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The Traditional Pembroke Table

A generous storage drawer and two fold-down leaves make this table a handsome addition in any Living Room or Bedroom.


4. Cut the locking dovetails. The “female” parts of these joints will be cut on the inside top of the two front legs...and the “male” parts will be cut on each end of the Front Top Rail (C). These joints will be located where the table will be stressed the most - at the top of the drawer opening - and will lock the legs and the front of the table assembly firmly together.

Start by cutting the dovetail slots in the tops of the two front legs. Use your horizontal boring set-up to drill out most of the waste, then clean them up with a 1/2" chisel.

Next, cut the mating dovetails into the ends of the Front Top Rail using your Bandsaw, then a chisel and wood rasp to achieve a tight, final fit with the Legs. It's best to cut these a bit over-size to begin with, then “pare” them down carefully until they fit snugly.

Figure 4.5. Forming dovetail socket in top of front leg. Horizontal bore removes about 80% of all waste stock.

5. Cut the doweled joint for the drop leaf supports. The supports (F) fit into hollowed-out areas at the tops of the two sides, and pivot on a center dowel. The ends of the hollows - and the ends of the supports are each mitered at 45-degrees. When closed, these mitered ends allow the supports to rest flush with the sides. NOTE: Refer to the drawings to be sure your miters go in the proper directions so the supports will pivot properly when installed.

You'll want some clearance for the dowel pins to move freely when this movable joint opens and closes. Cut the hollows (or openings) in the sides using a Dado Blade with your miter gauge set at 45-degrees. Next, cut the supports and drill them to accept the dowel pivot pins. Place the dowels in the supports and sides; rub a little paraffin onto them so they'll pivot smoothly. Do NOT glue them into place.

Use your Molding Set-Up with a Bead & Quarter-Round cutter to add a decorative bead around the two sides (B) and back (E) that form the base of the assembled table apron. Position it halfway onto the surface of the bottom edge of the wood. Use your Push Stick or Push Block for added safety during this operation.

Next, drill screw pockets into the inside top edges of the sides (B) and back (E) to accept the screws that will hold the top of the table in place. Now, assemble the legs to the apron pieces to check the fit. Use no glue at this point. Instead, while everything's “dry-fitted” together, apply masking tape at each joint; take it apart and apply glue to each mortise and tenon - and each dovetail. Then - checking for squareness - clamp it together overnight. The masking tape will keep excess glue from seeping into the face of the wood.

Figure 5. Cutting the opening for drop-leaf supports 1/2 of the depth at a time.
Figure 6. Drilling screw pockets in sides. Drilled at 10° with a 1/2" Forsner bit, to within 3/8" of the bottom. Use a 1/4" brad-point bit to make pilot hole for the #12 roundhead screws.


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