Friday, 21 October 2016

Chair table

When I share my blog posts on Facebook, once upon a time I could choose the image I wanted to be visible as a link, but now FB just picks the first image in the post, and it is not necessarily the most interesting or relevant. Therefore I begin with a image of the finished piece and then tell you how I made it.


This is a chair table, and as I now know, is also called hutch table. They were popular because they could be folded away to save space when not in use, but, I guess, easier to set when needed than earlier trestle tables with fully removable boards.

This is a difficult piece, with several aspects I hadn't done before so I was a bit intimidated, but I was making it together with a friend, somewhere over the ocean, but in real time.

The layout sheet was, as usual, helpful, for instance, to identify drawers, but this model has a drawer and a drawer case that is glued below the seat.


I used antique pine stain, but very light because I wanted this piece to match the furniture in my "best kitchen".

The instructions were good, at least for the first stage, but when I assembled the chair frame it was wobbly and not quite square.

I needed advice from more experiences people, and meanwhile I made the drawer and drawer case, which was straightforward, except of course the drawer did not fit. It was too deep. My friend had the same difficulty so it wasn't just me making a mistake.

Then I glued together the three bits of the table top. You would imagine that it was easy to cut a whole table top in miniature scale, but these kits are very particular about authenticity. In full scale, there wasn't a piece of timber large enough to make a table top. (I remember discovering this when I made a Tudor table).

I had sanded the surfaces nice and smooth. The grain came out pretty.

Then my miniature friend shared her experience of making the chair frame. The secret was, as I had suspected, to enlarge the pre-drilled holes. In addition, I used the seat - also made from two pieces - and the arms to align and square the whole assembly.

This was the end of day 1, and I left the assembly to dry overnight.

Next morning I glued on the drawer case, after having sanded away the back of the drawer to fit. As I always do, I attached the knob before gluing on the front. In this kit, the drawer front is twice the size of the drawer edges because it covers the drawer case as well. This is a very clever design!

The table top brackets had to be adjusted to the chair. It took me some time to figure out, and the brackets were longer than required and had to be sanded away. In fact, I bit off two centimeters with scissors and then sanded.


The next set of instructions was scary because it involved drilling holes in the frame. I don't understand why they couldn't have pre-drilled them as every other hole, but I guess there is a reason. The instruction was confusing, and I learned a new word, shim. You had to use shims to lift the frame a bit from the top. I am afraid I didn't do it quite right. And I didn't have the right tool to drill those holes (I have just ordered one, but it won't arrive until next week). So I had to use what was at hand.

It wasn't the most efficient way, but I did it, and the hinges fit into the holes, and the table really matched the environment in my best kitchen.

Here I just put in in front of the room, for display. But it will most probably be placed against a wall, folded.

I will have to re-organise some things in the kitchen, but this happens also in the 1:1 world when a new piece of furniture is added.

I am very pleased with this project. It was a challenge, because there was so much new and some tricky things. But I feel I getting more and more confident with these miniatures.


  1. This would have to be my most favourite piece of furniture so far. It's simple to look at, yet sturdy and very countryfied (I don't know if that's an actual word, but it fits my thoughts). Well done, I love it.