Expanding Capstan Table: Who Invented It Intellectual property, usually associated with movies, books and music, isn't always top of mind when thinking of the manufacture of wood furniture. But U.S. companies' classic designs - Chippendales, Louis XIVth, etc. - are frequently protected and have become bargaining chips in business transactions, mergers, etc.

U.S. wood products ingenuity is also evident in the creative integration of hardware and other component technology. One dramatic item is the patent for the "capstan table." A video below shows its amazing operation. When first posted it reaped a number of comments and lots of interest, including sources for the hardware. Here's a step more on that.

Patent number 7,311,047 was issued December 25, 2007 to James Conley and Andrew Rudisill and assigned to Century Furniture LLC, Hickory, NC.

The patent description begins:

"An expanding table of the type in which a number of table top sections are caused to move outwardly and expand on rotation of the table top. The table top sections are coupled to a guide plate, which defines the positions between which the sections move.

The guide plate is mounted for rotation and engages low friction rub blocks mounted along the inner perimeter of the outer edge of the table. The table top sections themselves are mounted on guides, which are at least partially received in the guide plate. Once the table top sections have been moved into the expanded configuration by rotation of the table top, table leaves are inserted in the spaces between adjacent table top sections to form a larger contiguous table surface."

Read the entire round rotating table patent and see the capstan table in action in the video below.

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