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Ideas for drop-leaf tables – FineWoodworking

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Synopsis: Steve Latta appears to a favourite Pembroke desk to show his strategies for good rule and knuckle joints. That is conventional building, the place a swing arm with a knuckle joint extends to carry the drop-leaf portion of the desk, and the drop leaves are linked to the stationary tabletop with a hinged rule joint. Comply with Latta’s confirmed instructions for a superior match.

This Pembroke desk makes the highest tier of my all-time favourite items. Positioned in our studying room proper subsequent to my rocking chair and lamp, it has given me hours of enjoyment. It has additionally been an incredible undertaking to show, because it affords some methods that almost all people don’t get to make use of that usually—rule and knuckle joints.

The desk’s drop leaves are linked to the highest with a hinged rule joint. On either side a swing arm with a knuckle joint extends to assist the drop-leaf. There are numerous kinds for each these joints, primarily based on regional variations, however for this desk I’m sticking with the joinery from a Connecticut Pembroke desk relationship to the 18th century, which served as my inspiration.

starting a knuckle joint
Begin the knuckle joint. On the router desk with a 3/8-in. roundover bit, spherical over each ends of the knuckle inventory. Then use sandpaper backed with packing tape to take away any machine marks.

Creating the knuckles

The meat of the swing arm is the knuckle joint. Sticking with precedent, I exploit a five-knuckle structure, the triple knuckle fastened to the inside apron and the double knuckle lower on the swing arm. I mill the inventory not less than just a few inches longer than essential to offer choices ought to life occur once I’m not paying consideration.

Video: How to make a knuckle joint
Steve Latta demonstrates how to create a
knuckle joint, the heart of a period drop leaf table.

finding the center of a hinge
Lay out the middle of the hinge. Utilizing a template, draw a 3/4-in.-dia. circle over the tip of the board. With a mix sq. set at 3/8 in., discover the middle level by referencing off the tip and every face.

Every knuckle joint begins with two blanks, 3/4 in. thick by 4-5/8 in. huge by 14 in. lengthy. Ideally, I’ll lower every pair from an extended board for continuity. However this isn’t the place to make use of fairly inventory. Operate takes priority and good, straight grain is the ticket.

Arrange a router desk with a 3/8-in. roundover bit and, for security, accuracy, and to reduce tearout, use a fence and a push block. I rout the profile on each ends of every workpiece, utilizing a four-to-get-two method: I’ll lower knuckles on all 4 ends and choose the most effective two when they’re fitted collectively. By “finest” I imply each tight and clear.

After sanding the roundover, put a 3/4-in.-dia. circle template on the finish of the board and hint the circle, finding the middle level inside it. Then run a forty five° line by means of the middle out to the present face. Doing so creates a small triangular space that you simply’ll take away on the router desk with a 90° V-bit. After routing, truthful one aspect of the V-groove to a curve with a chisel and sandpaper.

I made a pair of gauge blocks for laying out the knuckles. As soon as these traces are scored, excavate between the knuckles on the tablesaw utilizing a carriage jig and a 1/2-in. dado set. Mounted to 2 miter gauges, the carriage each secures the work and gives a optimistic reference for either side of every notch. Having notched all of the items, attempt all mixtures till you get two units with the tightest match freed from gaps.


Tips for drop-leaf tables spread

From Positive Woodworking #290

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Video: How to make a knuckle joint

Steve Latta demonstrates methods to create a knuckle joint, the guts of a interval drop leaf desk.

Routing a Rule Joint

Exact hinge placement for a easily swinging drop leaf

Make a Pembroke Table

Drop-leaf rule joints and wood-hinged leaf helps are fussy however enjoyable

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