Dressingtables

Dressing-tables vary from around 27 in (68.5 cm) to 29 in (73.5 cm) high exclusive of mirror, or around 48 in (122 cm) high including mirror, with carcass lengths from 36 in (91 cm) to 60 in (152 cm) and an average depth of 18 in

446 Dressing-table details

(46 cm). Low dressing-tables about 21 in (53 cm) to 24 in (61 cm) high without knee room, and therefore needing low stools to match, are also popular. No hard and fast rules apply to sizes for designs change frequently. Various types are shown in 446. Figure 446:1 shows a chest type 4 ft 1O1/2 in (148.5 cm) long and 4 ft (122 cm) high overall with single mirror; 446:2 a 4 ft 6 in (137 cm) kneehole pedestal type with wing mirrors; 446:3 kneehole with centre drawer and single mirror; 446:4 a low type with three-quarter-length cheval mirror; and 446:5 a 3 ft (91 cm) dressing-chest. A dressing-desk with lift-up flap and interior mirror is illustrated in 446:6. The pedestal containing three drawers is made up separately, with legs attached either by tenoning into blocks screwed to the base or tenoned through the carcass base and wedged from the inside. The dressing-box and leg frame is a separate structure with the lower rails tenoned in, and the problem here is to form a strong joint between the box front and back and the pedestal side. They cannot be slot dovetailed in, and while stub tenons might be strong enough a more practical way is to fit an inside side to the box (446:7), lap dovetailed to the front and back and screwed to the pedestal sides. This also serves as a support for the lid, which is hinged to the back and closes over the framework. Another type is shown in 446:10 where the two units rest on a separate framework and are screwed together as in 446:7. A plywood box for tall scent-bottles is incorporated in the dressing-box (446:11), and in both examples the brass mirror stay is fixed so that the mirror is stopped at the angle most convenient to the user in the seated position. Figure 446:8 is a pedestal type table with attached top and overlaid drawers closing over the carcass ends, with the drawer rails inset accordingly. If preferred, a front or apron piece can be substituted for the centre drawer which is not altogether convenient, for the user must lean back every time the drawer is opened to its fullest extent. This apron piece can be dovetail housed/dadoed, tongued in, or dowelled and glue blocked from the inside, and gives a strong junction between the two pedestals. The frameless mirrors can be treated in various ways. In 446:9A the wing mirrors are permanently fixed to hidden pillars, and the

447 Dressing table and stool by designer/craftsman Robin Nance, c.1955

centre mirror pivoted to the wings with friction plates blocked out to the required angle. Figure 446:9B shows each mirror pivoted on independent hidden pillars, and 9C hidden pillars so placed that the wing mirrors can be butt hinged to the pillars. The various types of mirror fixing are shown in 448 and 451. Figure 446:12 shows a man's dressing-chest of the military-chest type with or without brass corner plates and flush brass handles, in which a bearer rail is screwed to the top drawer sides and the mirror fixed to this with a length of piano hinge. The drawer sides must be set down by the thickness of the mirror frame plus the protruding knuckle of the hinge, and the drawer is stopped so that the mirror inclines slightly off the vertical, and is supported by the edge of the carcass top in the fully open position.

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