Drop Leaf - Gate Leg Table Plans

Drop Leaf - Gate Leg Table Plans
Gate Leg Drop Leaf Table Plans
Preparing the table top blanks:
Cut and glue enough 3/4” stock to make three panels 40” long by 24”
wide (they will be cut to final size at a later time). While the glue
dries we will work on the legs.
Preparing the table legs:
After squaring the stock for the legs to 1-3/4”, cut the legs to a
finished length of 29”. Using a taper jig (MLCS #9008), set the angle
to 2 degrees to cut the taper on the faces of the legs that will be on the
inside of the table frame (Figure 44A). Start the taper 14” from the
top of the leg.
Figure 44A
Mark each leg at the top to indicate which corner will be facing into
the center of the completed table frame (this is to indicate which faces
of the legs will be mortised to accept the tenon on the apron). Using a
3/8” diameter forstner bit (MLCS #9203), cut overlapping holes 1/2”
deep to remove the bulk of the mortise in each leg. The mortise starts
1/2” from the top and stops 3” from the top of the leg (Figure 44B).
The four table legs that will make up the base will get two faces
mortised, while the two gate legs will only have one face mortised
(place the gate legs in the position they will be mounted to determine
which face to mortise). After the drilling has been done it is now time
to finish the mortises using a router and either a 1/2” diameter spiral
up-cut bit or straight cutting bit. (It may be easier to mark the starting
and stopping points on the opposite side faces of the legs to the faces
being mortised as they will not be visible when routing). Rout the
remaining material from the mortises in each leg (Figure 44C).
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Figure 44B
Figure 44C
Gate Leg Drop Leaf Table Plans
Preparing the aprons:
Cut the aprons to the finished dimensions given in the parts list.
The gate leg apron will still be left at the 19-1/4” length and be
cut to final length at a later step. Using a 1/2” deep rabbeting bit
(MLCS #5393, 7693 or Katana #17691) to cut the tenons on each
end of the table frame aprons. The gate leg apron will only have a
tenon cut on one end (Figure 45D). Use a piece of scrap stock
the same thickness as your aprons to adjust the bit height. The
rabbetting bit should be 1/8” above the router table as the starting
point. Make a test cut on the scrap piece and check the width of
the tenon for a snug fit. Adjust the bit as needed until you achieve
an acceptable fit.
After cutting the rabbet, the shoulder of the tenon must be made
to allow the tenon to fit into the mortise. This is easiest to do on a
table saw using the miter gauge (Figure 45E). Set the table saw
blade to 3/4” and remove the shoulders up to the rabbeted cut.
Dry fit the table base to make sure the mortise and tenon fit
together properly.
Figure 45D
Figure 45E
Then using a 1/4” diameter edge beading bit (MLCS #5531,7831
or Katana #17831), rout the full length of the bottom edge of each
apron (Figure 45F). Also, rout the end grain of the gate leg apron
that does not have the tenon cut on it. Before cutting the profile
on the gate leg apron, make sure that it is properly orientated so
the bead ends up on the bottom edge of the apron.
Apply glue to the mortise and tenon on each leg and table apron.
Fit these together and clamp up this assembly, checking to make
sure that it is square. While this assembly is clamped up, glue the
table mounting cleats in their position between the long table
aprons. As the glue in this assembly dries, it is time to complete
the tabletop panels.
Completing the top panels:
Cut the panel that will be the center panel of the tabletop to a
finished size of 38” long by 22” wide. The next steps will be done
with the table leaf panels face down on a sacrificial backer board.
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Figure 45F
Gate Leg Drop Leaf Table Plans
Figure 46G
Completing the table leaves:
The table leaves are rounded on the end and should be cut with
a circle cutting jig (MLCS #9308 Curv Pro Circle and Ellipse
cutting jig) to ensure a consistent radius. The first step is to
layout a line 2” from the edge of the leaf panel that will mate up
to the table top. Make that line across the entire 40” length.
Next make a perpendicular line at the center of the width of the
panel across the 24” length. Using the Curv Pro set the center of
the base at the intersection of both lines just made in the
previous step. Secure the base in place using the three available
mounting holes. Follow the set up instructions provided with
the Curv Pro to make a half circle with an inside radius of 19”
(Figure 46G). Cut the radius making sure to stop at the 2” line
previously made (Figure 46H). Complete the cut by making
straight cuts on the last two inches on each side of the leaf (a
large panel used on a table saw can make this step easier)
(Figure 46I). Repeat these steps for the second table leaf.
Routing the drop leaf profiles or rule joint profiles:
Because the hinges will be recessed, 1/2” radius round-over and
1/2” radius cove bits will be used to create the drop leaf or rule
joint. Start by routing the round-over profile on all four edges of
the tabletop and the outside of the table leaves (do not rout the
long straight edge of the table leaves with the round-over bit).
Set the round-over bit to a cutting depth where it will produce a
1/8” fillet above the start of the round-over profile (Figure 46J).
After completing the round-over cuts, change to the cove bit.
Using a piece of scrap wood the same thickness as your table
top, adjust the bit height to leave a 1/8” fillet below the cove
profile. When you have the bit height adjusted so that the cove
profile overlaps the round-over profile, and both pieces of stock
are aligned at the same height, proceed to rout the cove profile
along the long straight edge of the table leaves. This will
complete the steps necessary to make the drop leaf or rule joint
(Figure 46K).
Figure 46H
Figure 46I
Figure 46J
Figure 46K
Copyright 2007 MLCS ltd.
