sionallv it may be desirable to make them so small and delicate thai the table becomes shaky, owing to the elasticity of the wood, though they may be quite strong enough in appearance, and in reality, to sustain the weight intended to be placed on them. When such is the case the legs can be connected, near the floor, by horizontal braces, known as stretchers. Plate VIII. shows three arrangements of stretchers as applied to chairs, and those for tables are similar.
Stretchers are sometimes used for esthetic reasons when not needed to stiffen the support. Tables having legs like Nos. 7 and 8, Plate II., do not look well without stretchers; the baluster forms of the turnings and the heavy foot of each leg seeming to demand a framework binding the supports together.
Turnings- are used continually in the construction' of furniture, and they always appear smaller than a square stick of the same dimensions. This is apparent in the above illustrations. No. 1 shows the projection of the corner of a parallelopiped beyond the inscribed cylinder turned from it. The angular projection exists whenever an abrupt change from a square to a turned section is made. As this is objectionable in furniture work, it is cut away by rounding off the angle as in No. 2, or by moulding it as in No. 3. Nevertheless if, as in these examples, the diameter of the cylinder and the side of the square are the same the turning appears so much smaller than the square portion of the stick that the transition is too great.
When the design will admit the square parts of the stick are cut down after the turning is made, so that they are a trifle smaller than the turned portions. This makes the two sections seem more nearly of the same dimensions, and is shown in No. 4, where a torus and fillet are also introduced to make the change of form more gradual. This same feature is shown in No. 5, where the angles of the square are cut away. The square is smaller than the diameter of the turning, and the torus is introduced to grade the transition. No. 6 is a longitudinal section of No. 5. The use of the torus or a bead between the square and turned parts of a post seems desirable 111 most cases, whatever the profile of the turning. No. 7 shows it in use on a twisted turning.
The depth of the frame of the table is largely a matter of individual taste. If, however, the table is one at which a person is to sit, with his knees beneath it, the frame must not be so deep as to reduce the space between its lower edge and the floor to less than two feet.
An important condition of beauty in a table is its stability. It should not appear insecure on its feet, as happens if the legs are placed too far beneath the top. A sate guide is not to make the spread of the feet of a table less than two-thirds the spread of the top; or, in other words, the overhang is one-sixth of the top. The overhang may be considerably more than this before the table becomes dangerously insecure, but it will have, nevertheless, an appearance of instability, especially if the width of the top is less than the height above the floor.
It is well to round off slightly the corners of rectangular tables, that they may not present a sharp angle.
The size of a table is determined by its use and the location it is to occupy. Unless intended for a special purpose it is thirty inches high.
Possibly the most important uses to which tables are put are those of dining and writing. For either of these a table thirty inches high can be and is used continually, but there are those who find this somewhat too high. A dining table should be sufficiently low that a per-
son need not raise the elbows when cutting his food, and that his plate rests well below him. if a writing table is too high it is tiresome to sit at and write. Many dining tables and writing tables arc, therefore, made but twenty-nine inches high. The side table used in dining rooms as a place from which to serve dishes or to carve should be thirty-six inches high.
A dressing table is made thirty inches high unless the person to use it requests thai it be made otherwise. Parlor, fancy tables, etc., intended for ornamental use only, are made to correspond with the surroundings of the rooms in which they are placed, and may be any desired height, as they are neither intended to sit or stand at. The following list will give the dimensions of tables of average sizes that have been made and found satisfactory, it will serve as a guide or starting point in laying out new designs:
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