Child's Table & Chairs - Art Deco

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Project by Jeffrey Williams posted 04-05-2013 05:55 PM 2842 views 10 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First let me say this is small but a difficult project. The plans I dug up off the Internet and appear to be from Book No. 4557, 40 Fine DELTA Tables, Delta Mfg. Division from the mid 30’s or early 40’s. The design is art deco based on the 1939 New York World’s Fair and the Tryon and Perisphere symbols of that exhibition. The write up and the plans call for ‘standard practices’ but the drawings leave a lot of work for you to do. The measurements are not accurate and lack details such as; the chair is tapered to the back, how the seat is attached, how to cut the design grooves into curved and round surfaces and the overhang of the tabletop. It calls for a ‘B’ and ‘D’ shaper blades, which is old school so you have to figure out modern router bit shapes to use. The top calls for red oilcloth or linoleum and a chrome edge (think 50’s diner), expensive today. I had to redraw the plans and double check the fit then the fun began.

You use it all; planer, table saw, miter saw, router, mortiser, drill press, scroll saw, various sanders and lots of clamps. I used dowel joints, M&T joints plus some floating joints as well as screwed/glued reinforcing blocks for rigidity. You have to think ahead and the details matter; where the dowels attach the rails on the back legs at a right angle the dowel inside ends have to be cut to a 45 angle to allow maximum depth and contact for strength in ¾” holes. Just putting the back legs together requires 18 glue joints to come together all at once. In total there were over 70 parts and some 60 jointed pieces. This unique project will really test your skills but by taking your time and several dry fits it will look great. This will serve our three grandchildren for several years.

White oak, white pickling stain, red leather seats and table top with a Plexiglas table overlay.

Here is the web page for those of you who have asked.

19 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4770 days

#1 posted 04-05-2013 06:14 PM

what a fantastic project…and the last photo makes it all worthwhile.

View TomTinkerSum's profile


226 posts in 5296 days

#2 posted 04-05-2013 07:32 PM

Very cool design Grumpa. Sure looks like you made a special girl’s day and then some.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic.... :)

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 4000 days

#3 posted 04-05-2013 08:16 PM

What a great project. We have a table and chair set my wife’s grandpa made in 1986.

-- I never finish anyth

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3635 days

#4 posted 04-05-2013 09:25 PM

That’s nice! Terrific execution! Just plain awesome. You’re really good on that.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4795 days

#5 posted 04-05-2013 10:20 PM

Looks fantastic. You did some wonderful work in spite of the poor measurements and lack of details on the plans. Your ‘client’ seems very pleased with the result too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View a1Jim's profile


118321 posts in 5038 days

#6 posted 04-05-2013 10:48 PM

View LarryL's profile


38 posts in 4344 days

#7 posted 04-05-2013 11:17 PM

That is truley outstanding! I used that same old Popular Mechanics plan to make my grandson a maple table and chairs when he was about two years. But I just used the general demensions and built plain ladder back chairs and taperd legs on the table. I remember the picture at the first of the article (black & white) and you have turned it into what it should look like. Your dedication and workmanship is top notch. I believe the owner of the set is really proud and loves her Gramps.

-- Have answers, need the right questions.

View Johnny Boy's profile

Johnny Boy

76 posts in 4680 days

#8 posted 04-06-2013 12:53 AM

Very inspiring. I’d love to have a grandpa like you !.

-- Johnny Boy

View GROOVY56's profile


51 posts in 3380 days

#9 posted 04-06-2013 01:12 AM

Yes sir that is perfect.

View gsuing's profile


47 posts in 3384 days

#10 posted 04-06-2013 02:26 AM

Very nice. It’s on the list for my grandson.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3672 posts in 5174 days

#11 posted 04-06-2013 04:31 AM

It looks like a very satisfied and happy Grumpa and “client.” A wonderful heirloom-to-be.


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View Ken90712's profile


18113 posts in 4650 days

#12 posted 04-06-2013 11:45 AM

What a great job….. Love it….

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17825 posts in 4080 days

#13 posted 04-06-2013 11:55 AM

Beautiful, well done!

Have a link to the plan?? :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View 489tad's profile


4153 posts in 4473 days

#14 posted 04-06-2013 12:44 PM

Fantastic on all points.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View GROOVY56's profile


51 posts in 3380 days

#15 posted 04-06-2013 12:56 PM

Could you post the link to the plans, all I seem to get is ebay ads while searching

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