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Thread: A French Tilt-Top Table

  1. #1
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    A French Tilt-Top Table

    This is based pretty closely on a walnut table from France built in the 1850s. To me it has a nice light appearance. I think the feet are a unique touch.

    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  2. #2
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    It appears that the legs taper a smidge towards the feet, which I think lightens the feel a little. I might be tempted to echo that in the cross beam and taper it gently towards the middle.

    Agree that the feet are quite nice. I wanted to try and "fancy up" the middle of them, but playing with it in my head I think it would just detract from the clean lines.

    My favorite part though is perhaps the half circle locking mechanism for the top; I think it looks especially nice with the top in place. Having it run through a mortise in the riser is a nice design touch (both from a functional and aesthetic perspective).

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    Hi Ryan, you're right. The legs do taper toward the feet. I thought about making that stretcher a little fancier, too. Maybe turn it to something similar to the posts but I kind of think less is more with this table. There's no pommel in the transitions from turned to square portions of the legs, for example, and I think that works nicely. I might be inclined to turn the legs with entasis, though.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    Hi Ryan, you're right. The legs do taper toward the feet. I thought about making that stretcher a little fancier, too. Maybe turn it to something similar to the posts but I kind of think less is more with this table. There's no pommel in the transitions from turned to square portions of the legs, for example, and I think that works nicely. I might be inclined to turn the legs with entasis, though.
    Yeah I had similar thoughts on the base of the uprights as you and came to the same conclusion, I think the small bead you have there is probably as good as it gets. Hadn't considered entasis (and had to look up the term, although I was familiar with the concept ) but agree that that could look good but may not be necessary. In some degree the curved lock mechanism fools the eye into a similar effect because of the size contrast. It might even work well not turning the uprights at all but "simply" stepping and reducing them (complicates the construction substantially though, I think that makes it so that they have to be made in three pieces instead of one).

    My thought on the stretcher was that it ended up a bit "heavy" in cross section when compared to the legs (from the side view). There are a couple of ways I could see to make it look lighter, tapering very slightly to draw the eye seemed like the least intrusive. Stepping it (so it has a raised ridge on the top/bottom) might also serve the same purpose, but I think would violate the apparent simplicity of the piece.

  5. #5
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    ok dave could you show the pivot closer,, to me that appears as the weak point.. that part of the construction looks iffy to me?
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
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    Ryan, I figured I'd stick as close to the original as I could.

    Larry, you could be right. That pivot area could be a weak point. Might not last more than 160 years. On the other hand, the original made it that long.

    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    Ryan, I figured I'd stick as close to the original as I could.
    Can't argue with that I do like the design though, it has me thinking...

  8. #8
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    I looked at the original table again and noticed I'd left out a little bead around the post just above where the quadrant passes through. I revised the post to include it and added the entasis though you can't really see that.

    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  9. #9
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    dave, i wasnt saying you done it wrong i just see a piece of solid wood around 1/2" thick moving in a pivot that is setting on another piece that is thin??? if the metal ring wasnt there i dont see how it would hold up at all?
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  10. #10
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    It doesn't look especially strong but I guess it works.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

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