11. Table and Benches
Tables and Benches
With a lot of the props coming along nicely, it was time to think of how the actual night was going to go. We knew we wanted the meal to be a banquet, which meant that we needed a big table so everyone could sit down and eat.
We didn’t want to have everyday chairs as they would look out of place in the Great Hall at Hogwarts so I decided to make two long bench seats instead of hiring 16 chairs.
My next door neighbor Rick had been renovating his house and was throwing away some 4×2 treated pine timber, this was perfect for what I wanted and already had the aged weathered look I was looking for. Fortunately this ended up being exactly the right amount of timber that I needed for both the table and the benches.
The table needed to be 3.6m (11’9.5”) long and 1.2m (4“)wide. First we cut all the uprights and cross pieces for the legs and nailed them together in the shape of a rectangle. For the size of our table, we needed to have four uprights so it would have the strength that we needed. The benches were basically made the same way but we cut the legs shorter.
As by now I had almost finished all of the big props, I was able to use the two large MDF sheets that were on my work bench for the table top. After cutting the MDF sheets to the right length, we screwed the under carriage to the underside. This way it was all one piece, we then flipped the top upside down and worked out the spacing for the legs.
We attached some hinges to the legs so the table could be folded up and put away after the meal. The rest of the night was going to be games and we needed the space. To stop the table from swaying side to side and give it some stability, I screwed a cross piece of wood between the two middle legs, which did the job nicely.
The bench seats were quite easy to assemble as once the uprights were nailed together, it was just a matter of screwing on some old planks I had laying around in the garage for the seats.
When we finally dressed the table on the night with a black tablecloth, wrought iron candelabra (which we picked up from a good will shop), the silver colored disposable plates and the four different colored paper napkins one for each house, it looked fantastic and fitted right in the Great Hall.