Fig. 189. - Setting out on Ends for Rule Joints.
When the edges are ready, the work of fitting the hinges can be proceeded with, and this will probably be found the most difficult portion of the work. They must be sunk into the wood at least flush to allow the swinging rail to pass, and the knuckles must be inwards, that is upwards, when the top is in position. Spaces for the hinge-plates must be cut, and a further deeper space for the knuckle. It will be noted that there is not much wood to spare when this is done. Beyond being careful not to cut through, so that the hinge is visible when the flap is down, the great point to be observed is that the hinge-pin must be on a line with the gauged mark on the bottom edge of the fixed portion of the top, and just the same depth in as the centre point from which the portion of the circle was marked with the compasses on the ends. To make this clear, let it be explained in other words that if a hole were bored from this centre point parallel with the edge and top or bottom of the table it should exactly meet the ends of the hinge-pins. By following these directions a moderate amount of practice should enable the learner to make a fair rule joint.
To prevent springing and to keep the parts rigid, the hinges should not be too far apart. Let three be used, say, for each flap of a table of the dimensions given. It will be well to fasten the hinges only temporarily till it has been ascertained that the parts work easily together.
To prevent the legs swinging further than is wanted, a stop should be fastened on the under side of each leaf.
In another variety of folding-table, but one not often seen, the top is fitted on a centre pivot which runs through a rail fixed for the purpose, and is fastened below by a nut. To support the flaps it is only necessary to turn the top partly round, so that they rest on the ends of the framing.
Many other varieties of folding - table might be named, but like the last they are so seldom seen that they cannot be regarded as ordinary articles of furniture. It may, however, be useful to suggest that in some the leaves instead of hanging are folded on top, and when opened out rest on slides. In another old variety the centre or main portion is free to rise and fall to a sufficient extent to allow the loose leaves to be pushed under it when not in use, and to sink to the same level as them when they are drawn out. In this case also the leaves are supported by slides.
The ordinary card-table is one of the most popular forms of construction in which the leaf, for there is generally only one of them, folds over on top. Such tables, as a rule, are about square when opened out, so that when closed the top is about twice as long as it is broad. The top revolves, i.e., is fastened to the frame by a pivot on which it turns, so that when open the loose leaf is properly supported. The frame is usually covered in at the bottom, forming a space within which cards, counters, etc, may be kept. As the joint between the two parts of the top should be across the centre of the frame when the table is open, the novice would soon find that some method by which the position of the pivot can be easily and accurately determined is almost a necessity if tentative efforts are to be avoided. Perhaps the simplest means is that shown in Fig. 190, where the position of legs and framing is clearly indicated. The position of the top folded is represented by the heavy lines surrounding the frame, and open by the outer dotted lines, by which also the centre or joint between the two parts is seen. The other dotted lines show the way in which the quarter of the top is divided into squares to arrive at the point X, which is the position for the pivot. Below this a rail, also indicated in the illustration, is fastened across to the framing. Through it the pivot passes, and is secured by a nut underneath.
The tops of card-tables are almost invariably lined with cloth surrounded by a banding of veneer, in a similar manner to writing-table tops. As the loose leaves are usually veneered on one side and lined on the other, much care is necessary to prevent them casting. The ground wood should be as dry and even in the grain as possible. Not uncommonly, iron rods are sunk in the top in order, as far as possible, to prevent casting, but if sufficient precautions are taken otherwise it is doubtful if they are of sufficient advantage to compensate for the additional labour involved. When the edges and corners are square, the old-fashioned form of edge card-table hinges may be used, but with a moulded edge or round corners those which are made for letting into the surface alone are practicable. No special remarks about the way they are attached are necessary beyond suggesting that unless they are neatly let in flush with the tops it is almost as well to use hinges with knuckle showing, as small back-flaps, bagatelle-table, or desk hinges. Many other special forms of card-tables have been from time to time devised, but the one described is what is generally understood when a folding card-table is mentioned.
Fig. 190. - Folding Card-table Top.
Dining-tables are as a rule made to extend, and are more massive than any of those which have been mentioned. When of large size and with telescope frames they are by no means easy to make, for all the parts must act easily, and before they can do this the most accurate workmanship is necessary. Probably a plain tray-frame dining - table, which is also a telescopic one, inasmuch as it draws in and out in the same manner as the others, will be as much as the novice can manage. They have a simpler framing, and are equally as serviceable as the more complicated telescope arrangement, except for the largest sizes of tables. Perhaps it will be well to explain that what are known as tray-top tables in the workshop are generally spoken of outside as telescope tables, though strictly speaking they are, in a technical sense, not so. It is, therefore, quite possible that many readers may consider the construction here described as that of a telescope frame table.