July/August 2006
Volume 49
Issue 4
Archived Project Plans
Project Articles
woodworking Plan The Gateleg Table Plan
woodworking Plan All American Picnic Table Plan
woodworking Plan Slanted Gourmet Knife Block Plan
woodworking Plan Owners Gallery
woodworking plans Ask Smitty
Academy Notes
Basic Drawer Construction Tips
Service Pointers
Keep Your Thickness Planer Running Smoothly
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Urethane Bandsaw Tire 
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woodworking plans     

The Gateleg Table

24” x 36” of oval tabletop that folds out of the way to just 5” x 24” when needed

2: Prepare remaining stock. Use 3/4” stock for the main stretcher (E) and 5/8” stock for the remaining pieces. (See the Bill of Materials)

3: Glue-up the tabletop (L) and set it aside to dry. We started by preparing adjacent edges on the jointer. We then used the Shopsmith Biscuit Jointer with #10 biscuits to hold everything in alignment while the glue dried. As an option, you could eliminate the need for biscuits by using a set of 24” Double Bar Clamps to hold the boards in alignment while the glue dries. We then added battens (K) to provide additional strength.

4: Cut the mortises in parts A,B & D for the stretchers. First, mark off the square sections on each leg, then the locations for the mortises (don’t forget that each piece of turning stock is 1” longer than its intended finished length).
Use a Mortising Attachment with a 3/8” Bit & Chisel Set to do the job. Be sure to make each mortise about 1/16” deeper than its mating tenon to leave room for glue escapement.
As an alternative, you could also create the mortises with a Router Accessory , then square all edges with a chisel.

5: Cut the stretchers F,G,H & J to size. Use a Dado set-up or a Tenoning Jig to create the tenons on the ends. Important note: All tenons are 1/8” smaller in width and height than the stock, except for the tenons on the upper stretchers (F & H). Take an extra 1/4” off the tops of these tenons (3/8” total). Doing so will prevent the tenons from splitting the tops of the turned legs (since they’re so close to the ends).

6: Turn parts (A,B,C & D). Accurately mark your turning centers on the ends of each piece. Use a soft mallet to avoid damaging your centers. Begin the turning process by roughing-to-round a 2” long section at the center of what will be the long tapered section. Sand it lightly, then install a Lathe Steady Rest to keep your long spindles from whipping during the turning process.
Start by cutting the shoulders, then round the turned sections. Form your design by turning the areas next to the squares first, then working your way toward the centers. Turn the feet as required (on parts A & B). Remove the Steady Rest and complete your turning by making light passes to reduce chatter. Finally, sand each turning while it’s still on the lathe, using progressively finer papers and a slow speed.

7: Cut off the excess at the top (and bottom, if you so planned) of each turning and sand the ends square on the Disc Sander. See drawings for accuracy.

8: Cut and sand each turned piece to the exact, same length. If you have a MARK V, you can ensure that each leg is EXACTLY the same length by using your Disc Sander with the quill feed feature – and your Extension Table with the MARK V Rip Fence as a back-up.

9: Mark and cut the notches in the main stretcher (E) for the legs (A). Use your Bandsaw or Scroll Saw to cut the gateleg (B) notches.

10: Drill 1-1/4” dia. x 1/2” deep dowel holes in the ends of the main stretcher (E) and legs (A). Drill countersunk holes for #8 x 1-1/2” flathead screws in (E) and (C) for the gateleg pivots (D).

11: Dry assemble all leg assemblies, checking for fit and squareness. If the fit is OK, disassemble, then re-assemble using glue.

12: Cut tabletop (L) into the three parts. Joint the adjacent edges of the leaves, then clamp all three parts back together. Mark and cut the mortises for the hinges, using a hand-held or router set-up, followed by a chisel. If you use the latter, a Router Corner Chisel will make easy work of squaring the corners of hinge mortises made with a router. Mount the hinges.

13: Draw an ellipse on the bottom of the tabletop (see detailed tabletop drawing below for ellipse-drawing string length and pivot positions). We’ve provided simple instructions below for drawing ellipses. Secure a temporary batten on the underside of the tabletop to hold everything rigid, then cut out your ellipse on the Bandsaw or Scroll Saw, being sure to keep “proud” of your lines as you cut…so you can finish sand the edges to their final shape, using your Disc Sander.
                    How to Draw an Ellipse

If AB is the major axis and CD is the minor axis, and
they cross at point Z, set a compass or dividers
(yardstick compass points may be best, depending
on dimensions) to ZB or ZA. With the point at C, scribe arcs
to intersect line AB at X and Y. Place a small brad
at X and Y. Using NON-STRETCHING string, make a
loop as long as AY. You'll get a perfect ellipse every time

14: Shape the edge of the tabletop, using your Shaper set-up with a 1” dia. collar and the 3/16” Bead & Cove Cutter. Cut from below and make at least two passes. Make sure that at least 1/8” of the top is riding against the collar during your final pass. Use your Floating Extension Table and Telescoping Legs for outboard support if you have a Model 510 or 520 MARK V. If you have a Model 500 or 505 MARK V, we suggest that you support the front edge of your worktable with a Table Support Leg or custom-cut wooden leg to prevent worktable tipping during operation. Once you’ve finished forming the edge, remove the temporary batten.

15: Install the battens (K) on the underside of the leaves using #6 x 1” flathead screws. Be sure the battens are a minimum of 1” from the inside edge so they will clear the main stretcher (E) when the leaves are down.

16: Finish sand and apply the finish of your choice. Assemble the gatelegs and tabletop to the frame with screws. Enjoy !


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