Friday, October 17, 2008

Concertina Hinge Game Table

OK ... this is going to be a long one ..... It started when one of my favorite clients asked me to make a game table. Closed it wanted to be 18 x 36, open 36" square. She wanted people to be able to sit in largish, overstuffed chairs, opposite each other, to play chess or cards or whatever. That kind of ruled out gate leg designs, the classic card table form. A long time age I had on my bulletin board some pictures of an antique card table that opened with a scissors mechanism like an accordion. Of course by the time I needed to design the table, I couldn't find the pictures ..... so, I hit the books. Checked out a bunch of them, no luck; checked my Fine Woodworking search feature and while there stumbled on a tab called "Ask The Experts". So I did. On September 6th I posted a question on Gary Rogowski's tab and within 48 hours he was back to me with a book title and page. Lo and behold, I had the book and had been oh so close to finding the entry a couple days previous. In fact, the index title was "Concertina Hinge' and the book had detailed drawings and helpful descriptions. And, we were off. Sort of. The proportions of the various folding parts and their relationships to the various pivoting, open and closed points were kind of fussy as we discovered while we were making the mdf mockup. We're set to go now, the design work is virtually complete, the leather for the checker boaard has been selected and the wood is acclimating in the shop. We'll make the top, rout a recess for the leather work, do the finishing and send it off to Heath's Restoration in Pomfret Center, CT, for Russ to inlay while we build the rest of the table. It will take a while, but I'll keep you posted ... haha ... Click the photos to enlarge them ...

The original sketch I posted with my question to Gary

My original sketch for the client ... a bit heavier than the final version which I'llpost later

The Book ... A classic, and one of my 4 or 5 main resources ... I think I should list my reference books some day . I checked Amazon and I didn't find it listed there. Check your library...

The entry, page 382

Closed ... you can't see it in this picture, but there is a little spring clip in the center of the back rail to keep side aprons tight to the legs when the table is closed.

The sliding board stiffens the folding parts when the table is open ...

2 comments:

jake said...

I'm looking forward to when you to post your top 5 furniture books. This hinge is great, have you ever seen it used on a large table, such as a dining table?

Joe said...

Hi Dan,

Great work as always. Barnes and Noble has The Encyclopedia of Furniture Making with revision and expansion by the incredible Alan Peters. I'm ordering my copy tomorrow.

Joe Keer