Two Partition Options

larger or heftier table or one with multiple drawers, you may need to join the runners and kickers at the front and back. At the front, you can tenon the runners to the lower divider and the kickers to the upper divider. You may not want to tenon the runners and kickers at the back, however, because you'd have to glue up all the pieces at once. Imagine doing that on a lowboy with five offset drawers.

To avoid having to glue up all those pieces at once, dado the top and bottom ledgers (which you have milled and ready) across their width to accept a half-lap joint from each runner and kicker, and then temporarily attach the ledgers to the rear apron using brads. To allow you to install the kickers and runners after the table frame is glued up, cut them a touch short. Cut the tenons relatively short as well. Even a -Vs-in. tenon will take the weight of a drawer. Just slide in the tenons, and snap the pieces into place. Then slide in the ledgers, using the brads to locate them for gluing.

If the span of the table is long and you need stronger dividers, there are only two things you can do: Make the dividers wider, or make them thicker. Making them thicker is, by far, the easiest route to take because a little thickness adds a lot of strength. But many designs simply won't allow for a thick divider.

If you settle on making wide dividers, however, you'd better make them really wide. An extra V2 in. isn't going to increase the stiffness of the divider to speak of, and an undersize divider will deflect downward. I'd make the divider 4 in. wide at least; a 4-in. divider is no more work than a narrower one. The trouble is, a wide divider stands a good chance of cupping or twisting. To resist racking, you have to join a wide divider not only to the legs but also to either the doublets or the side aprons.

When you join a divider to a side apron or doublet-, however, you am the risk that the movement of the apron as it expands and contracts will work the divider like a lever. To prevent this movement from cracking the dividers (below), keep the aprons relatively narrow (ideally less than 4 in. wide), and make the dividers really wide so that movement at the inner dovetail is spread over a greater distance before it reaches the front dovetail.

Joining the dividers directly to the side aprons is historically accurate, but it's tricky because you have to mill dividers longer than the rear apron and then notch the dividers around the leg. The other way to join wide dividers is to attach them to the doublet's. A big advantage to attaching wide dividers to the doublers rather than to the aprons is that you can make both dividers the same length as the rear apron. The dovetails are easy to cut because they share a shoulder, and all these shoulders can be cut with the same dado setup used for the apron tenons. The forward dovetail is joined to the leg exactly as it would be on a narrow divider. The inner dovetail can be either a full dove-

Wide apron movement cracks divider.

Wide apron movement cracks divider.

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How To Sell Furniture

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