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Paired components and clean lim give this table its Craftsman style

By Hugh N. Montgomery

My display stand owes its origins to rhc Arts and Crafts furniture movement of the early 20th century.

Repetitive patterns are an important design element in Arts and Crafts work, and although there are 14 separate parts in this table, all of them are repeated. The circular tabletops are duplicates; there are two identical stretcher assemblies, each a pair of members; and the legs arc four pairs of identically shaped sticks. Most of the parts are easy to duplicate using MDF templates.

For this project I chose cherry, although most any hardwood, and some of the sturdier softwoods, would do just as well.

Sizing the Parts

I rough si/.e all the parts at least in. oversize in each dimension. After they have had a day to relax, I joint and plane them to final dimensions.

Before planing, however, I make a thickness gauge out of hardwood scrap. Simply set your dado blade to in. and cut a dado in the scrap piece. Then check your planing progress with the gauge as you go, and stop when the pieces fit the dado very tightly.

Dadoing the Stretchers

First cut four Vg by 2V4 by 13-in. blanks for the stretchers. I cut the dadoes before forming the curves.

Using your miter gauge to the left of the saw blade, attach an auxiliary fence that extends past the blade by about 6 in. It will back up the cut to minimize tearout and allow room to clamp a stop block in. to the right of the blade. Butt the stretchers' ends against the stop block and cut Vg-in.-dccp dadoes across both faces at both ends.

Cutting the Half-Laps

Kach stretcher assembly is joined with half-laps. (See Fig. 2.) I first run a in.-dcep by Vg-in.-widc dado across both faces of rwo of the stretchers, and label these two pieces "A." These shallow dadoes form shoulders for the half-lap joint. To ensure that these shoulders are perfectly matched and centered, I set the stop block in.

to the left of the blade, and reference of! the same end of the stretcher during each cut.

Cut the half-lap in the tops of both UAM pieces, then cut the mating half-laps in the rwo other "B" stretchers.

Circles and Curves

To make the tabletops, I cut out the circles to rough size on my bandsaw; then I drill a l^-in.-diameter hole, ^/g in. deep, at the centerpoiiu. I clean up the outside edge with a router and circle-cutting jig. Its best to make three j or more passes with the router, lower- j ing the bit incrementally for each pass.

On tiptoes. The author's display stand is a Craftsman-style composition of graceful curves, exposed joinery and repeated patterns.

FIG. 1: DISPLAY STAND

The display stand is made of 14 parts, but there are really only three distinct shapes: stretcher, leg and tabletop/shelf. Each end of each stretcher is sandwiched between two legs and secured with a couple of concealed dowel pins. Two counterbored screws hold the tabletop and shelf to their stretchers.

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