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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Drop Leaf Table Not Expanding



I recently purchased this table (I think it's a Duncan Pfyfe, but not sure the year) and I can't figure out how to expand the second side. The person I bought it from doesn't know anything about it.

The side that I am able to expand has a ring to pull and release a latch. The other side of the table has no ring, and no latch. The only thing I can see is a spot where one might put a gear knob/key on the underside. If that is the case, any idea where I might find one?

I don't want to be too rough on the piece so I'm hesitant to pull to hard on the side that isn't expanding.

Any thoughts?

there are many types of mechanisms.  the type of slide is called an equalizer and yes
it is often called a duncan phyfe style table, more accurately sheraton and /or federal but DF works.  made in the 1940s.

there is a gear or cog that spins making the parts separate equally.  without being there i cannot say what to do, you will have to figure it out but you are doing right not to try the Hulk routine.  are you doing this alone or do you have help?  you might try putting the table on its side on pads and try to see what might be going on, check carefully for hooks or locking mechanisms.  but first---it should come open without the gear.  are you pulling from the ends?  if not have someone hold the center section and pull the end, after checking for locking mechanisms or hooks, rather than pulling from both ends.  this will tell us if it is binding on the one end.

look on the side of the slides and see if it says wabash table slides or something else.

if you need the gear, which will make things easier i have never been able to buy just the gear.  you might check restoration shops or you might have to buy the whole slide and rob one or find a junk table and rob the gear from that.  the only other way is to remove the slides and go to a machine shop and have the gear made, that might be a problem getting the slides off if they are glued. if they are not and you remove them make sure you mark everything, even the screws and put it back exactly as it was.  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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robert klein


In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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