Kitchen Remodel #4: Cutting the Tenons for the Stiles and Rails

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Karson posted 05-31-2007 11:56 PM 2852 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Buffet / Hutch Cutting the Stiles and Rails Part 4 of Kitchen Remodel series Part 5: Vacuum Veneering for the Buffet / Hutch »

Cutting the tenons and fixing the mortises.

In an earlier blog I was talking about story sticks and laying out the mortise cuts for the legs. I further stated that in my reply to Bob that: “The rails at the top and bottom have a 1/4” grove cut in them to allow for plywood for the insert. The top rail ended up with a 1/2” cut for the tenons, where it touched the panel, while the bottom one had still the 1/4” cut. Why the difference. ??”

Well I found out why the difference. I miscalculated the length of the mortise. When I tried to fit the tenons into the mortise slot I found that I was ¼” off. So this is another result of Fine Woodworking articles not being to user friendly for making some of their projects.
Luckily I just had to lengthen the mortise. It didn’t require replacing any cut wood.

But back to the beginning of the day.
I cut the shoulders for the tenons on my Sliding table on the table saw.

I then trued up the end of the tenons using the hand chisel,

Then it was dry assembling the ends of the buffet. The white wood assembled in the ends is Oak that I’m using for the drawer slides. This picture is looking at the inside of the cabinet view of the ends.

This view is looking at the ends as would be seen by the user.

You will note: (I’m sure that you already see it, but I’m just stating the obvious) the slots for the plywood are cut in the legs, but they are not cut in the rails.

I’ve now placed the rails for the back in place and the apron for the front under the drawers. This is also the obligatory clamp photo.


You might also note the liberal use of sapwood on the inside of the case. And the minimal use on the outside.

Now cutting the plywood groves in the end and sides rails, both upper and lower. Making sure that I don’t cut it on the wrong edge. I also cut it on both edges of the internal stiles on the back. I use the horizontal router for this machining, using a ¼” spiral carbide router bit.

I now reassemble the case, after having measuring and cutting the mortise slots in the upper and lower rails in the back. It looks like the plywood will only be off by 1/16” difference in width on one panel. The other two will be the same.

The only piece of sapwood visible in the outside of the frame is lower right of the back rail. about 1/4” wide and 6” long.

I think that’s it for tonight. The next blog will one on veneering the panels. I’ll try to be more hands on as I do that. (David this is for you, because you asked). I also have to go into an engineering phase as I determine how I’m going to design and build the center supports for the drawers.

Here is a sample of the veneer that I’ll be using. My wife OK’ed it. It is a Cherry Burl.

See you soon.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

3 comments so far

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4631 days

#1 posted 06-01-2007 12:44 AM

Thanks for showing this, Karson. Most interesting.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4551 days

#2 posted 06-01-2007 02:43 AM

Very informative. Thanks

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4540 days

#3 posted 06-01-2007 04:46 AM

Hey …your 1st picture could have been my shop this past weekend (except for my crappy tablesaw). I was cutting the shoulders on my chair.

Great blog Karson….it certainly reinforces my idea to always recreate any plans I get. I’ve used plans from others a few times before. I always have spent the time to re-draft the plans to make sure all the dimensions are correct and to help me organize my thoughts.
Now with the use of Sketchup I don’t even think about picking up a tool before working out all the details ahead of time.

I’ll be adding to my Sketchup blog shortly to show the level of detail possible and to illustrate some presentation possibilities to clients. It has changed how I work.

-- Bob

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics