Cabriolet Legs on a Drop Leaf Table

It’s not an issue, but one caution, I think the mistake I made in the ‘crash and burn’ blog was that I didn’t compensate for the knee. I fitted everything to the center top but didn’t check for the leaf closure, Don’t you do that!

This coffee table will be 14″ wide at the center and has 2 – 8″ leaves, 14″ and cabriolet legs are going to be tight. We have to set the legs under the center enough for the leaves to hang and clear. Also, on this one, we are using “ear under” legs, (the sofa table drop leaf I did an ear-less leg – you can see the application we used.) that’s where we have the apron sitting on top of the applied ear. I will bring them together in the ends of the table to form a nice decorative look. Most don’t apply the ears that would sit behind the leaves as they are not seen, for me, it gives me a sense of ‘incomplete’. It would be obvious upon inspection that the maker (me) didn’t bother to do them. I will put them on.

The maple leg in the photo shows the ‘leg’ we are using. It is a version of a taller leg the client chose and will do nicely. I have the walnut legs cut out, now I need to final shape them, cut some mortises and get the base together – and BE SURE IT FITS!

I have two sweeps drawn on the leaves, not positive which I will use just yet, I want the cutouts on the legs to show, but not the shafts. It’s all in the look when the leaves are down. You will note I have drawn where I am going to place the leg to achieve this but I will dry fit it all together and stand it to insure I’m where I want to be. I will then cut the lower sweep and adjust from there taking the time to figure it all out is well worth the effort. I rarely have a plan or pattern, it’s usually like this. I get the size and the look and I create it to the best of my ability. We’ll see how it goes.


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2 Responses to Cabriolet Legs on a Drop Leaf Table

  1. Is that indicative of most drop leaf tables that the leg pivots out to support the leaf? Or is that a Charles Neil “twist”

    Some drop leafs that I have seen, a portion of the top of the apron is removed (cut out) then the removed piece is replaced, however, attached to an axis on the apron allowing it to rotated out to support the leaf.


  2. the drop leaf table is called a Gate leg , in this case a 4 leg, some do 6 with 4 stationary, some do 8 legs…the 4 leg is used here as the center top is too narrow to allow a chair…by having the leg swing it opens the area up for seating as well as for leaf support, the coffee table we are doing will have 4 fixed legs and a swing arm to support it…the one you have described is called a spinner…they do ok , but i prefer the wooden hinged support arm , it is much stronger, you will se it in the next day or so, as soon as Sherri can get the photos and all up

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