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Ash and ebony mirror frame

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gidon

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Finally managed to get a decent stretch in the shed. I am in the middle of making an oak front door and decided to buy an morticer to help me along. Since I wanted to make my sister something for her birthday I thought I'd try out the morticer in the process. (And it's nice to actually finish a project (albeit a small one) - first one for a while!)

Completed mirror with a couple of coats of Danish oil:


Close-up of ebony pinned and wedged through tenon (should be strong enough :wink:).


You can also see step-by-step photos here if you're interested. First time I've done wedged tenons - again something I'll probably do for the front door so good practice.

Oh and I've never used ebony before - sure does make a mess. And the dust it produces can't be good for you!

Cheers

Gidon
 

Noel

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Gidon, that's well executed, very nice work. One thing, although I don't know where it's going to be placed, but I reckon a concealed hanging method would look better.

Rgds

Noel
 

Chris Knight

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Gidon,

It looks very smart and neatly done and I especially like the square accents.

At the risk of teaching Granny, I would point out that you have made your wedged tenons in a rather unconventional way and whilst it doesn't make a scrap of difference in an unstressed piece like your mirror frame, they would not work as strengthening features of the joinery in a joint which is under stress. A reasonable description of conventional wedged tenons may be found here http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/ ... 078_p2.asp and another here http://www.norsewoodsmith.com/ww/door/tenons1.htm

Again, please excuse me if you know all this!
 

Alf

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=D> Proper job, although, like Noel, if there's a way of usng a less noticeable method to hang it then that'd be good. Don't want the boring old hangers detracting from the craftsmanship. [-X :D And I know exactly what you mean about the ebony; I recall it making a fearful mess when I made the pegs for the ML of M&L. All this and Philly-a-like drive-bys... :roll: :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 
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Anonymous

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Lovely job Gidon. The wedged teneons set it off a treat :wink:

How about posting the full step-by-step photos in our new 'Completed projects, workshop tours and past mistakes' forum?
 

Gill

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It's a lovely mirror but I agree with the others that the fixtures don't do it justice.

Gill
 

gidon

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Thanks everyone for your most generous comments!

I completely agree on the brackets - and usually use them concealed. But this mirror is for my sister and neither her or her husband do DIY. I thought this method would make it easier for them to hang. But considering I'm getting a almost universal "yuck" I may have to have a rethink!

Chris - I appreciate your comments - this is a new variation of a joint for me. I just looked it up in Rogowski's joinery book and he shows both methods. I chose what looked to be the easier method - although tapered the tenon rather than the mortice. But I hadn't considered the strength aspects of both. I'll have to for the front door though so thanks. Although I'm not sure how much the wedged tenon really adds structrually nowadays with modern glues?

Alf - are you referring to the picture of the Footprint chisel?:wink:

Tony - this is in that section but the step-by-step photos are hosted on my server at home. And I haven't yet figured out how to embed photos with the album software I'm using. But when I do I'll ammend the post.

Cheers

Gidon
 

Chris Knight

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Gidon,

I really don't know how much stronger wedged tenons may be than ordinary tenons - they manifestly are not stronger in say pure shear conditions. However, they do resist pulling apart of the joint even before gluing and if one works on the more or less accepted principle that ALL glue joints eventually fail through wood movement, then one is left with the need for some mechanical means to keep stuff together. I would certainly use them for a front door.

Of course the time before a glue joint does fail may be very long indeed and for all practical purposes can often be ignored. In this regard I would note that the idea that modern glues are somehow superior to animal glues in holding joints together is generally wrong unless specific conditions encouraging failure of the animal glue are present (heat, moisture). There are many independent test results around (and my own informal tests) which have persuaded me that Scotch glue can make joints in wood which are even stronger than PVA and epoxy.
 

Mdotflorida

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Nice mirror.

I too am in the final stages of a mirror. For hanging I am thinking about routing out a recess in the back of the frame almost full width with a straight router bit and a 45 deg dovetail bit and then using a French cleat.

Should work I think and allow the mirror to sit flush.

Jeff
 

gidon

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Chris - interesting - thanks. I guess that you do also get more glue surface and as you suggest the wedges if fitted correctly ensure a very tight joint.

Jeff - I've used a few forstner bits to hide and recess these same hinges before. Works fine - it just requires more care hanging!

Cheers

Gidon
 

Alf

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gidon":37niywb9 said:
I completely agree on the brackets - and usually use them concealed. But this mirror is for my sister and neither her or her husband do DIY. I thought this method would make it easier for them to hang.
I had the same problem with my brothers, one of whom is particularly hopeless with DIY. I simply provided a card template with the gift that had the required holes marked on it. Hold up template to wall, mark through the holes with a pencil, drill holes etc. Just make sure you mark which way is up... :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

Aragorn

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Gidon
Nice work! Love the ebony enhancements.

