Back a few months ago I promised Alan turner I'd post some pix of a Queen Anne breakfast table I made for Sue almost 2 years ago as a Christmas present. She had been trying to describe a table she wanted for in front of one of the large windows in the living room and was having trouble getting through to me. Finally I went and got Albert Sack's book, The New Fine Points of Furniture- Early American, and let her peruse the pictures. She leafed through it looking at all the table pictures and finally stopped on page 271 and said, "that one". I asked her about styles and variations and assorted possible changes and she just responded, "No, that one". I gulped and thought to myself- hmmm, an angled picture, only 3 dimensions for the picture, and no joinery guidance-this should be fun.
The series of photos in this post and the next one show the table under construction and then finished. It's a New England style table made from mahogany with white pine as the secondary wood. After I had drawn and made my templates for the cabriole legs I took the drawings and templates to a period furniture group meeting for critique. It was pointed out to me that as drawn and at the dimensions from the book we wouldn't be able to get our knees under the aprons- folks were shorter then. I ended up having to redrawn and retemplate everything to scale up the proportions slightly for modern sized folks.
When I started construction I decided to do things the Neanderthal way and except for bandsawing out the cabriole legs, most of the work was done with hand tools. I decided to use the traditional coloring method for the mahogany- dyeing with lye and neutralizing with white vinegar in water. The topcoat finish is about a dozen coats of garnet shellac padded on and rubbed out with steel wool and paste wax.