This section is from the book "Mission Furniture: How To Make It", by Henry Haven Windsor. Also available from Amazon: Mission Furniture: How to Make It.
The accompanying sketch shows the details of a card table that can be folded up and carried about or stored away when not in use. We would advise making two tables at the same time, as the material for both can be purchased nearly as cheaply as for one. The material necessary for making one table is given in the following list:
Begin by squaring up the four legs making them all 24-3/4 in. long and 1 in. square. Also square up the crosspieces marked B in the detail drawing. These should be 5 in. long and should have 1/4-in. holes about 1 in. deep drilled in both ends of each for the 1/4-in. oak swivel pins. Measure back 1-1/2 in. from one end of each and bore a 9/16-in. hole, 7/8 in. deep as shown. Now cut a tenon on one end of each leg, 3/4 in. long, that will fit tightly in this 9/16-in. hole. Round the corners of the piece B at the top as shown at C. Fasten the two pieces together with glue and brads, being careful to get them square with each other. After the glue is set bore a 3/16-in. hole in the center of the leg, 7 in. from the edge of the crosspiece, for the brace rod. Bevel the corners as shown. Sandpaper them smooth, then stain and polish.Card Table Ready for Use
Lay the two pieces marked D and E in the sketch on a level surface with the 7/8-in. edge up, place the cardboard on top and tack it fast to the pieces, using 6-oz. tacks. Place the center piece in and tack it fast also. Fasten the ends to the other pieces with brads. The four pieces of electric wire moulding should each measure exactly 27-1/2 in. long, or the same length as the center piece. Fit a piece of wood about 4 in. long in the groove at each end of the moulding, plane down and fasten with brads. Next take the thin batten or covering strip that comes with the moulding and bore a 1/2-in. hole in the center, 6 in, from one end, and a 1/4-in. hole, 8-3/16 in. from the other end. With a gouge cut a slot 1/4 in. wide from one hole to the other in the center as shown in the section A-A. Sandpaper this slot smooth and then fasten the batten to the moulding with small brads driven in about 2 in. apart. At a point 3/4 in. from each end and in the center drill 1/4-in. holes through the moulding at the small ends of the slots. These are for the ends of the brace rods to spring into, to lock the legs when they are open.
Tack the two pieces of moulding marked F and J on the remaining edges of the cardboard with the slots facing in and the large holes of the slots at opposite sides, then place the other two pieces (G and H) 5 in. inside of these, or just the length of the cross ends of the legs, with the slots facing the first two placed (F and J) and tack fast with 4-oz. tacks. Use brads at the ends and be careful that they do not enter the 1/4-in. holes. This part of the table can now be stained or painted the same as the legs. The 3/8-in. side pieces can also be stained at this time.
The ends of the brass rods can be bent in a vise. One end should be 1 in. long and should be square with the stock. Measure 11-1/4 in. center to center and bend in opposite direction, leaving this end at a slight angle out from square. Just at this bend raise a burr with a sharp chisel to keep the washer on. Now place five of the copper washers on the 1-in. end and batter the end of the rod so they will not slip off. They should be loose so that they will roll and slip on the brace. Slip a washer on the other end and put the end of the rod through the 3/16-in. hole in the leg from the short end side, place another washer on the rod, saw off and rivet down the end.The Legs Fold on the Under Side of Top
To put the legs in the table, slip the end of one of the braces and the washers in the large hole in the slot, shove it up until the 1/4-in. hole in the crosspiece and the one in the moulding meet, then drive an oak dowel or rod into each end. This is the hinge or pivot that the legs swing on. When the leg is extended the end of the brace rod should spring into the 1/4-in. hole in the moulding and lock the leg in place. Rubber tips should be put on the bottom ends of the legs. Two wooden buttons should be made and fastened to the cardboard as shown at K for locking the legs when they are closed.
The felt can now be put on the top of the table. Stretch it tightly and then tack the edges securely to the sides of the table. Now fasten on the 3/8-in. side pieces and the brass corners with the small brass screws as shown on the drawing, and the table is complete.