Since it takes a fair amount of time to design custom furniture, I try to get the greatest value from my work by developing ideas I may be able to use again. So when the time came to top off my cherry bedroom suite with a mirror, I decided to design a custom piece that would fit with the Chinese flavor of the set (see inset photo), yet be clean and simple enough to market later as a separate item. Depending on wood, texture and finish, this design could fit comfonablv anywhere from Danish modern to
Southwestern Taos-style... perhaps even with Shaker furniture.
As with the other pieces in this suite, I used simple, traditional joinery. (See drawing.) Mortisc-and-tcnon joints connect die inner and outer stiles to the top and bottom rails, and thin cocobolo panels fit in grooves at both sides of the mirror. The only thing unusual is the way I make the rabbet for the mirror. More on that later.
I started by rcsawing the cocobolo panels and then laying them out with stickcrs between them and weights on top so they could stabilize before thicknessing. Then I milled some 4/4 cherry to % in. and ripped my rails and stiles.
After that, I cut the pieces to the lengths shown in the Bill of Materials, and wliile the parts were still square, I cut the tenons and mortises. The mortises in the curved rail blank start out 1 XA in. deep, so they'll end up the proper Vein, depth after the curve is cut. (See drawing.)
Two points to note here: The tenons on the inner stiles have no front shoulders. (See drawing.) This eliminates the need to chisel a curved shoulder where the stiles meet the curved top rail. (However, you still might have to pare a bit off the back shoulder later on, when you fit it to the curvc of the top rail.) Also, note that the tenons on the top and bottom rails are haunched for greater strength.
After cutting the joints, I band-sawed the inner curve on the top rail, then grooved all the rails and stiles with a slotting cutter in my router table. The versatile bit set I use has an arbor with various size cutters and bearings (*867, available from MLCS Ltd., Box 4053, Rydal, PA 19046, 800-533-9298).
1 hand-planed the parts, and then I was ready to cut the rabbet for die glass.
Cutting the Mirror Rabbet
I found that the easiest way to make the rabbet for the mirror was to rout it after assembly. I glued and squared the
The other pieces in the bedroom suite appeared in AT #33, #34 and #35.
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