Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake (20)

Recent work has involved the four posts and the associated frames which contain the latticed panels, and that bled into other areas with the same type of connections. Lotsa mortising for sliding dovetails on the slate, as this picture hopefully gives an idea…

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Those posts will see a fair bit of shape alteration yet, as the black arrows indicate. The tenons have not yet been trimmed to size either. Some of the mortises are cleaned out and some are not at this stage:

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These four sliding dovetail key mortises on the underside of the top short side piece serve to connect the upper rail of one of the latticed frame assemblies:

The other side taken to the same point:

A few more parts now to look at, with the aforesaid latticed assembly’s upper frame rail now mortised, along with the pairing, to the right, of the sill and lower frame members furnished with the same joints:


A similar scene developed at the other end of the frame stack as the parts were completed one by one to this stage:



A closer look at one of the completed sliding dovetail key mortises:



Not too often one gets to see any mahogany with the white flecks, but the Cuban stuff has loads of these.

I worked my way along, preparing blanks and leaving them a little on the fat side prior to fitting:

Then the blanks are crosscut to the required size, and popped into their coffins:

I wonder, for those who are reading this page with an online translator, how the word ‘coffins’ will be translated? I’m referring to mortises of course.

As things moved along, some of the keys were starting along the process of fitting:

A mishap occurred during this process during the disassembly of the bottom frame. One of the tongues on one of the half lap joints decided to stay with the other joint half when things were separated, so I had to make an entire new sill piece, which took a good couple of days as there is a fair amount of work in one of those pieces. All caught up now fortunately, and the cost in material not too great to bear.

Moving forward, I’ll be shaping the posts soon, and then will turn my attention of the joinery for the panel battens and their half dovetails. I know reader JT has been waiting to see how that comes out, so soon enough all will be revealed.

Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. Post 21 follows in this thread.

4 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake (20)

  1. Chris
    The sliding dovetail mortices look great, but l’m sure l would get the orientation wrong on some of them , if l were doing it.
    As far as the white flecked Cuban mahogany goes:
    ‘What is it, Sam?’
    ‘The stuff that dreams are made of.’

    1. Tom,

      thanks for the comment. Yes, and spot on about being careful with the sliding key orientation – and position. I spent various moments here and there putting pieces side by side, double-checking and rechecking that I had the keys laid out so that the pieces would lock together in the correct alignment to one another. Hopefully I didn’t miss anything.

      The Cuban Mahogany originating out of the Florida Keys happens to be, according to Clayton Mell’s monograph, to variety of mahogany with the shortest fiber length. This makes it easy to work, and i delight to carve I’m sure, but does make the joinery a little more susceptible to short grain breaks and stuff like that, so judging joint tightness, peg interference in draw bore, etc., is going to be one of the most crucial aspects to this build in the end I think.

    1. Thanks for the comment. As far as I know, the white flecks are termed ‘tylosis’, plural tyloses. They are saclike intrusions into the
      lumen of the vessel of wood or ray parenchyma. They form in the xylem, like a balloon expanding within a wood pore, and act like plugs preventing moisture from moving through the wood cell. Their composition seems to be cellulose and lignin. In Honduran Mahogany, it is unusual to find these days, but when found it seems to associate to denser and heavier material that works better. In the Floridian (Cuban0 Mahogany, the pores are everywhere, so they seem more common, but limited sample size of course precludes drawing further conclusions than that.

Anything to add?