Entryway Arts & Crafts Mirror & Storage Bench #5: Corbels, Arc, Mortises & First Dry Fit

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Blog entry by Steve Erwin posted 11-27-2012 02:37 AM 5957 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Rabbets, Grooves & Tongues Part 5 of Entryway Arts & Crafts Mirror & Storage Bench series Part 6: Progress Notes & Grand Finale »

Using my Sketchup model as a reference I drew the shape of the corbels onto the prepared stock, and cut it out roughly on the bandsaw. Then with sandpaper and a card scraper I smoothed them out to their final shape.

I forgot to take a photo of the setup for drawing the arc, but basically I bowed a piece of plywood to the correct vertical distance at the center point of the arc and traced the curve with a pencil. Cut it out roughly on the bandsaw, and smoothed it out with sandpaper.

The mortises will be done with my benchtop mortiser, but before I drive out to my brother’s shop I need to spend some time marking out where the mortises will be.

Step 1: Mark the height of the mortise using the actual tenon as a guide.

Step 2: Use a marking gauge set to the distance of the cheek of the tenon from the face of the tenoned part to mark where the face-side edge of the mortise will be. This will ensure that the faces of the parts will be flush to one another when you assemble them.

Step 3: Hold the tenon in place and draw the opposite edge. It’s always better to use the actual part for this measurement. Introducing a ruler at this point is an unnecessary step that can introduce errors. If the goal is to make a square hole the exact size of the tenon, the use the tenon as your frame of reference.

Step 4: Hold the tenon in place over the mortise-part like so and indicate the depth you’ll need the mortise to be. This mark will come in handy when setting the mortiser depth stop.

Extra Step: If you screwed up one of the tenons by cutting on the wrong side of the line, like I did, and it’s a little smaller than the other one, make sure you mark it clearly and keep track of it the entire time. It’s not a mistake if you hide it inside a perfectly fitting mortise. :)

Step 5: I didn’t bring my camera to my brother’s shop, but drilling the mortises is pretty straight forward. It’s a square chisel with a drill bit inside of it. It drills square holes. For the through-mortises I drilled from both sides to prevent grain from spelching out and ruining the look.

not bad

perfect, my best fitting through-mortise & tenon yet

I used my brother’s router table with a straight bit to make the double-stopped rabbets on the stiles. I’ll chisel out the corners by hand.

And here’s the final dry fit. The tenon shoulders need a little tweaking to remove the gaps and bring everything in nice and tight, and I’ll probably relieve some of the tenon cheeks so the fit is a little easier so I don’t run into trouble during glue-up.

-- I've been creating problems to solve since I was born. -

3 comments so far

View sb194's profile


197 posts in 3530 days

#1 posted 11-27-2012 04:31 PM

Looking good. The through tenons turned out great.


View pintodeluxe's profile


5987 posts in 3325 days

#2 posted 11-27-2012 05:18 PM

I like the style. The Arts and Crafts style is such a simple one, we run the risk of making plain looking projects. The key is adding just enough interest to please the eye. With the arch, cap, shelf, and corbels I think you really hit your mark.
Very nice work.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Steve Erwin's profile

Steve Erwin

132 posts in 2564 days

#3 posted 11-27-2012 06:49 PM

Thanks guys. I should have another post up in a couple days as I fine tune the fit, glue it up, and take the final measurements for ordering the mirror.

-- I've been creating problems to solve since I was born. -

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