A Shaker Style Drop-Leaf Table
Turned legs with drilled-and-chiseled mortises
Synopsis: The table Greg Isaak built was inspired by several original Shaker pieces, but he modified it with Sheraton-style tapered legs. There’s nothing tricky about building it, he says; all the work can be done with a few simple tools. Components are small, so stock preparation is simple, too. He explains how he mortised and turned the legs, how he constructed the case and drawers, and how he built the top. A detailed project plan illustrates his design.
I first became interested in Shaker furniture because of some pieces my mother owned. I was drawn to the Shakers’ simple, unadorned designs, their restrained, but strong joinery, and their uncompromising insistence on quality. As I examined my family’s furniture and studied pieces presented in books and museums, I also became fascinated with the way Shaker designs had been influenced by Federal furniture built in the United States between 1782 and…