Monthly Archives: March 2014

Craftsman Hall Mirror–Construction

Craftsman Mirror

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.


Trellis sketch

Sketch for a trellis to complement the porch.

I am, perhaps, too enamored of shoji, but I find the potential for the arrangement of kumiko intriguing. So I immediately thought of shoji when tasked with building a trellis for the climbing hydrangea growing at one corner of our porch. I’d originally planned to reproduce the design of my fence lattice, but the 1″ width seemed a little insubstantial for the space. I changed the width to 1.5″ and echoed the double strips separated by a strip width in the fence lattice. Then it was a matter of playing with the arrangement until I found a silhouette I liked.

Craftsman Hall Mirror–Design

A simple hall mirror in the Craftsman style.

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.

Wright Chairs at the Met

WrightChair2 WrightChair1

The work of Frank Lloyd Wright is well represented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s holdings. In addition to fixtures and furniture, an entire room has been re-created. The collection includes these two armchairs in oak. Both designs seem to favor form over function–neither looks especially comfortable, but the sloping back of the one on the left has a slight edge.