How to Store Leaves for an Oak Table
A dining table that expands using a leaf, or insert, is both versatile and efficient, giving you the space you need accommodate extra guests without needing to purchase in a table that is too large for everyday use. If you invest in a table made from a hardwood such as oak, you need to take special care in storing any extra table leafs to avoid damage and keep your table both functional and great-looking. Storing your table leaf improperly can cause the wood to warp, crack, scratch or gouge.
Properly Storing an Oak Table Leaf
Clean the table leaf before storing. Using a soft cloth, such as an old cotton T-shirt and a spray furniture polish or water, carefully wipe away any dust, crumbs and moisture.
Remove the leaf from the table. Get help if you need it; if you try to lift a wooden table leaf that is too heavy, you could drop it and damage the leaf or hurt yourself.
Insert the table leaf in the protective cover. If your cover has a plastic exterior, be sure that the inside of the cover is made from linen, cotton or felt to prevent the plastic from possibly damaging the table's finish.
Move the leaf to its storage location. Ideally, the table leaf should be stored as close to the table as possible so the temperature and humidity are the same for both pieces. This ensures the table and leaf expand and contract at the same rate so they will always fit together.
Store the table leaf horizontally, if possible. Avoid storing your leaf on its end or side for extended periods.
- "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook";Martha Stewart; 2006
- RJ Fine Woodworking: Maintaining Custom Furniture for a Lifetime
- Barina Craft: Fine Wood Furniture Care and Use
- If storage space is an issue, look for a table with a self-storing or drop leaf. These tables are designed for the extra leaf to be kept with the table at all times and pulled out when needed.
- Avoid storing your table leaf in the basement, attic or garage where temperature fluctuations can cause the wood to swell or shrink, preventing it from fitting in the table.
- To keep the wood from drying out, do not store your table leaf near a heater or radiator.
- Do not store other items on top of the leaf. This may cause damage.
An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer on topics including lifestyle, education, and business. She is the author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), and her work has appeared in Lewiston Auburn Magazine, Young Money, USA Today and a variety of online outlets. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.
- elegant home dining table image by Paul Hill from Fotolia.com