Through tenons provide the only ornamentation in this Craftsman-style mirror.
Through tenons join the rails to the stiles of this Craftsman-inspired mirror and provide much of the ornament as well. I began by cutting the rails and stiles to size, then marked the rails for the mortises. I used a straight bit in my plunge router to waste out most of the mortises, then finished up a 1/4″ mortise chisel. I cut the tenons on the tablesaw in multiple passes, then pared them to fit with a rasp and chisel.
With joinery cut, I planed 1/8″ of the rails to vary the thickness of the frame members and bevelled the ends of stiles and rails and routed a rabbet in the back to hold the mirror. Like the hall table it complements, the white oak frame was fumed, then I applied a couple of coats of boiled linseed oil and garnet shellac. I had the mirror cut and bevelled at a local frame shop and put it place in the hall.
A simple hall mirror in the Craftsman style.
We wanted a mirror for our entry way, something to complement the hall table I’d built. There’s a surprising amount of variation in the form–some even doubling as coat hangers with the addition of hooks to the frames, others incorporating drawers for gloves or wallets–but I opted for a very basic design scaled for the space. Two stiles capture the rails in through tenons, the ends of the rails and stiles extending an inch past each other. The rails are slightly thinner than the stiles to create a little visual interest.
A Stickley side table in quartersawn white oak.
Side tables are a useful form, and this Gustav Stickley design is a fine example, its size and shape letting it serve in a variety of locations. Construction is straightforward: half-lap joints join the aprons; the bottom stretchers join the legs with through tenons; and the top stretchers are dovetailed to the legs. I fumed the table with ammonia to darken the oak, then wiped on a couple of coats of boiled linseed oil.
After three years and approximately 10,000 dishes washed by hand, we finally decided to install a dishwasher. We’d always planned on it–had, in fact, left a bank of drawers empty in anticipation of replacing them–but it was a low priority. The space available wasn’t quite large enough for a 24″ model, limiting our search to 18″ models. As it turns out, the pool of candidates was limited to one cheap model, one mid-range model, and two ridiculously expensive models. A cost-benefit analysis showed spending the money for the mid-range Bosch was worth it for a stainless steel tub, hidden controls, and quiet operation. Continue reading →
Construction began with stock preparation. Usually I try to avoid dimensioning stock, but my usual lumber sources don’t carry surfaced quarter-sawn white oak. I thicknessed my stock and set the base material aside to concentrate on the top.
The top is a full inch thick, giving it a pleasant heft and accentuating its horizontal line. I took some time arranging boards until satisfied with the design then glued it up and moved on to the base. Continue reading →
A hall table in the Mission style.
One of the things on our “must have” list when home shopping was an entry way; we didn’t want to walk directly into a living room. Our hall isn’t large, but it provides a transitional space between outdoors and in. And it is big enough for a table and chair, a place to put on shoes or take off a coat. While we had space for a table, we didn’t actually have the table. We wanted something in the Craftsman style scaled to the space. A quick check with the tape measure showed something about 40″ w x 36″ h x 14″ d fit the bill. I flipped through the library looking at every example of hall tables and related designs I could find and put together this design in SketchUp.
An inch-thick top gives the table some heft, and the slats and through tenons ally the design with the work of Gustav Stickley. A telescoping webframe supports three drawers while the bottom shelf creates some additional storage and adds another horizontal line to what might otherwise be a very vertical design.