Canterbury Pitt table leg and hinge support mechanism

Canterbury Pitt table renovation – no turning back now…

OK, a little more progress has been made on my plans to renovate my rather shabby and tatty looking Canterbury Pitt table, as today was the day when I started to disassemble the different parts of the table, so now there is no turning back!

I get a slightly reverential feeling when working on old original items such as this. I’m aware of its age and its history of association with the van/interior, so tend to tread carefully before making any decisions or contemplating any changes, but in this case, the decisions were a bit easier.

The formica was scratched, chipped, split and had holes in it!
The formica was scratched, chipped, split and had holes in it!

This was no concourse example of a Canterbury Pitt interior, no museum piece. The Formica top had deep scratches in it, there were screw holes coming through the surface, the edges were chipped and there were several large cracks running through it. All of this made it way beyond my skill level to try to repair it, if repairs to the Formica were even possible? This combined with the fact that it sits on a sub-base of swollen, cracked and split chipboard means that this piece of the history has in reality run its course and will need replacing!

with the mahogany under frame carefully removed
with the mahogany under frame carefully removed

I then carefully unscrewed the mahogany under frame and the hinged leg support from the table top. These elements were in much better condition, and will be re-used in the ‘new’ table. The under frame will dictate the shape/form to new the table top, and I will try to use the original leg and support mechanism underneath with the new top material. This way it helps create some form of continuity and a link between old and new.

Canterbury Pitt table leg in good condition so should clean up nicely
Canterbury Pitt table leg in good condition so should clean up nicely

The leg and support mechanism are in good usable condition, so should clean up nicely and work well with the new top. Instead of trying to replicate the original Formica covered chipboard top, I want to look at using something a bit more durable with a self finish to it.

Canterbury Pitt table leg and hinge support mechanism
Canterbury Pitt table leg and hinge support mechanism

I also wanted to put my own slightly retro inspired twist on the table top, and have it colour wise, contrast the dark reddish mahogany colours used in the interiors rear seats woodwork. Instead, to be more in keeping with the lighter colours of the interior fabric and the original Canterbury Pitt cooker cupboard, which appears to be more of a more honey coloured oak?

The Canterbury Pitt door mounted cooker is a nice original feature of the camper
The Canterbury Pitt door mounted cooker is a nice original feature of the camper

So in the end, I have found some suitable 18mm Oak faced (?) WBP plywood with a really nice surface grain that should do the trick nicely, and to finish the edges off, some retro looking Aluminium Double Feather Edge strip.

So lets see how this plan comes together…

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