Mix and Match (VIII)

Moving right along with this thread describing the construction of a small joined piece of furniture. Other posts on this, and other topics ,can be found in the blog archive to the right of the page.

At the conclusion of the previous post in this series, I showed the testing of the double dovetail mortises for the feet. Once the mortise fit was confirmed, I went on to make the actual feet:

Here’s the four of them:


I used abrasive to shape the curved tapered form of the feet, and then polished them up on my granite surface plate with a sheet of 400 grit ‘L.U’ sandpaper. The underside of the feet needed a slight clean up with a chisel between the tenons:

So that was pretty much it for the fabrication stage – I now had a tidy pile of bits which need to be combined together:

First up, I fitted the grill and the top and bottom pieces to the uprights. Then I could complete ‘the cage’ by placing the last two uprights into position:

The piece is on its side in the above photo.

Here’s on the the uprights, the posts if you like, tapped down into place – this is a joinery idea I had which could combine the twin half-dovetailed tenons with the mitered breadboard end:

Once the posts were all knocked into place, I checked that things were squared up and then started putting some wedges in. There’s no glue in this piece, it’s all joinery. I fitted four wedges into the outer quintuple through tenons, the mortises having already been internally tapered to accommodate the wedges:

Fully down:

I trimmed the wedges off and left the tenons proud. Onto the breadboard ends – I tapped them down with a piece of wood to protect the surface:

A look from the inside as the end piece is started on getting tapped down:

Almost there:

I thought I had a final picture for that corner, but instead all I seem to have on my camera are pictures from the Black Cherry end – they’re all identical so it’s the same deal. The breadboard end tucks under the outside face of the post:

I had configured the miter on the end piece to run right to the corner of the post.

A look at the other end:

With the breadboard ends seated, I drive a couple of 1/4″ wedges into the central tenon:

The central tenon and its wedges was then trimmed flush.

Onto the ‘ladder’, a grill serving as a shelf in this piece. There were four through tenons – soffit tenons – each to receive a pair of wedges on each side of the piece:

I then trimmed them all flush:

Well, that’s enough pics for one day. Tomorrow I’ll be back with the concluding post showing the remainder of the assembly. I hope you’ll return to see how it all went. I must say assembly is indeed a relaxing affair when there is no glue involved.

Thanks for dropping by the Carpentry Way.  ☞ on to post 9

3 thoughts on “Mix and Match (VIII)

  1. hey chris,

    one of the most enjoyable pieces to follow so far. i really love this exercise in joinery. the idea for the feet is wonderful. can't wait to see it all together.


  2. Michael,

    thanks for your comment and glad to read that you are enjoying this mini build.


    I believe the mid-West has similar challenges to construction as New England – a very dry winter and a very humid summer with a large swing in ambient humidity. If a mortise and tenon fit as well as possible during the initial build, then they will fit as well as possible through seasonal moisture cycling. And of course, careful grain and material selection is important in minimizing the opportunity for movement. With softer materials, a bit of grain pre-compression (ki-goroshi) is useful. Looking forward to seeing the pieces you build in 2012!


Anything to add?