Main Rails

1 Prepare the top and lower rails that connect the two main legs for width and length (see Fig 7.7). The top rail connects the caps that crown the supports and is slightly shorter than the lower rail, which joins into the supports.

2 Dovetailed halving joints are used for the top rail because of their mechanical strength. Also, when the base is assembled the gate upright pivots are held between the two main rails with pins that are formed on the ends and penetrate the rails. The top rail is lowered on to the legs to trap this pivot in place, and the dovetailed halving joint is ideal for this. Make the joints following the procedure on page 24.

3 Stub mortise and tenon joints are used to connect the lower rail to the legs because a through joint would show the ends of the tenons on the outside of the main legs, which look more attractive as unbroken lengths of wood. Make the joints in a similar way to those used for joining the caps to the supports.

Now glue the cap on to the supports. Assemble the supports and rails dry to check for fit and that the assembly is square, but do not glue at this stage.

4 In the top and lower rails, make holes to house the pivot pins for the gate legs. These should be lin (25mm) in diameter and are made with a hole saw held in a drill in a vertical drill stand. First make a pilot hole, with a diameter of Hin (6mm), right through the rail and then saw in from both sides with a hole saw (or large drill bit) until the centre of the hole can be removed.

5 Cut two notches in each rail so that the legs on the outer end of the gate can be tucked out of the way when the table is folded. The position of these can be found by assembling the table dry once the gates have been made and marking the position of the legs when folded.

241/2in (622mm)

3in (76mm)


25in (635mm)

Dimensions for main rails.


Swinging leg

1 in (25mm)

13/4in (44mm)--

14*i ein (


1^4in (44mm)-

FIG 7.8

Dimensions for gates.

27in (686mm)

0 0

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