These are fairly sizable components for this piece. Housed within each of the side aprons, they provide the energy to make the table come to life. To make this happen the teeth on the large gear must align with those on not one, but two racks placed above and below it.
The mortising process is straightforward. A hole slightly larger than the diameter of the large gear is created using an expansive bit which is then excavated to provide space for the rectangular section surrounding it.
With the cavity complete, a hole is bored through the apron for the winding axle. The operator will use this shaft to wind the mechanisms. Now the final placement of the drive can occur with the mounting plate mortised into the (interior) apron side.
Of course, nothing goes smoothly, and a bit of adjustment is required to get things appropriately integrated. There was a bit of an over correction during the first round, but nothing that a snippet of veneer and glue couldn’t fix. Number two went much quicker…
The next step is to mortise for the lower racks, the ones that connect to the main box.