The top is fastened to the rails with wood buttons; screwed to the top, the buttons feature lips that fit into grooves cut into the rails, providing a secure connection while allowing for wood movement. Make sure the drop-leaf supports are in place on the side rails, then place the top face down on a work surface and clamp the leg-and-rail assembly in position on top. Make a button for every 6 inches of rail length (page 101). Spacing them about 6 inches apart and leaving a ^-inch gap between the bottom of the grooves and the lipped ends of the buttons, screw the buttons in place (left).
In an era before electricity, the Shakers depended on candles to see them though the hours of darkness. These diligent workers could not allow late sunrises or early dusks to interfere with their labor. Candle stands were light, stable, and easy to transport. Although candle stands were not a Shaker invention, the furniture makers in their communities elevated this commonplace item to its most refined expression.
The elegance of the candle stand's tripod design sacrifices some strength. Because of the angle at which they splay out, the legs are subjected to a great deal
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