Federal Card Table Project Wrap-Up

After 6 months, working almost daily between 7 and 8am before going to work in my small garage shop, I finally put the finishing touches on the Federal Card Table project.

This project was inspired by a Fine Woodworking article titled “Federal Demilune Card Table” (Steve Latta, issue #180.) I met Steve at the Fine Woodworking Live conference last August in New Haven, CT, and he gave me a few great tips he had learned since writing that article about the best ways to build and veneer the apron. I made sure to follow his advice.

The last step was to take a few photographs of the finished project. To achieve this, I turned to an excellent Fine Woodworking article titled “A Woodworker’s Guide to Photography” (Michael Pekovich, issue #213.) Overall I am extremely pleased with the result:

As you can see, this table is not a reproduction, but rather an interpretation of a period form. I am not a huge fan of bell flower inlay, and I replaced the oval inlays found on most period pieces with a slightly more modern curly maple diamond inlay on each leg.

I chose this project not only based on the esthetics of the table, but also because it has taught me the following skills:

  • How to prepare and use hot hide glue
  • How to make and apply holly stringing
  • How to make a knuckle joint
  • How to install card table hinges
  • How to drawbore a mortise and tenon joint
  • Hammer veneering
  • French polishing

Nowadays, this table sits in my living room, and is used as a decorative piece of furniture sporting picture frames and flower bouquets.

I hope you like it!