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.
This convenient and useful table will be much appreciated by any woman. It has two drawers for sewing material, and two drop leaves to spread the work upon.
The following list of material will be needed for its construction. The sizes given are exact, so if the stock cannot be bought at a mill ready planed and squared, a slight allowance must be made for this.
Have the surfaces of the legs exactly square with each other. The ends must be square with all surfaces, but need not be planed smooth as neither will be seen in the finished table.Sewing Table in Plain Oak
Arrange the rails in position. The two rails in each side and back are placed with the 2-in. surface out, while the three in the front have the 2-in. surface up for the drawers to slide upon. Mark the tenons, 1 in, by 3/8 in., with a knife and gauge lines on each end of the rails for the sides and back. Mark the tenons, 3/4 in. by 7/8 in., as shown in the sketch, on each end of front rails. Cut all the tenons with a backsaw and smooth them with a chisel.Detail of the Sewing Table
Carefully mark the mortises in the legs, taking measurements for each mortise from the tenon which is to go into it. Fit together all rails and legs without glue to detect any errors.
See that the panels for sides and back are squared up true and the surfaces smooth. Mark the grooves for the panels in the side and back rails and legs. Cut the grooves with a chisel or plow plane to a depth of 1/4 in.
Glue up the joints and clamp the two table sides first. While the glue is setting, square up and smooth the top and two leaves perfectly.
Now glue up the whole table, having set in the front and back rails and panel. The drawer slides, two on each side, should next be put in. A nail through them and into each leg will hold them, as there is only the weight of the drawers resting on them. Fasten the top with screws through the rails from the under side. The leaves are attached with two 2-in. butt hinges which must be set in flush with the under surface to prevent a crack showing between the table top and leaf when the latter is raised. The small bracket hinged to the panel supports the open leaf.Construction of the Drawer
The drawers are now made. Allow the side to lap over the front 1/2 in. as shown in sketch and fasten it with nails. The bottom should be let into the sides and front 1/4 in., but must not be nailed to them, because this would cause the drawer to stick, when the bottom expands.
Metal rings or wooden knobs will do well for the drawer pulls.
Stain to any desired shade and finish with a wax if a dull gloss is wanted, or with one coat of shellac and two coats of varnish for a highly polished surface.