Gateleg tables

These superseded the draw-leaf type in the sixteenth century, but their popularity has greatly declined in recent years. They are a useful form for small rooms, and a wide range of tops can be attached—square, rectangular, circular, elliptical, D ended, serpentine, etc.— but the additional legs of the gates are somewhat inconvenient for sitters. The principles of construction are simple: the tops can be double and folded over, or fall leaf and lifted up, to be supported by a swing gate or gates pivoted to the main framing. These gates can be single (377:1, 2), double, which is more usual (377:3), twin for large leaves (377:4), while a semicircular side-table with double top and single gate is shown in 377:5. Figure 377:6 shows the basic framework with gate open, 377:7 an elevation of a typical elliptical top table with turned legs, and 377:8 a top and bottom plan. From these drawings it will be seen that the side framing rails must be wide or locally increased in width to receive the pivots of the gate framing (377:6, 8), and also where the gate leg is notched over (377:13). The rails of the gates can be relieved slightly (377:7A) to prevent them grinding on the table rails as they are pushed home. The actual pivots can be thick hardwood dowels, 3/8 in (9.5 mm) iron rod or brass tube, etc. with the bottom pivot kept short and tipped on, and the upper pivot taken through the top rail and tapped home after assembly (377:12). A little candle grease rubbed over the dowels or rods will prevent squeaking and the sockets should be an easy but not slack fit. Figure 377:10 shows the bottom end rail set in for knee-room, and 377:9 the small stops screwed to the underside of the tops to limit the travel of the gates, while 377:14 is an end-fixing card-table hinge for square-edge double tops, 377:15 is a back-flap hinge for square-edge fall-leaf tops, and 377:16 the moulded rule joint often used. The top ovolo moulding can be carried round the perimeter of the table, and this was usually done in typical examples (377:7). The legs of the gates can be shortened fractionally to accommodate metal gliders (377:11) for easier sliding over hard floor-coverings.

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