Wedged tenons similar to yours are used often in door construction, where the wedges are hammered in at the side of the tenon rather than into slots made in the tenon.
The difference usually is that the tenon is left straight, and the mortice is widened at the exit, essentially creating a dovetail shape. Once glued in place the wedges "complete" the dovetail and provide a joinery fixing. Yes, it still relies on glue, but it's not crossgrain and is presumably less likely to fail than the cross grain situation of the rest of the joint?
 

gidon

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Alf - now why didn't I think of that?! Great idea - thanks.

Aragorn - thanks! Actually that's the way Rogowski's shows - but it was easier for me to taper the tenon! I can see the other way should add more strength with it's dovetail design. The way I used will at least make sure the tenon is tight in the mortice. Do you bother with wedged tenons when you make your exterior doors? If so can I ask which method you use?

Cheers

Gidon
 

Aragorn

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gidon":34pzdz05 said:
Do you bother with wedged tenons when you make your exterior doors? If so can I ask which method you use?
Not any more! Now that I use the Leigh FMT for M&Ts it is so easy to make high surface area joints, that I don't bother with wedged M&Ts anymore except for purely decorative purposes.
For an external door, I would use a big quadruple M&T (2 rows of 2 tenons) which has such an enormous surface area for glue that it is a very strong joint.
Eventually they will fail... in which case I agree with what Chris wrote above, but would add that once the glue joint has failed even in a wedged joint, I reckon it's time for a repair anyway!

Without the FMT, I would still use a through wedged M&T for external doors (dovetail style).
 

Philly

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Nice work Gidon!
Glad to see you're getting some "shop time" :wink:
And well done with the stealth gloats, obviously you've done some lurking recently....... :lol:
Cheers
Philly :D
 

Charley

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Very nice Gidon, love the effect of the ebony =D>

Well done with the gloats as well =P~
 
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Anonymous

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Hi Gidon,

Nice mirror!
Your method of wedging has one major advantage over the internal design where they are inserted into saw cuts.
The principal behind outer wedges is to ensure the rails are knocked up tightly against the wall of the mortice so that the frame is square, taking up any slight play in the joint.
The wedges are glued and placed in position with the frame lightly cramped to bring up the shoulders then the outer wedges are driven in, although not fully home, just enough to get the rails up if they need it, then the inner wedges are tapped in before fully driving them all in, outer wedges first, compressing the tenon and forming a dovetail.
This is common on bigger joinery pieces as it gives you a better chance of keeping the finished piece square with the minimum of fuss, although it can be wise to do a quick check on diagonals before driving fully home.
I find the inner wedge method can need extra clamps to pull the rails tightly down unless your joints are absolutely perfect, but on furniture work this type of wedging can be used to good effect as a showpiece joint.
Also, I was taught to flare the mortice out to accomodate the wedge, but to also drive them tight enough to compress the tenon enough to prevent any chance of it coming apart should the piece shrink slightly.

Andy
 

gidon

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Philly, Charley - thank you! It's not often I take my camera up to the shed - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Thanks Andy - of course it only makes things square if you cut your wedges accurately! I didn't particuarly - but you won't be able to tell that from the pics :)! Just to be clear - are you saying it's common practice to have both outer and inner wedges? There seems to be quite a history to these wedges. I've found out a lot more here than I did in my many woodworking books!

Cheers

Gidon
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi Gidon,

I didn't make it very clear, it's one type or the other, not both. The internal wedge i mntioned was the one on the inner side of the frame, ie. the one in line with the glass rebate, but still sitting externally of the tenon.
The method you used is the traditional joinery way, with these external wedges. The wedge doesn't have to be overly accurate, but it needs to be long enough with a decent taper to ensure it pushes the tenon across properly so that the internal shoulders come up snug.
It simply drives the tenon tightly against the wall of the mortice, so knocking the outer one in first drives it up, then you tap up the other one to tighten it in the mortice before driving them fully home.
You should knock the outer wedges in first on all the joints, check the diagonals, tap in the inner ones, then drive them all home.
On your frame you would probably have broken out the short grain where the haunch sits if you drove them in tightly as the stiles are cut to length. Using the external wedge system, you need to leave a horn to allow for the compression from the wedge, which in joinery, also protects the corners before it's fitted, essential when it could end up getting pushed from pillar to post before it gets anywhere near its final resting place!
I think this explains it better, but if not, PM me with your details and i'll send you a sketch showing the principle. (it won't be for a few days though, i'm off reviewing a couple of machines so won't get chance until I get back)

cheers,
Andy
 
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