Pembroke tables

Figure 378 is an isometric sketch of a Pembroke table with fall flaps on the long sides, the support brackets (either one long one or two short ones according to the size of the flap) knuckle or finger jointed as described. One or two end drawers were provided in old examples, and if only one long drawer was fitted then the other end was treated as a dummy drawer front complete with ring or knob handle. The flaps were either square edge on butt-type hinges, or with table hinges and rule joints as for the sofa-table (379). Average sizes of traditional examples were about 39 in (99 cm) long, 19 in (48 cm) wide, with 10 in (25 mm) flaps either side, and a 21/2 in (6.5 cm) deep drawer, but the measurements can be varied within wide limits.

Finger joint and knuckle joint Swing legs for card and occasional tables, etc. were hinged to the underframing by either the finger or knuckle joint, and while they have been largely superseded by metal fittings, there is no doubt that a pivoted wood joint correctly made will give good, if not better, service over a period of years. Figure 380 shows the finger joint, which is simpler to cut as all the work can be done with saw and chisel, with A as the fixed part screwed to the table framing and B the moving part or wing. The notches are cut at an angle of 45°, both parts secured with a central metal pin, the moving part (B) opened out in stages, and the rounding gradually chiselled away. Figure' 388:1, 2 is the knuckle joint of more refined appearance, and here again A is fixed and B free to move through 180° if necessary. The circles

377 Gate-leg tables
Table Drawing

and diagonals are laid out as in 388:2, saw cuts run in at the necks (X), the shapes worked and the shoulders cut. The knuckles are then laid out, usually five or more in number, and allowing two projecting knuckles in the fixed piece A and three in B. Sawing-in must be done on the waste side shown unshaded in the inset drawing (388:3), the unwanted knuckles sawn out, and the interiors hollowed with a scribing-gouge to take the swing of the opposing protruding knuckle. When the two parts can be fitted, waste pieces are cramped/clamped on either side to keep them together with a sash-cramp across the length to pull them tight, after which they can be bored through either end in the exact centre for a suitable metal pin, which can be 3/16 in (4.5 mm) steel rod or a large french nail. The joint can be lubricated with candle grease and should be reasonably tight but smooth in action. The stopping angle of the wing can be adjusted by altering the angle of the diagonal shoulders, and a good medium hardwood should be used, preferably not beech which is very prone to worm, with 7/8 in (22 mm) finished thickness for light brackets in Pembroke-type tables, etc., and 11/8 in (28.5 mm) for heavier swing legs.

Concertina-action double-top tables

Figure 381 shows the side elevation with double top and end-fixing card-table hinges. In 381:2 the back legs (hinged side of top) are not

379 Rule-joint table top

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Pembroke Table Hinge
381 Concertina card-table

connected to the table frame, but to hinged rails extending as 381:2 and closing up as 381:3. Figure 381:2A shows a special top-fixing hinge often used in old examples, but back flap or piano hinges can be used. The frame when opened is kept rigid by a sliding shelf pulled along the grooves worked in the rails (381:4), and the top is then folded over. Figure 381:5 shows an improved version more rigid in performance, in which stub rails (381:5A) are barefaced tenoned into the legs and a show rail (381:5B) tenoned and glued to the front leg and glued to the adjoining stub rail, and tenoned but not glued to the other leg. The stub rails are knuckle jointed to the hinged rails, which are also knuckle jointed at 381:5C with extra long shoulder bevels to allow the joint to close at the acute angle (381:5D). A cabin hook and eye can be fitted to keep the frame rigid in the open position, as a groove for a slide (381:4) cannot be worked across the knuckle without seriously weakening the joint. The method usually adopted for keeping the back legs in the closed position was to recess a 3/16 in (5 mm) wood spring into the underside of the top, with a projecting, knob which clipped over the rail as shown in the drawing (382).

Envelope-top card-tables

In this variation of the double-top table the upper top, which must be square, is divided into four triangular sections (383:1) hinged to the under top with centre card-table hinges. The under top is pivoted with a card-table pivot, known as a 'table swivel plate' and still obtainable as such, and a stop (383:3) which allows a movement through 45° in a clockwise direction (383:2). As the top flaps are flush, some method of raising them must be provided,

382 Wood spring catch and in traditional examples a wood or metal dowel was inserted in a socket hole bored through the under top about 2 in (50 mm) in from one corner (383:2X). A 3/16 in (5 mm) wood or thin metal spring was fitted over the dowel-peg (383 :4A) pressing it up as the top pivoted over the table rail, thus raising the flap by a fractional amount which tipped the point of the flap clear so that it could be raised with the finger-tips. The method was crude enough; nevertheless it worked extremely well in practice, and more sophisticated methods'

sometimes adopted in modern examples of this type of table are not necessarily more efficient.

Swivel-top tables

This method is more practicable than either the concertina or envelope-top card-table and is used in contemporary designs. Figure 384:1 is a pedestal type with double top hinged with counter-flap hinge or the more decorative mangle-top hinge, while 384:4 gives details of the framework and 384:5 the pillar fixing to the cross rails and the feet (384:3). The lower top is pivoted with a card-table pivot or table swivel plate (384:2) taken through a cross-bearer in the framing, and is free to move through 90°. The exact position of the pivot is fairly critical, and is found by drawing a plan of the table in the closed position (384:4A), and an outline of the open position (384:4B). A line at 45° is then drawn through the centre point, and the centre between the points where this line intersects the outer edges of the pivoted top in the closed and open position will be the pivot point (X). The extent of the travel is shown by the dotted lines swung from this centre, and a small stop is screwed to the top to limit the movement. Baize insets glued to the top edges of the framework will ensure an easy sliding movement. The most satisfactory format for a table of this type is square, as shown in 384:4, but rectangular

384 Pivot-top table
Pembroke Table Backflap Hinge

shapes are feasible within certain limits, always provided that the width of each leaf is more than half the length of the rectangular framework, or the opened leaves will not cover. A scale drawing will show the permissible variations, and the extent of the overhang, which should not be too great in either length or width or the table will be unsteady. Framed-up table stands can be used instead of the pedestal stand shown.

Sofa tables

Traditional forms have side drawers and end flaps, but without flaps this type of table can easily be adapted for use as dressing or occasional tables, etc. Figure 385:1 shows a

385 Sofa-type table

How Use Sash Cramp DrawingKnuckle Joint

387 This fine table in solid walnut makes good use of the traditional knuckle joint. Designer/maker: Peter Kuh

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