Build a Bow-Front Hall Table
Full-size plan and easy jigs simplify curved parts
Synopsis: Making a curved-front table isn’t as hard as it seems, especially with Charles Durfee’s tips and techniques. He uses simple jigs to crosscut the curved front apron and cut tenons on its ends, and a single, full-size pattern to make a form for laminating the apron and laying out and assembling the table base. This result is an elegant table that grabs attention without distracting details. The large drawer fits seamlessly into the front apron, so its curve extends seamlessly across the entire table.
From Fine Woodworking #204
A simple, rectangular table can be functional and quite lovely. But give it a gentle curve along the front and you’ll have a table with elegance. A subtle curve grabs attention without being loud and distracting.
The large drawer in the front apron of this table is functional without detracting from its clean look. I cut its face from the front apron, so with the drawer closed, the sweep of the apron runs uninterrupted from side to side. I also beveled the front legs, so the curve of the apron extends seamlessly across them.
Making a curved-front table isn’t as hard as you might think. A single pattern can be used to make both a form for laminating the front apron and a full-size top-view drawing that helps you lay out and assemble the drawer, its guides, and the rest of the table base. I’ll also show you a few very simple jigs that make it easy to crosscut the curved apron and cut tenons on its ends.
Everything follows the curve: With most curved furniture, it’s best to start with the curve, in this case the front apron. It’s far easier to make the other parts fit the curve than to make the curve fit the…