Making a Reading Table – Part Three

The walnut veneers were cut on the bandsaw and applied to the sides of the carcase. They will also be affixed around the drawer openings once the carcase has been assembled.

The 5″ wide, 3/32″ thick walnut veneers.

I tenoned the deal sides of the box carcase into walnut ‘corner posts’ and the two dovetailed end rails were then let into the bottom of the posts to join the two sides together (much as the top end rails of a Pembroke table are dovetailed into its legs).

The underside of the carcase.

The rectangular top frame consists of four pieces of walnut, morticed and tennoned together. A groove running around the frame’s inner edge will support the dust board above the drawers which also accommodates the ‘teeth’ for the reading slope’s ratcheting apparatus. I’ve seen one of these frames made from deal which was simply nailed onto the top of the carcase sides, completing the box carcase. The top of the deal frame was subsequently covered with veneer and the outer edges hidden by applied mouldings. In this example though, the carcase sides and posts will be tenoned into the top frame.

The top of one of the side rails showing the tennon.


About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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3 Responses to Making a Reading Table – Part Three

  1. Tico Vogt says:

    What is Deal? Clear pine, poplar?


  2. Tico Vogt says:

    Thank you. That was a really interesting post.

    Where I live, in upstate New York, there were vast, virgin pineries that were requisitioned by the Royal Navy. It’s incomprehensible how much wood they consumed in a relatively short period of time. Then came the Industrial Revolution and trains, and by the mid-nineteenth century the landscape was as it was after the glaciers had scraped the land bare.


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