Some construction details of the Charles Stewart table I made in 2002

When I agreed to make the campaign dining table in the manner of Charles Stewart I worked out most everything from a few photographs. I did manage to get a copy of the patent for the table,  with the help of my client, from the British Museum but it was only modestly helpful. The table dates to 1810 but for some reason the copy of the patent dated to 1840. The conventions of drafting were not standardized at this time and a lot of information was missing.  I made a full scale drawing and a full scale model to work out all the sliding frames and rotating parts. The smartest thing that I did was to make the model out of mahogany because a model made of pine or poplar would never be suitable for making a piece of furniture. This way I would have a second campaign table once the details were worked out. Fifteen years later I still need to finish the second one but I'm still happy that I have it. I have a few images of making the table, unfortunately not many but I thought I would include them here. Images of the completed table are in the previous blog post.


A view of the internal sliding frame assembly necessary to make this table extend and collapse. 


I made a jig to hold a pencil to layout the reeds for the legs. The point of this is to make sure that my scratch stock doesn't deviate from the layout lines. 


This lathe had no indexing mechanism so I had to make a circular plate that I divided into 10 or 12 equal sections. I then hand cut slots so that I could insert a steel scraper to lock the rotation at equal intervals.


Another jig was used to hold a scratch stock to define the reeds. The final shape was cleaned up with chisels and gouges.  


The brass plates that hold the legs to the table were cut and shaped by hand. 


Bronze threaded pieces were attached to the plates with small pins. 


The reeded perimeter of the table top was scratched by hand with a tool that I made. 


This table has four sliding frames. You can see that the legs are attached to the lower frames and the table top is connected to the upper frames. 


The center of the table in the foreground and the mahogany model in the background. The poplar inner bits will be replaced when it is eventually made into a second table.