Table Size & Stability
An important condition of beauty in a table is its stability. It should not appear insecure on its feet, as happens if the legs are placed too far beneath the top. A safe guide is not to make the spread of the feet of a table less than two-thirds the spread of the top; or, in other words, the overhang is one-sixth of the top. The overhang may be considerably more than this before the table becomes dangerously insecure, but it will have, nevertheless, an appearance of instability, especially if the width of the top is less than the height above the floor.
It is well to round off slightly the corners of rectangular tables, that they may not present a sharp angle.
The size of a table is determined by its use and the location it is to occupy. Unless intended for a special purpose it is thirty inches high.
Possibly the most important uses to which tables are put are those of dining and writing. For either of these a table thirty inches high can be and is used continually, but there are those who find this somewhat too high. A dining table should be sufficiently low that a person need not raise the elbows when cutting his food, and that his plate rests well below him. If a writing table is too high it is tiresome to sit at and write. Many dining tables and writing tables are, therefore, made but twenty-nine inches high. The side table used in dining-rooms as a place from which to serve dishes or to carve should be thirty-six inches high.
A dressing table is made thirty inches high unless the person to use it requests that it be made otherwise. Parlor, fancy tables, etc., intended for ornamental use only, are made to correspond with the surroundings of the rooms in which they are placed, and may be any desired height, as they are neither intended to sit or stand at. The following list will give the dimensions of tables of average sizes that have been made and found satisfactory. It will serve as a guide or starting point in laying out new designs:
Note: All dimensions are in inches.
The parts of a table have already been named; it remains to see how they are put together in table joints.
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