Baltimore Card Table

Learn inlay techniques while building this beautiful accent table for your home.
By Glen D. Huey
Pages: 66-73

From the June 2005 issue #148
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A beautiful demilune side table always catches your eye. Some of these tables also open into an equally attractive and more functional four-legged round table. The table here is a inspired by an original attributed to Levin S. Tarr (1772-1821) and built between 1795-1810 in Baltimore, Md. The original is now part of the Colonial Williamsburg Collection of Southern Furniture in Williamsburg, Va.

The ornamentation on card tables from Baltimore varies quite a bit, but the construction details and design are consistent. Tarr’s table has all the construction details common to post-revolutionary Baltimore card tables. These features include the half-round shape, a laminated apron, two rear swing legs that overlap the ends of the front rail when closed and a dovetailed rear apron. Oak and/or yellow pine are the secondary woods used in construction.

On my table, the inlay has been simplified and some of the inlay was purchased rather than hand-fit, as in the original. This saved time without affecting the overall grace of the piece.

Because of the detail involved in this table I’ve focused on the inlay work and swing legs. A comfortable level with basic woodworking skills is advised for building this piece. If helpful, more step photos are available at woodworkersedge.com.

From the June 2005 issue #148
Buy this issue now