top of your damp towels or damp sheet. It will look like you have a small tunnel.
Do not place the leaf so that it rests on the bowed area. Turn it over.
Wait for the Warped Wood to Straighten
Allow the sun to do its work. The sun will heat the damp towels, absorb into the wood and make the wood flexible enough so that it will straighten back to its original position.
Waiting for the warp to staighten may take 2 to 3 days depending on how badly your wood Table-Leaf was warped to begin with. The worse the warp, the longer it will take to straighten. The length of time to straighten warped wood also depends on the type of wood the leaf is made out of. Typically hardwoods take longer to straighten, but they also take longer to warp.
Bring the Table-Leaf indoors at night and lay it flat with the convex side facing up.
If you have an antique or very expensive table, consult with a furniture restoration professional before attempting to straighten the warp. You would not want to take a chance on ruining the value of an antique table.
Do not place weights on the Table-Leaf because you can cause the wood to split. Be patient and allow the sun and water to straighten the warped Table-Leaf.
Do finish unfinished undersides of the leaf. Add a coat of polyurethane will protect teh wood from moisture and water and help prevent future warps.
Do not try to force the convex side down because you will split or break the wood.
Store the kitchen table or dining Table-Leaf flat. Under a bed, wrapped in a cotton sheet is the perfect place to store a Table-Leaf.