Fine Woodworking

Drawings: Graham Blackburn heavy loads, drop or draw leaves for tables that must expand, lipped tables designed to prevent objects from falling off, and drawers or shelves for storage. A reference such as Architectural Graphic Standards by Charles Ramsey and Harold Sleeper (John Wiley & Sons, 1998) is a useful place to explore table types by function and a basic reference for dimensions.

While your own experience and tools will dictate to a large extent how any given table is constructed, resist the impulse to build only what you are comfortable with. It is worth researching a new technique or a new joint for better function or a more pleasing shape.

At the same time, don't get carried away by the urge for novelty. Use appropriate species, relevant construction methods, the right joint for the job—dovetail, mortise and tenon, dowels, biscuits, etc.—and a finish consistent with the intended use.

Legs set the style

To a great degree, all tabletops are the same. They're flat and intended to support something. While the wood species, the edge treatment, and the apron certainly can make stylistic statements, the legs most clearly establish a table's function and style.

It is possible to discern the function of the table by looking at the legs. Four heavy legs joined by a horizontal stretcher tell us that this is a library table intended to support a load of books. Light and gracefully tapered legs that focus attention on the tabletop, as if it were floating, suggest that this may be a hall table for the display of some precious ornament.

Legs are frequently the key to identifying a table's style. For example, a Queen Anne table's top and apron are typified by restrained ornamentation. It is the cabriole legs that allow us to recognize the style. The same is true of the Shaker style, whose simple and efficient legs carry their load with no ornamentation or excess weight. And the Art Deco tables designed in the 1920s by Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann cast away traditionalism in favor of legs with sensuous curves.

Tie all elements together

Given that the functional requirements have been satisfied, and that the construction is sufficiently workmanlike, the most

COFFEE TABLE

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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