Cutting Notches

The key to a great-looking overlay is precisely cut, matching notches. The technique shown below ensures that the overlay pieces will line up.

Begin by attaching an auxiliary fence to your miter guage and adding a stop block. Then, carefully run the pieces through the blade. Next, just rotate the pieces end for end, and repeat the cut. You can then move the stop block to the next position and repeat the process to form the notches.

CENTER STILE OVERLAY

RAIL FILLER STRIP

Use Table Saw Cut Notches

CENTER RAIL OVERLAY

NOTE: Glue the overlay piects starting at the inside edge of the frame and work outward

NOTE: Glue the overlay piects starting at the inside edge of the frame and work outward

CENTER RAIL OVERLAY

resaw stock for the overlays. The first thing you'll need to do is re-saw and plane some of your stock into wide blanks that are 14" thick. Before you rip the overlay strips to their final width, you'll want to identify which pieces you'll use for the rails and stiles and cut them to length. Then you can lay them out on your bench and orient them for the best appearance. It's a good idea to mark each piece so you can put them back together in the right place during glue-up.

rip to width. Now you're ready to rip the rail and stile blanks into the narrow parts that make up the overlay. Detail 'a' below shows the cutting sequence. You just cut the first piece, flip the stock end for end and cut the second strip with the same fence setting.

This leaves a narrow center strip. Now you can rip this strip to its final width of Vj" and cut a piece off of each end. These pieces serve as the center overlays at each end of the rails and stiles.

cut the notches. As you can see in the drawing on the facing page, the ends of the stile overlays have %"-square notches to hold filler squares. The easiest way to make the notches line up is to stack the overlay strips together and cut them with a dado blade on the table saw. The box at the bottom of the opposite page shows all the details for making these cuts.

The shallow notches in the center of the overlays are made the same way, but they're only V&" deep. These notches will hold a filler square in the center of each of the rails and stiles.

making the inlays. To make the inlays, you'll use V-thick stock. This thin stock creates the "inlaid" appearance. You can go ahead and cut the pieces to width and length. It's a good idea to sand them smooth before you continue. They'll be hard to reach later. If you've chosen to stain these pieces for a more prominent contrast, now is the time for that, as well.

Taking the time to match the grain of the center piece of the overlay makes for a seamless-looking joint. This detail accents the darker filler pieces.

assembly. Once you've finished cutting and sanding the overlay pieces, you're ready to begin the glue-up. The key to making this assembly work is the sequence in which you add the pieces.

i found it best to start on the inside of the frame and work outward, adding the pieces one row at a time, as shown in the box below. This way, you can clean up any unevertness on the outside of the frame when you're done. You can just trim the edges flush and sand them smooth.

With the overlay details complete, al! that remains is to add the feet and wall blocks before installing the mirror itself.

Waste

Fence

NOTE: Use push block to finish cut

Add the Filler Pieces. Fit the '/a" squares first. Then, carefully align the %" center overlay. Finally, add the center filler strips.

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