Making a Campaign Table – Part Two

The table is a very simple affair consisting of a hinged top, a front frame rail, two hinged gates and four moulded legs.

The top is basically a wide board made up by rub-jointing four pieces of padauk together with horse sauce. Once dry, I squared the board up and stuck a thumbnail moulding around its periphery.

The table top glued-up and moulded.

Widespread chatoyance was evident even in its raw state. I wanted to see what the top might look like polished, so I brushed a coat of oil over it. The quilting and ripple figure just isn’t appreciable from these images – it’s stunning!

Slathered in oil… now what do I do with it!

A very popular decoration for chair, sofa and table legs in the late eighteenth-century was ‘frog’s-back’ moulding. As its name suggests, the profile is evocative of a frog’s back and was used on the two external faces of both straight and tapered square legs. The internal corners of straight legs were canted to reduce the visible bulk of the leg when viewed obliquely.

Mahogany side table with frog’s-back moulded and canted legs, c.1770.

Close-up of the frog’s-back moulding.

I touched up a half-width frog’s-back cutter and set about the legs with a stout scratchstock, moulding the two adjacent edges first and then the outer edges.

Completed leg moulding.

Once the moulding had been stuck, I bevelled the inside corners of the legs. There are only four mortise joints in this table which didn’t take long to chop out. The front rail/gates are made from the same stuff as the top and again, didn’t take long to form the tenons in. With the application of a little horse sauce, the whole thing went together and was set aside to dry.

I’d better go and oil the rest of the table now too.

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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