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18th Century Campaign Table

18th Century Campaign Table


Hi. It has been a while since I’ve made a post. The summer came and went, and my wife and I were blessed with joyful moments. One exciting event was our son, Dan, getting married to Oksana in July. Their wedding was in Lviv, Ukraine, and truly awesome. We finally traveled out of the country.

Here is an 18th century campaign style table that I recently designed and built. I constructed it with cherry that was harvested in Upstate New York and utilized birch plywood for the top. I have always been fascinated with the 18th century campaign furniture style and a customed re-enactor asked me to make this for her. My wife has already put in her order and many people took a liking to it at Herkimer Home Historical Site where Barb and I did demonstrations on October 4th.

Here is some information on the project. I choose plywood for the top out a desire for stability, less weight, and ease of construction. With the exception of the plywood top which I dressed up with cherry edging, I sought to make the piece look 18th century as much as possible. I attached the cherry edging with hide glue and cut nails. I built the leg assemblies out of solid cherry and utilized mortise and tenon joinery. Tenons were then pegged. Keeping with the tradition of campaign furniture possessing portability yet remaining good looking, I added complimentary aprons with some decorative details on the long sides. To give the piece sufficient robustness, I attached the long aprons to the top with chiseled out screwing pockets. I utilized flathead screws in those pockets along with hide glue to fasten down the aprons. To anchor the ends of the long aprons, I utilized a combination of glue blocks and corner braces. Legs were turned on the lathe using cherry blanks that were 2 1/2″ square. After much searching, I choose this leg profile as being appropriate for an 18th century style campaign table.

Making the leg assemblies fold up was more effort than I had first realized. My design utilized a combination of 2″ barrel bolts at the points where the glue blocks are attached and 9/16″ diameter hardwood pins at the opposite leg ends. This was how I managed to lock the aprons. The table folds up nicely and yet has the stability that makes this an attractive and useful piece of furniture for 18th century re-enactors and homeowners.

I hope you enjoy the picture and please feel free to leave a comment if you also make British style campaign tables.

God bless,
Jim

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