Fig. 168. - Screw through Rail.
Fig. 169. - Small Table with Tray below.
Fig. 170. - Fitting of Legs to Rails.
The ends of the rails above the shelf are merely sunk in mortices cut in the legs. It will be unnecessary to make tenons, as if the ends are housed or let in to the depth of \ in. to \ in. it will be quite sufficient.
The corners of the shelf must be cut out to fit closely to the legs; it is then put in position and fastened by screws from below.
Instead of plain rails a row of short spindles may be employed as suggested in Fig. 171, which represents a somewhat more ornate table. The spindles are shouldered and sunk at the bottom into holes prepared for them, and are capped at the upper end with a rail, as in Fig. 172. The rails are often placed below the shelf, in which case it is fitted as if it were a top.
As square legs are now much used, it may be well to note that when they do not taper directly to the end, but widen out there, as shown in Fig. 173, to a kind of foot, the easiest way to form them is to taper them down first and then glue on the pieces to form the foot, as in Fig. 174. This method will be found much more speedy and easy than shaping the feet out of the solid.
Fig. 171. - Table with Spindled Rails.
Fig. 172. - Fitting of Spindles.
Many small light tables are made with the legs sloping outwards, in order to give them more stability than they would otherwise have. Such a small table is shown in Fig. 175, where it will be noticed that the bottom board is fixed in a somewhat different manner, and fancy rails have been inserted between the end legs, the general construction being much as before.
Fig. 173. - Square-legged Table.
Fig. 174. - Foot of Square Leg.
Fig. I75 - Small Table.
In small round tables, as Fig. 176, the legs, which slope outwards, are best fixed into a round piece of wood smaller than the top. This is then screwed to it, though if care be taken to have the grain of both pieces coincident, there is little risk in using glue. The legs are fastened in the holes, which of course must be bored in a slanting direction, as already directed.
Larger plain tables are made in a similar manner, the only difference being that they are of more substantial material. Of these a common kitchen table shown in Fig. 177 may be taken as a typical example. In the illustration it is shown with square legs, and it may be noted that they are tapered from the inside only. To plane them off on each side would give them an awkward appearance. For any ordinary sized table of this description, say one from 3 ft. to 6 ft. long, the top and framing should be of at least 1 in. stuff, and a suitable width for the framing is about 5 ins. It will not do to fasten the top on with glued blocks, as it is almost sure to split if this course be adopted. Screws driven from the inside, as already suggested, are the best means of fixing, though it may be within the knowledge of some readers that nails driven through the top are sometimes considered satisfactory for pine work. The framing should be either tenoned or dowelled into the legs; and those who make use of their eyes will know that it is customary for the frame to be set back a little, say from 1/8 to 1/4 in., according to the size of the table, instead of flush with the surface of the legs.
Fig. 176 - Round Table.
Fig. 177. - Square-legged Common Table.
Although a kitchen table has been named, it will be understood that any one of considerable size is made in very much the same way, the chief distinction between it and superior things of similar character being that these are made of choicer wood, and are more carefully finished. Thus, if instead of pine we take mahogany, line up the edges, run a suitable moulding on them, use turned legs, and put castors on them, we have a table fit for dining-room purposes, or any other use to which it can be put. Of course, as is well known, a dining-table is generally made to extend, but beyond convenience there is no reason why they should be so. Of them, however, more anon.
Now it will readily be understood that a table such as that last described can easily be made specially for writing purposes, though some modification will have to take place before the crude four-legged table is what is ordinarily understood in the cabinet trade as a leg writing-table. Drawers are usually placed in the framing, and the top, with the exception of a margin of from 2 ins. to 4 ins., is lined with leather, cloth, or some similar material. The number and position of the drawers depends entirely on the size of the table and the desire of the user. Thus it may have a drawer at one or both ends, or one or more on each side. A very useful form often seen has two drawers on one side, and a few hints as to the arrangements connected with these will be sufficient to enable the learner to put any number of drawers in any desired position. The front part of the framing instead of being solid is built up. The bottom portion forms the drawer-bearer, while the top rail or bearer is dovetailed into the legs and serves to screw the top to. The division separating the drawers is tenoned into the bearers. Extending to the back are the drawer-runners, and on them are the guides, all of which have been sufficiently described in the chapter treating of drawer fittings. The bearers may be from 3 ins. to 4 ins. wide, in fact anything that is convenient, and to economise wood are of pine faced up.