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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.


6/7. Form the locking drawer joints. The front of the drawer assembly is locked together with one of these fancy joints - a combination dado/spline. This special joint is able to withstand the pressure exerted on the drawer case during loading, opening & closing. Using your Dado Blade, turn the drawer front on edge and cut the 5/16" wide by 3/4" deep dado first. Then cut the 3/16" wide by 1/4" deep feather spline with a regular saw blade.

Next, cut the 1/2" stop dado for the drawer end with the dado blade or a router and rout the groove for the drawer bottom. These joints will be strong enough to make added glue blocks unnecessary.

Figure 7. Routing 1/4" groove for drawer bottom.


8. Create the sliding dovetails. These movable joints are self-aligning - unlike square or center-mounted guides that can (and WILL) bind as you pull the drawer open. In the MARK V drill press mode, use the Shopsmith 1/2" Dovetail Router Bit to cut the (female) dovetail slot in the sides of the drawer. Using the same router bit and same basic set-up, cut the (male) drawer guides (G) to match the slots in the drawer sides. Use a push stick to feed the wood against the rotation of the bit. Now, drill and countersink the screw holes for attaching these guides to the inside faces of the two apron sides (B)...but don't attach them yet.

Assemble and glue the drawer together. Don't glue the bottom. You may need to do some final fitting. Mark the sides for the drawer guides and drill the screw pilot hole. Again, don't attach the guides yet.

Note that the position of the drop-leaf hinges is important (See Detail A). From the shoulder of the joint, move the hinges 1/16" toward the leaf. This will prevent binding as the leaf moves. As you chisel or rout the mortise to accept the hinge, form a relief cut for the barrel of the hinge.

Now, fit the top into place (use no glue - screws along will hold it, allowing it to move as the wood expands and contracts). Once the top is secured, mount the drawer guides without glue. Rub a little paraffin or wax on them for smooth operation.

Remove the drop-leaf hinges, final sand the entire project, stain and finish it as you like.

Believe it or not, woodworking is much less precise and demanding than let's say, machining steel. Therein lies both the pleasure and the frustration of it; wood remains organic, even after it's air or kiln-dried. Though it's a forgiving medium in which to work, you'll find that it can be stubborn, too. Tenons may balk at fitting into their mortises and dovetail pins may argue with their slots before they finally slip into place. But don't let inexperience or embarrassment at not knowing everything about wood keep you from the simple pleasures of making this enduring contribution to the world of fine furniture.

Figure 8. Routing dovetail slot for drawer guide. Two passes are needed, both at full 1/4" depth.
Figure 9. Routing dovetail drawer guides with feather board firmly holding stock against fence. Push against router rotation.


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