Table and Stand Frames

Table and stand frames

By far the commonest joint in table farmings is the mortise and tenon. The inset diagrams show how the mortises meet in the thickness of the leg, so allowing the tenons to be the maximum length. They can be either cut at an angle, or cut back. In most cases the simple tenon at A can be managed.

  • rather better arrangement is to allow a haunch as at
  • as this resists any twisting of the top of the rail where it is wholly unsupported.
  • shows an alternative haunch which is entirely concealed;
  • joints for table with drawer rail tenoned in

It is also rather stronger in that the leg is not cut away so much. The joint used for the stretcher rail depends upon the thickness. If similar to the top rails it would be jointed similarly, but if thin it could have the bare-faced tenon. The top shoulder is advisable because it gives a definite length, and enables the top corners to be rounded or molded if required.
When a drawer has to be fitted the rails must generally lie flat, and the joints can be used. The double dovetail has the effect of binding the rail to the leg. Note that it simplifies the work to keep the ends of all dovetails level. The lower rail is double-tenoned in and is cut around the leg.

When a center leg is introduced a convenient form of joint is the bridle joint. Here the top rail runs right through in a single length, the leg fitting into it. Lower rails, drawer rails for instance, would be tenoned in. Cabriolet legs present a rather special problem. They are usually fitted with ear pieces at the top, joints used for framed-up table or stand just below the square, which contribute to the strength, but do not form the main fixing. The latter is in the top square which is mortised to take the tenons of the rails. By driving in screws through the ear pieces considerable extra solidity is attained. These can be put in after the joint has been glued and has set.

In certain period pieces, notably the William and Mary style, flat stretchers are frequently used. The best plan is to make up the stretcher as a complete framework, using either tongued or mortise and tenon joints according to the design. Sometimes it is more convenient to halve the corners. Holes are bored through these and into the bottom ends of the legs, and turned feet with dowels

  • Cabriole leg with rails tenoned in.
  • Method of fixing flat stretcher to leg. If preferred, the dowel could be on the leg rather than the foot.
  • Table top fixing. buttons and pocket screwing.
  1. simple tenon;
  2. tenon with haunch;
  3. secret haunch;
  4. bare-faced tenon for stretcher;
  5. tenons cut at angle to meet in thickness of leg;
  6. alternative halving.
  7. bridle joint often used for table with center leg.

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