Early American Harvest Table

For those who take pleasure in reproducing and living with Early American furniture, this striking example of an eighteenth-century harvest table will surely prove to be an irresistible project. With both leaves raised, it provides a generous 45 x 72" dining surface; yet with the leaves down it takes up relatively little space. Most armless dining chairs will tuck in under the leaves for more efficient storage.

Although the table looks undeniably elegant with lathe-turned legs, you'll note that an alternate square-tapered leg is discussed. Figure 4 shows standard mortise-and-tenon joinery, which will withstand generations of use, while Figure 5 offers a simplified version that is appropriate for a utility table.

The first step in construction is to edge join pine stock for the top and leaves. The top and leaves should be glued up about 1" oversize in both length and width. Use four or five boards for the top and join with glue and % x Vk" grooved dowel pins spaced about a foot apart. Join two boards for each leaf, again reinforcing the joint with %" dowel pins.

Trim the top and leaves to finish length but do not trim to finish width until the rule joint is routed. If you goof, or the router slips, you'll still have enough width for another try. If you choose to build the simplified utility-table version, or if you lack a router, you may want to leave the mating top and leaf edges square, fastening them with long decorative black strap hinges.

The side edges of the top are shaped using a router and %" bead cutter, while the leaves are routed with a %" cove cutter as shown in Detail B. Three 1J4 x 3table hinges are used for each joint. If you've never hinged a rule joint before, we suggest you rout a joint on scrap slock and practice mounting the hinges. The hinge barrel pin must be exactly centered below the top-leaf joint and recessed into a groove in the underside.

The stock for the legs, turned or square tapered, can be either solid or glued up from two pieces of %" stock. Maple, birch, or cherry are preferred for turned legs, but clear pine will do if the narrower portions are left slightly larger in section. If you're an experienced turner, the legs will present no problem other than keeping them identical. For the square-tapered legs, use a tapering jig with your table saw to do the job quickly and cleanly.

Lay out mortises in the legs, allowing for a )&" setback of the aprons as shown in Figure 4, and use a %'' drill bit to clear out waste, finishing up with a chisel.

The aprons are next cut from stock, and you'll note that their lengths differ according to what type joinery you use. Shape tenons on the apron ends and cut grooves as shown in Detail C for the tabletop fasteners. These are sold in many hardware stores or can be ordered from mail order firms specializing in cabinetmaking supplies. It's best to have the fasteners on hand before cutting the grooves so that a perfect fit can be obtained.

Cut two long notches in both the front and back aprons for the swing-out supports. Note that one end of the notch is cut at about 45 degrees to serve as a stop, while the other end is cut square to the apron. Cut four wings to fit these notches and drill the wings and aprons for a steel pivot pin. Use a doweling jig or drill press to drill for these pins, as they must be perfectly vertical. A small washer provides slight clearance

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threaded puooajNG-nml5 î fruie between the wing bottom and the apron. However, the wings must be exactly flush with the top edges of the aprons or the leaves w ill sag.

After sanding, the legs and aprons can be assembled with glue and clamped overnight. For the version in Figure 5. glue and clamp the legs to the frame corners and secure with corner braces lag-screwed into the legs as shown.

The top and leaves can now be turned upside down and mortised for the six hinges. After the hinges are fitted, remove them and finish sand and stain the top, leaves, and frame to suit.

When applying a finish, be sure to cover the underside of the top and leaves and the inside faces of the aprons. A clear finish impervious to water and alcohol is best for tables. Three coats of a satin-luster varnish, rubbed down between coats with 4/0 steel wool is well worth the effort. Take extra care to remove all dust between coats of varnish. Rub the final coal down until all surfaces have an even sheen, then dust and apply a thin coat of furniture paste wax, followed by polishing with a soft cloth.

Finally, fasten the top to the frame using two offset fasteners at each end apron and three fasteners along each side. Fasten the leaves to the top and check the swing-out wings to make sure they support the leaves properly. If there is a slight amount of sag, glue thin hardwood "feather" wedges to the leaves as shown in Figure 2.

BILL OF MATERIALS

Pes.

BILL OF MATERIALS

Pes.

Key

Part

Req'd

T

W

L

A

top

I

23"

72"

B

leaf

2

ir

72"

C

front and back apron

2

%"

5"

49)4

cc

front and back apron

2

%"

5"

5154'

D

end apron

2

%'

5"

16%'

DD

end apron

2

5"

18%'

E

leaf support

4

%'

2"

16«

EE

leaf support

4

y."

2"

14*

F

leg

4

2%*

214"

283S'

FF

leg

4

2%*

2%*

28%

Detail

hinge

6

\%x 3%"

B

G

top fastener

10

GG

cleat

2

%"

y<"

5"

HH

cleai

6

2"

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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