Fiddle blocks at the edges of tables may seem logical and easy enough to add, simply attach a vertical section of wood to end of the table and finish it so that it blends in and looks nice with the rest of the boats interior joinery. What if you want fiddle blocks when you are sailing, but smooth flat table surfaces when in port? This is where removable fiddle blocks come into play!
Removable fiddle blocks are simply fiddle blocks that attach to the edge of the table. The simplest method uses a system of rods to connect the block and allow quick and easy removal. On the bottom of the fiddle block, will have bronze (or other metal) rods extending out the bottom of the block that will fit into specific holes on the table top.
To protect the wood of the table, copper or bronze ferrules should be inserted into the hole in the table. Bronze and copper are easily shaped to contour to the holes shape and can be burnished into the wood, holding it in place for the life of the table. The bronze rod simply slides into the copper ferrule, providing a very secure connection between the table and fiddle block.
It is best to make the holes in the fiddle blocks and table after the wood has completely dried out. If you build a table with moist wood, the holes may not line up with the rods as the table shrinks a bit further. For this reason, only do this on an already existing and old table that lives inside and not exposed to the elements.
A small waiting period will give you a wonderful table that will accept your fiddle blocks as needed for the rest of your cruising life.