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
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
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.
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 bottom
Outer pillar top
Tabs attached to 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 http://www.albionworks.net/Tables/ClunyTable.htm.
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"
Table top: longest dimension 40", table height 32"
If you want to build my table and have Appleworks, you may find this useful.