Mix and Match (VI)

Following on from yesterday’s blog, here are a few more photos from a small joinery project I am working on. In the preceding post, I showed the work undertaken on the stretchers, each of which received 7 mortises. Some of those mortises were blind, and some were run through.

Next it was on to the crosspieces which run between the two stretchers. These I made out of Jatoba, and they’re 0.5″ thick and 0.75″ tall. Part way through the cut out process, I checked at one stage to see if I had obtained the desired target length of 10.0″:

That’s close enough I guess. And no, it didn’t need to be quite that accurately cut, but I’ll take it when I can get it.

These crosspieces all have rift grain, and I was hoping they would be cooperative to plane – they were:

I’ve had less than enjoyable times planing vertical grain Jatoba, which is very tough on cutting edges, so I was glad these were trouble-free.

Now, aren’t these the cutest little soffit tenons you’ve ever seen?:


As you can see there are two lengths – the four longer ones are the through-tenons, and the shorter ones are mounted blind. The through tenons will be kerfed and wedged which will, it is to be hoped, help keep any potential tendency for the Ipe stretchers to move apart from one another in check. Essentially, I’m building this assembly combining the two stretchers and the crosspieces as if I were constructing a timber floor system.

Soffit tenons are a variation on the tusk tenon – much the same except that the bottom surface of the tenon is coincident with the bottom surface of the stick.

Then it was back to the Ipe stretchers to complete the mortise cut out with a final round of sidewall paring:

Time to try a fit with one of the through-tenoned crosspieces:

Fully inserted:

A look around the other side of the crosspiece to check the fit:

A view of the exit face:

More paring, this time on a blind mortise, and a trial fitting:

Another view:

Looking from the exit face’s side:

Once the pieces were fitted, I checked each one for squareness to the stretcher, making adjustments if necessary:

Mortises done, I thought I may as well sling a few of them together to make sure the assembly goes together – first I fit the seven crosspieces onto one stretcher:

Then the other stretcher is started:

A few taps with a mallet later and it is together, square and flat:

Perhaps I could start a new sideline specializing in doll house ladders? Or, perhaps miniature pergolas?

Well this the pics for today’s post. Hope all is well with you and yours, and if you celebrate Christmas in the commercial fashion may Santa make his way to your house with all the treats you’ve been longing for and the Grinch steers a wide berth. Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way, and look for another post in this thread in a couple of days. Cheers!

10 thoughts on “Mix and Match (VI)

  1. Tico,

    thanks for your question. That item you refer to is a machinist's 1-2-3 gauge block. I obtained it at Lee Valley. It's not lab grade or anything like that, so it was relatively inexpensive, and comes in a case with a few other gauging blocks.


  2. Hi Dale,

    thanks for your question – and i liked the pun on 'pare'…

    That chisel is a 10 mm shinogi style bench chisel, I think the maker is Matsumura. It was relatively inexpensive, and has performed adequately over the years.

    Are you shopping for chisels right now?


  3. Dale,

    I haven't used Koyamaichi chisels before so I can't speak from personal experience. They are reasonably priced – why not buy one chisel and try it out for a while and see first, before committing to a more substantial purchase?

    I would suggest that the fact they are white steel should not put you off. The edge retention qualities inherent in the metallurgical differences between white and blue steels is rather a moot point when it comes to chisels, and besides, the skill of the smith is most of what makes a chisel an excellent product, not the raw material.


  4. Also, reading the LV advert again, I can see they need to get clear on the difference between 'steel' and 'iron' in their marketing blurb.

    “softer steel”? – no, it's iron.


  5. Chris,

    Just found your blog while searching for examples of Japanese joinery. Wow! Thank you so much for the numerous articles and sharing your work with others. I'll be out in my wood shop (garage) this weekend trying to mimic some of the joinery I've seen. Happy Holidays.

    Gerald Knauss

Anything to add?