Apartment living, Building a Home, Chair, crafting, Painted Furniture, recycled furniture, resale finds, The bedroom

Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic

I am always amazed at what I find at garage sales.  At the time I was at my latest garage sale, our house was being inspected so I wasn’t sure if the house would pass.  I had already told myself we were killing time, not buying.  I did pretty well… except for two milk glass mugs and a wooden bowl until I spied something I had never seen before.  It looked like a desk, and I could tell it was old, but what  clinched it for me was the fact that it expanded to become a six foot long table.  What in the world?  The leaves were missing but I had to have it for my long hoped for my craft/ Murphy bed room I am planning at our new spot.  When the bed is set up the table can collapse to be a bench.  





The price on the desk thing was $25.00, and I couldn’t resist. 

When I got home I started checking online to see what I had.  It took some searching but I finally found it.  Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic.  It was probably from the late 40’s or early 50’s. They changed the name to Expandway later but I love the older name.

They were made for New York apartments and were sold up until the 60’s.  The top drawer is lined  and divided to hold silverware.  Apparently the morning mini home market has made these cool again and these puppies are selling for $600.00 complete.

Mine is going to get stainable leaves.  The top and leaves will be dark walnut..  The base is going to be painted teal.  I already have the perfect chair for it when it is a desk.

Here are some shots from Etsy.  All I could find were sold. 

I wish I had those leaves but we should be able to do something that looks nice.



Mine only expands 6 feet.


I also am changing jobs so the suitcase wall will be moving into the craft room along with the sewing cabinet.  As soon as the leaves are done and the Murphy bed built, the room will be done.  This may be the easiest room to put together at the house.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!



19 thoughts on “Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic”

  1. Oh! So cool! I have this exact one, mint condition, leaves and all! I believe it was one of the first pieces of furniture my Grandparents bought when they were married….my mother always had in our livingroom, and took great pride in caring for it. She passed it down my way a few years ago, and just today, I noticed the company’s plated logo inside a drawer, decided to look it up, and it brought me here!

    1. I had never seen one until I found it at the community garage sale. It is now a beautiful teal where it had to be repaired. I love it.

  2. I found the same thing at a resale store! I bought it to use as a kitchen table when I need more space, but keep it desk style when it’s just me. It’s so unique!!

    1. Lucky us. Apparently they are hard to find. I still need to make leaves for mine because it did not have any when I found it. I would love to see a photo of your expand- o matic with the leaves in.

      1. My brother in law had one of these with all the leaves . He paid Β£60
        In a kennilworth uk
        Charity shop.

        He loves it my sister in
        Law hates it!! I suggested painting it
        He nearly died on the spot. Good luck with yours will look really good I think


      2. Hi if you go on there website there is a really old photo of it extended . Pretty cool


  3. I just got my Saginaw back from my cousin who had PAINTED IT !!!!!!!!!!!! Have the top and the doors stripped. Working on the front and size. Mine looks like a buffet.

  4. I have a Saginaw Expandomatic for sale. Interested you can contact me. I have all the leafs which are still in the original box.

    1. Hello. I’ve owned my Expandway for 45 years and use it every day, and it’s still in vintage condition (leaves in the original box). I wonder what it’s worth? I think $400. Would you be willing to share what you got for yours?

  5. Saginaw also made an Expand-O-Matic with a flexible plastic table top backed by wooden ribs every couple inches that was hidden in the top of the cabinet, wrapped around the back, and under the cabinet. The supporting pull out rails were metal instead of wood. The top and bottom corners at the back have hidden wheels to allow the flexible table top to turn the corners. The wooden ribs had tabs that catch the metal rail sections and pull them out in sequence. You got a useable side hutch to store dishes, with two doors, but could pull it out to a table that would just barely seat eight if you put two on the end. I inherited mine from my parents and know it is at least 60 years old (I have a photo of me around 5 in front of it). I have never seen another Expand-O-Matic with a flexible plastic table top — all the other ones I have seen have had leaves. I would love to learn more about the Expand-O-Matic with a flexible plastic table top.

  6. Hi Kreigh,
    So glad to find your post, since just a few days ago got a cabinet which fits your description. The only info that came with it was that a 90-year old owner got it from her mom. It is in great shape and has all the signs of superior craftsmanship but does not have any factory marks. So we were confused by clear differences from all other Expand-O-Matic cabinets I could find on the web, and wondered if maybe this is not from Saginaw but another manufacturer. Like you describe, it has metal rather than wooden rails and one roll-out sheet for a table, rather than separate boards. I can see the top wheels and covered areas at the bottom corners that must be for other wheels. The interior of the cabinet is surprisingly spacious and covered with some sort of thin hard boards, grey in color (not sure what they are made of). We were exploring the table surface (the pattern fits exactly the wood pattern of the cabinet) and wondered whether it is plastic or thin metal sheet glued to fabric. The sheet is thin and seems very springy in a few places where it detached from the wooden ribs, more springy than we would expect from plastic. Looking from the side, it has a bit of yellow copper glitter. I found a picture of the exact same cabinet here https://picclick.com/VINTAGE-1940S-Saginaw-Expandomatic-BUFFET-7-FEET-Dining-303056628846.html#&gid=1&pid=1
    They show a Saginaw label there but I am still puzzled how the same company could have so different technical designs and why the apparently more sophisticated thin metal rails, which take so little space at the top of the cabinet, were not used in their other cabinets or desks. We are also impressed how steady that expanded table is. After we will glue a couple of spots where those ribs came off the sheet, it will be totally flat.
    My husband and I agreed that it is an engineering marvel and eager to learn more about it. Please share, if you will find something new.

  7. I recently purchased a Saginaw Expand o Matic Desk with matching chair. I found it at an auction, and knew it would be perfect for my hobby room. It is in excellent condition! Never had seen anything like it before.

  8. My Saginaw Expand-o-matic came from my grandmother who lived in Central Wisconsin and bought it in the late 50’s or early 60’s. It’s the same as yours, Karen, only with a blond wood stain. It’s so neat to be able to see something online that I remember from so long ago. I was two or 3 when she bought it, and my mom (age 86) just passed it on to me. My newly retired husband will refinish it and will probably use it every day after spending years in my mom’s basement. I love furniture that has a family history to it. Thanks for posting these pictures!

  9. My grandfather’s father was the founder of Saginaw Furniture, and when I.S. Gaines retired, my grandfather ran the company until he sold it in about 1972. Those tables are great!

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