Synopsis: A frame-and-panel is each a secure and exquisite possibility for cupboard doorways, however there are some challenges to its development. The mortise-and-tenon joints may be fussy to cut and noticed by hand. Within the first of two Handworks on the method, Invoice Pavlak demonstrates find out how to make the body: chopping the mortises, becoming the tenons, and chopping the haunch.
A frame-and-panel is a timeless answer to wooden motion. Wooden panels are vulnerable to cupping and warping, however a body mitigates this by capturing the panel in a grooved body produced from slender inventory. This development gives the steadiness of the body together with the sweetness and effectivity of large panels. The body has mortise-and-tenon joints, usually with the mortises on full-length stiles and the tenons on the rails. Each mortises and tenons appear so easy; one is a small rectangle of wooden on the finish of a board, and the opposite is the oblong opening for that rectangle. But each can pose some severe challenges when executed by hand. It’s simple to spend so much of time fussing the joint solely to have it wind up twisted, out of sq., sloppy, or unfastened—or all the above. Right here, I’ll lay out suggestions for chopping and sawing, however I may also clarify what to do earlier than and after these steps to permit for extra environment friendly, correct, and controllable outcomes.
As a result of making mortise-and-tenon joints by hand is advanced sufficient, I’ll sort out right here the body alone. Partly 2, I’ll handle the opposite half of the equation: elevating a panel by hand.
Pioneer Vary Mortise Marking Gauge
8″ in size
Brass thumb screw
Sustainable Stabilized Bamboo
Excessive carbon metal marking pins
Adjustable slide for mortise structure
Worth: $71.99 on the time of writing
Repeatedly beating a stout chisel right into a block of wooden with a hefty mallet is loud and violent. To the uninitiated, it additionally makes little sense. How may such brutality result in the precision required for a well-fitting joint? To handle that query, I’ve adopted two rules for working smarter, not tougher.
First, the underside of a mortise doesn’t have to be flat. Everyone is aware of that, however I think most folk assume which means the underside can have slight undulations and a bit of overcut right here or there. That’s what I assumed till I began finding out antiques. By not flat, consider the Himalayas silhouetted by the setting solar. So long as you don’t depart wooden behind that can forestall the joint from closing, or chisel right through whenever you don’t need to, you’re good.
Second, a mortise doesn’t have to be good proper off the chisel. I beat myself up over this for a very long time for no motive. Chop your joint as true as potential. I belief my sense of sq. for 90° after which sight towards a bevel gauge for the whole lot else. I’m not often dead-on, however I’m often off by just a few levels. How do I examine? As my colleague Brian Weldy confirmed me, the reply is dummy tenons—inventory that matches snugly within the mortise and divulges its trajectory.
After sighting the angle, use a large paring chisel to tweak the offending areas of the mortise wall to get the angle proper. A newbie’s mistake is to cut undersize mortises after which depend on paring. Should you chop mortises the right dimension first—I like to recommend matching the width of your mortise to the width of your chisel—you’ll nonetheless be capable of pare a bit of away with out opening the joint an excessive amount of, and you’ll work a lot quicker. Bear in mind, you’ll minimize your tenons to suit your mortises, so that you’ll have an opportunity to account for any extrawide mortises later.
Starrett 4″ Double Sq.
– Small-size instrument for checking or setting 90 diploma angles
– 4″ double sq., adjustable
– Working surfaces floor to a demanding +/- .00001″
– Guidelines are marked with 1/64″, 1/32″, 1/16″, and 1/8″ graduations
Worth: $119.99 on the time of writing
Earlier than working the panel groove alongside the stiles, scribe the joint with the mortising gauge on the identical setting you used to put out the mortises. This scores the fibers to restrict tearout from the plow airplane. I repeat this step on the rails for a similar motive. Nonetheless, I mortise earlier than grooving to keep up my mortise’s structure traces. Plus, an unsquare groove would tip my chisel off 90°.
Images: Barry NM Dima
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