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Gate Leg Drop Leaf Table Plans
Laying out the position for the drop leaf hinges:
Place the two table leaves and tabletop face down on a clean, flat
surface. Position the pieces so that they are aligned along the joints and
even at the edges. Three hinges will be used on each leaf to add proper
support and stability. Mark the two outer hinge locations 2-1/2” from
the outside edges of the table. The center hinge will be positioned in the
exact center of the table. Position the hinges so the longer hinge leaf
lays on the table leaf and the hinge barrel is 1/2” from the edge of the
center panel (Figure 47L). Trace the outline of the hinge to mark the
location of the mortise.
Making and using hinge mortising jig:
Make a jig to mortise the hinges into the table bottom by following
these steps. Using a piece of 1/4” thick plywood or hardboard, draw the
outline of the hinge onto it, also marking the position of the hinge
barrel. Use a drill bit to make a starter hole in the jig inside the outline
of the hinge. Use a scroll saw or jig saw to cut out the hinge opening in
the template (Figure 47M).
Cut each side of the mortise separately. Align the jig to match the
traced outline on the tabletop and leaves. Use double sided tape to
secure the jig in position while routing. Using a 1/2” diameter dado
clean out bit (MLCS #5382), adjust the depth of the bit to cut 1/8” deep
into the tabletop and leaf. Allow the guide bearing on the shaft of the
bit to follow the recess in the mortising jig. Clear out all of the material
in the area the hinge will be mortised (Figure 47N). Repeat these
routing steps until all six hinge mortises are completed. A corner chisel
(MLCS #9540, 9541) or hand chisel will need to be used to square up
the radiuses of the corners of the mortise. Next, an additional jig will be
made to mortise for the hinge barrel.
Using another piece of 1/4” thick plywood or hardboard, mark a 3/8”
wide slot 1/4” wider than the width of the hinge barrel you are using.
Again cut out this rectangular recess using a scroll saw or jig saw. The
center of the hinge barrel will be 1/2” from the edge of the tabletop. So,
therefore mark a line 1/2” from the centerline of the 3/8” wide
dimension. Mount a 3/4” wide piece of scrap wood to the outside of
this line (this block is to register against the edge of the tabletop)
(Figure 47O). Install a 3/8” template guide bushing (MLCS #9047)
into the base of your router. Install a 1/4” diameter straight cutting bit
into your router. Adjust the bit to cut to a depth that is 1/8” deeper than
the hinge mortise that has already been cut. Using double sided tape,
position the jig so that the jig is centered over the hinge mortise already
cut into the tabletop. Allow the template guide bushing to follow the
template to cut the mortise for the hinge barrel.
Copyright 2007 MLCS ltd.
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Figure 47L
Figure 47M
Figure 47N
Figure 47O
Gate Leg Drop Leaf Table Plans
Mounting the hinges to the tabletop and table leaves:
Place the hinges into the mortises cut in the tabletop and table leaves.
Pre-drill the screw holes to mount the hinges (MLCS #9371 Flash bit
will provide a perfectly centered hole) (Figure 48P). Install the
screws to secure the hinges being careful not to over-tighten and strip
the threads. Test the leaves for proper folding action. If they bind on
the bottom of the table edge, relief sand the corners of the table
bottom to allow for clearance (Figure 48Q).
Figure 48P
Preparing the gate leg:
Cut the gate leg apron to a length of 15-1/4” (measure from the
tenon). The short piece that is left will be used to mount the gate leg.
Apply glue to the mortise and tenon on each gate leg and clamp these
assemblies. (Remember to keep the routed bead at the bottom edge
of the apron). After the glue dries, surface mount the hinge to the
gate leg apron and gate leg apron mounting block (Figure 48R).
Installing the table base to the tabletop:
Drill three mounting holes through each of the mounting cleats in the
table base. The two outer holes should be elongated to allow the
tabletop to move seasonally. With the tabletop/leaf assembly still
sitting on a clean, protective surface face down, position the table
base on this assembly. Center the table base over the top and secure
the top to the base using 1-1/4” wood screws.
Installing the gate leg:
To install the gate leg in the proper position, place the gate leg along
the previously drawn centerline. Place the gate leg apron on a 45
degree angle to the table base and mark the position of the table leg
apron mounting base. Pre-drill the mounting screw holes from the
inside of the table aprons. Reposition the gate leg apron mount and
secure using 1-1/4” wood screws. Stop block cleats will be installed
next. With the gate legs still in a 45 degree position, place the 8”
cleats in position along the outside of the apron and secure in place
with 1-1/4” wood screws (this will stop the gate legs and support the
table leaf at the proper position when the table leaf is folded up)
(Figure 48S).
Have a helper assist you in the next step. Fold in the gate legs, lift up
the table leaves to closed position, and carefully turn the table over to
an upright position (be very careful to take precaution that the table
leaves do not swing open and cause injury during this step).
Finish by sanding and applying a stain, dye or other type of finish.
Copyright 2007 MLCS ltd.
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Figure 48Q
Figure 48R
Figure 48S
Gate Leg Drop Leaf Table Plans
Parts List for Drop Leaf Gate Leg Table
Part Description
Long Aprons
Short Aprons
Gate Leg Aprons
Gate Leg Cleats
Table Top
Table Leaf
Table Cleats
Drop Leaf Hinges
Gate Leg Hinge
Wood Screws
Wood Screws
Copyright 2007 MLCS ltd.
Length Width Thickness Quantity
This will be cut shorter later
Rough Size
Rough Size
3 pair
1 pair
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