I'm about to put my first drop leaf table together and am a little worried
about the rule joint. While it looks pretty straight forward, I'm
suspecting that it isn't. I heard one woodworker describe them as a right
of passage. I would appreciate anyone with experience with these to give me
a little advise.
I believe Becksvoort did a table article in Fine Woodworking sometime during
the past year or so, in which he went into some detail on the rule joint. I
don't recall which issue it was, and the FW site is down at the moment it
The rule joint is easy to do.
You need a roundover bit and a cove bit of the same size and some drop leaf
Practice with the router bits on a couple of pieces of scrap the same
thickness as your panels until you get the fit you want.
The long side of the hinge fits on the leaf.
The panels must be the same thickness at the joint line.
Use the roundover bit on the table top and on three sides of the drop leaf and
then the cove bit on the remaining side of the drop leaf.
Rout a groove in the top for the hinge knuckle. The centre line of the hinge
knuckle should align with the shoulder of the profile.
Place a playing card at each end between the leaf and top for clearance and
then attach the hinges.
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