Envelope-top card-tables

In this variation of the double-top table the upper top, which must be square, is divided into four triangular sections (383:1) hinged to the under top with centre card-table hinges. The under top is pivoted with a card-table pivot, known as a 'table swivel plate' and still obtainable as such, and a stop (383:3) which allows a movement through 45° in a clockwise direction (383:2). As the top flaps are flush, some method of raising them must be provided,
382 Wood spring catch

and in traditional examples a wood or metal dowel was inserted in a socket hole bored through the under top about 2 in (50 mm) in from one corner (383:2X). A 3/16 in (5 mm) wood or thin metal spring was fitted over the dowel-peg (383 :4A) pressing it up as the top pivoted over the table rail, thus raising the flap by a fractional amount which tipped the point of the flap clear so that it could be raised with the finger-tips. The method was crude enough; nevertheless it worked extremely well in practice, and more sophisticated methods' sometimes adopted in modern examples of this type of table are not necessarily more efficient.

Swivel-top tables

This method is more practicable than either the concertina or envelope-top card-table and is used in contemporary designs. Figure 384:1 is a pedestal type with double top hinged with counter-flap hinge or the more decorative mangle-top hinge, while 384:4 gives details of the framework and 384:5 the pillar fixing to the cross rails and the feet (384:3). The lower top is pivoted with a card-table pivot or table swivel plate (384:2) taken through a cross-bearer in the framing, and is free to move through 90°. The exact position of the pivot is fairly critical, and is found by drawing a plan of the table in the closed position (384:4A), and an outline of the open position (384:4B). A line at 45° is then drawn through the centre point, and the centre between the points where this line intersects the outer edges of the pivoted top in the closed and open position will be the pivot point (X). The extent of the travel is shown by the dotted lines swung from this centre, and a small stop is screwed to the top to limit the movement. Baize insets glued to the top edges of the framework will ensure an easy sliding movement. The most satisfactory format for a table of this type is square, as shown in 384:4, but rectangular

Sofa tables

shapes are feasible within certain limits, always provided that the width of each leaf is more than half the length of the rectangular framework, or the opened leaves will not cover. A scale drawing will show the permissible variations, and the extent of the overhang, which should not be too great in either length or width or the table will be unsteady. Framed-up table stands can be used instead of the pedestal stand shown.

Traditional forms have side drawers and end flaps, but without flaps this type of table can easily be adapted for use as dressing or occasional tables, etc. Figure 385:1 shows a




gauged line squared chamfer line


387 This fine table in solid walnut makes good use of the traditional knuckle joint. Designer/maker: Peter Kuh

388 The knuckle joint


table without flaps, 385:2 the sectional elevation and 385:3 an isometric projection of the overall appearance. Figure 385:4 is the usual table with end flaps supported by swing knuckle-jointed brackets as in Pembroke tables, etc., and 385:5 an under plan showing the flap in the raised position. Constructional details are given in 386 with 386:1 the carcass framing, 386:2 leg details from which it will be seen that the side rail is bridled over the upright or standard, with the outer side of the latter cut back as at 386:2A to allow the bracket to fold back. If flaps are not fitted as 386:1 then the outer side can be carried up to the top of the rail, or more neatly finished by setting the rail flush with the legs on the outer face and grooving and screwing the standard (3 86:2B). The shaped legs are set out full size as shown in 386:7, with the shaded portion left on to facilitate cramping/ clamping up and then cut off after asembly, butt jointed and glued together and mortised for the triangular-shaped tenon of the standard (386:2) which is glued and screwed from the inside. Figure 386:3 is the sectional elevation of a typical drawer front with cock beads, also a reeded edge to the table-top and a small base moulding rebated/rabbeted in, while 386:4 is the rule-joint assembly for the flap, and 386:5 the moulded section of the stretcher rail between the two leg frames. The standard is usually rebated out for an inset capping moulding mitred all round (386:6), while 386:9 shows an alternative method of framing the legs which are tenoned into a block, with a separate moulded capping piece glued on and the standard dowelled in.

Sunderland tables

These worked on the same principle as the Pembroke table, but the tops were narrow and the flaps much deeper, with the result that the tables were not as stable as the Pembroke and, therefore, not so popular. A compromise between the two was sometimes made with large flaps supported by swing legs on the gate­leg table principle.

Side tables

This typical side table (389:1) was originally made up as a teak display-table for a very valuable and heavy Tang dynasty pottery horse, but is equally suitable as a serving - or library - table, etc. Figure 389:2 gives the detail of leg, tenoned-in rail and attached top, showing the chamfers worked to relieve the otherwise plain design. The original top was 11/2 in (38 mm) blockboard (obtainable as flush door blanks) veneered and edged, but 389:3 shows an alternative construction with 5/8 in (16 mm) plywood and wide edging, and middle stiffening rail glued on. On practical grounds it can be argued that there is little intrinsic difference between a solid and a built-up top, provided the ply is heavy enough, and the outward appearance must be the same; nevertheless, there is a very subtle difference which the expert eye will be able to detect.

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