Modern Gateleg Table A Contemporary Looking Design That S Really From The 18Th Century
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A contemporary-looking design that's really from the 18th century.by Christopher SchwarzPages 28 - 34October 2017Buy the issue here.If you've ever been dragged to Ikea by your spouse (few woodworkers go willingly - except to eat meatballs), you've probably seen a table similar to this gateleg one.
It's been a staple of the contemporary furniture company's line-up for many years.One Saturday five years ago, my family dragged me there to buy lamps and rugs.While they shopped, I fiddled with the table mechanism and wondered: Where did this clever idea come from? After some research I was surprised to find this table in the furniture record all the way back to the 1700s.
While some of the old gateleg tables I found featured carving and highly shaped components, the vernacular forms of the table looked just like the ones you see in Ikea.I became charmed by the Swedish versions, many of which were painted bright colors.
My version is based on several examples (culled from auction catalogs) that were dated to the late 18th or early 19th century.Construction of the table is simple: The only joinery is mortise-and-tenon and screws.
But getting all the components to nest together and move smoothly...