I rummaged through my collection of furniture patterns that I built up from extant antiques over the years looking for a cabriole leg pattern suitable for this table. I found two fitting examples, but one was missing its ear, so I settled on the one complete with its matching ear. Amongst the information inscribed on the pattern were the requisite material dimensions ‘2-13/16″ square’. Therein lay a problem: I don’t have any 3″ thick English Walnut at present, but a quick phone call to an old acquaintance, in which I abandoned all dignity and supplicated wretchedly… and to my astonishment, my blandishments paid off! I not only secured sufficient walnut for the legs of this table, but possibly another as well!
With the scrounged timber safely in my possession, I prepared four lengths for the legs, set out the mortises and traced the cabriole pattern onto them. The pad feet were first turned on the lathe and then I cut out the cabriole profiles using the bandsaw.
Much shaving, rasping and scraping later and I had the makings of four cabriole legs – the upper regions will be refined once the ears are attached. The mortises and dovetails were chopped out next and the remaining carcase components prepared. I trimmed and rubbed the book-matched veneers for the sides and sized them in preparation for laying-up.
I glued the side panels to their respective legs, cleaned them up and toothed them in preparation for veneering.
I laid the 3/32″ (2.4mm) veneers on the table sides and when the glue had dried, I trimmed the veneer and cut the simple shaping into the bottom edges of the panels.
Back outdoors, I used the two side assemblies to jig the backboard, two central drawer guides and front rail while they were all glued up.
The upper rail and lower drawers’ divider are dovetailed to the carcase which adds immense rigidity and strength to the whole.