Fig. 183.   Finger Joint for Brackets.

Fig. 183. - Finger Joint for Brackets.

Another way of fixing the bracket is by means of an ordinary hinge, though beyond its obvious simplicity it has not much to recommend it, and is seldom or never employed with good work. Such brackets, it may be suggested, do for folding flaps, which are often fixed to walls, equally as well as for portable tables.

When the width of the fixed or centre part of a flap table is great enough to allow of them being used, movable rails hinged with an iron pin, as shown in Fig. 184, afford an easy way of making a support to the flaps. When these are folded or down the rails lie within the table framing, and are quite out of the way. It will be noticed that the ends are cut at an angle to form stops. The pin should be run through the rail and fit into the top as well as into the framing.

Fig. 184.   Pinned Rail for supporting Flap.

Fig. 184. - Pinned Rail for supporting Flap.

So far only short brackets have been alluded to, but a very small amount of consideration will show that they can be extended, and that a leg can be fixed to the free end. In this case the bracket becomes a rail; and, of course, the extra leg becomes an additional support to the table when the flap is up. Hence, flap tables so made are as rigid as they can be, and there is less danger of them being tilted up by leaning on the edge of one of the flaps. Fig. 185 represents a popular form of table of this construction, known as the Sutherland, Fig. 186 shows a double Sutherland. It is a precisely similar table to that last described, but has an upper portion smaller than the bottom, and swing legs supporting the lower flaps only. Small brackets support those on top.

Fig. 185.   Sutherland Table.

Fig. 185. - Sutherland Table.

Fig. 186.   Double Sutherland.

Fig. 186. - Double Sutherland.

Those who are at all conversant with old furniture will recognise the resemblance to a method of construction which at one time seems to have been very largely adopted, and as it has many features to recommend it, an illustration is given - Fig. 187. It will be seen that there is an under framing into which the swinging leg is halved, the other short one being pivoted between the upper and lower rails, and a short footpiece fastened underneath. Sutherland tables are often made in small sizes for drawing-room purposes. The centre-piece for a small one, say 26 ins. x 22 ins., when open is from 4 ins. to 6 ins. wide, and of course for the size named is 22 ins. long. The blocks into which the tops of the end legs are dowelled are connected by one rail in the centre. On each side of this are fastened the fixed portions carrying the movable rail and leg. The bottom ends of the legs are fixed in splayed blocks, which may be shaped according to fancy. Castors may or may not be used below these, but in any case the swinging legs should have them. It may be noted that such small tables are usually called dwarf Sutherlands, and naturally many modifications of detail are found.

Fig. 187.   Table with Swinging Legs.

Fig. 187. - Table with Swinging Legs.

In these and all other flap tables of the better kind, instead of the edges being square where they are hinged, the rule joint is used. The former, though equally strong, is not a neat-looking form when compared with the other. The rule joint is shown on an enlarged scale in Fig. 188, the dotted lines representing the flap when down. It is by no means an easy one for unaccustomed hands to make; and however proficient the reader may be in general work, he certainly cannot be recommended to make his first attempt at forming a rule joint on a table. It will be far better for him to work it out first on waste wood, as unless the parts fit well and smoothly it is difficult, if not impossible, to make any improvement by tinkering at them afterwards. It will be noticed that the hinges are not visible even when the flap is down, the round edge of the fixed part not being at any time entirely uncovered by the hollow in the flap. Unfortunately it is not an easy matter to explain the construction of this joint in such a way as to make it intelligible to those who are not acquainted with it, and the novice will do well if he can to get some friendly cabinetmaker to show him practically how to go about it, if he finds himself unable to follow the directions here given. However, if he will with tools and wood in hand work them out stage by stage, he will no doubt arrive at a very fair conception of what is wanted. It may be said that it is no uncommon thing to find a cabinet-maker who cannot make a rule joint properly, for it is seldom required except on such articles as are being described. Those who have much of this kind of jointing may provide themselves with a pair of table-planes, but the general cabinet-maker can do very well without them, using hollows and rounds and rabbet-plane instead. Table-hinges or back-flaps are the kind required, and care should be taken that the plates will work out to a right-angle with each other, in order that the table-flaps may hang properly. Some common hinges of the kind are not so accurate in this respect as they might be. The ends and edges of the pieces to be connected being properly squared up, set the gauge to the centre of the pin, measuring from the back of the hinge or to a trifle more than the thickness of the plate. Now, on the end of the piece which is to be the centre portion of the table, scribe a short line with the gauge so set, and unless both pieces of wood are of precisely the same thickness gauge from the bottom. Next, with the compasses, describe part of a circle as shown in Fig. 189, the centre being on the gauged line. Then set the gauge to this centre from the edge of the wood, and scribe along top and bottom. The mark on top serves as a guide for rabbeting to, and the depth must be down to the circle. Lines for this of course should also be gauged, and it will be an assistance to set out the segment of the circle on both ends. The next proceeding will be to plane away the waste wood, but after what has been said in previous chapters no remarks about this can be necessary. The edge of the flap must naturally be worked to a hollow to correspond with the round.