The Cluny Table

The Cluny Museum in Paris has a period peg-together table, shown below. I made a scaled down and somewhat simplified version, also shown below, with and without its top. My main change was replacing the carved panels in the original, which are well beyond my ability, with panels of quarter sawn oak--much easier to make, and also quite attractive. The final figure shows the pieces of the original table, with my estimated dimensions. I have omitted the ornamental pieces at the ends of the upper supports and somewhat simplifed the shape of the pieces.  For the table I built, I kept the vertical dimensions about the same but shrunk the horizontal dimensions to about 2/3 the original.

Cluny TableMy Cluny table without topMy Cluny Table

As shown above, the table is constructed in four layers. Starting at the bottom, two pieces cross to make the stand. Above them is a central pillar and four outer pillars, each joined to the center by a panel and each fitting into a socket below in the stand and a socket above in one of the pieces that supports the table top. In the original the panel is carved openwork; in mine it is plain quarter sawn oak. Above the pillars is the support for the table top, above that the table top itself. The bottom of the table top has four pairs of wooden tabs, positioned so that the support pieces pass between them; pegs attach the support pieces to the tabs. The tabs are attached to the table top both by glue and by two pegs  running at a diagonal through each tab and into the table top.
Before trying to make the table, go over the figure carefully to figure out what fits into what and why. To make it a little easier, I have labelled:

X: The sockets in the stand pieces that the bottom ends of the four outer pillars fit into. Each is 1" deep, ½" wide, 5/4" long. The ends of the pillars that fit into them are ½" wide by 9/8" long, but I prefer to allow a little extra space in the socket. The end of each pillar is held into the socket by a 3/8" diameter peg running crossways, as shown. There is also a socket for the central pillar but it is not pegged.

Y: The sockets in the support pieces that the top ends of the outer pillars fit into. Each is ¾" deep, 9/8" long, 3/8" wide. The ends that fit into them are 3/8" by 1".

Z: The tabs that attach the table top to the supports. Each has two diagonal holes to peg it to the table top and one hole crosswise to peg it to the support, as shown.
Cluny Table Pieces
On the figure, everything is to scale except for the table top, which is half scale to the rest, and the side view of a tab, which is expanded to show the shape and the holes. All pegs are 3/8" diameter, all peg holes 3/8". In making the table, precise placement, especially of peg holes, is obviously important. If pieces are going to peg together, assemble them and mark the exact placement of the holes.
The central pillar is grooved on all four sides to fit the panels;
each outer pillar is similarly grooved on its inside face.  The grooves are ¼" wide, ¼" deep. The pictures show details of construction.
  Center Pillar BottomCenter Pillar TopOuter Pillar Top                       
     Center pillar bottom                                       Center pillar top                                                      Outer pillar top     

Cluny Tabs
Tabs attached to table top   



Support Piece
Support Piece

Foot Pieces
Foot Pieces

Table Top
Table Top: Bottom View Showing Tabs

If you want to build the actual Cluny table, instead of my simplified and smaller version, see My estimates of the dimensions are:

Foot A: 30" wide, 2.75" thick, 4.5" high        Support A: 14" + ornamental ends x 7" x 1"  
Foot B: 27" wide, 2.75" thick, 4.5" high        Support B: 11" + ornamental ends x 7" x 1"
Pillars: 17" x 1.5" x 1.5" square                     Table top: longest dimension 40", table height 32"

If you want to build my table and have Appleworks, you may find this useful.