|Project by doug_w||posted 04-20-2011 11:02 PM||4905 views||21 times favorited||10 comments|
Before this project all of the mortise and tenon joints that I had made were purely to create strong joints and all were hidden, if not somewhat clumsily done. Then I found a design for an oriental box that I could not resist attempting as it was all about showing off mortise and tenon joints. The box features 22 exposed pinned mortise and tenons which required cutting mortises for the pins in each of the 22 tenons. There are an additional 4 blind pinned mortises to attach the corner rails to the bottom rail (foot) and 4 more blind mortise and tenons for the top rails. I ended up cutting a total of 52 mortises for the complete project. The box consists of a frame that holds the four drawers, with the sides of the drawers visible through the frame and therefore actually becoming the sides of the overall box. There is not a single drop of glue or fastener in the entire frame, and you can take it completely apart by removing all of the pins. I pinned the blind tenon to hold the corner rails to the bottom rail with a 1/8” dowel that went completely through the bottom rail, that way it could be pushed out to disassemble the frame. The frame is completely symmetric front to back as can be seen in the mirror in the first picture. The woods used were walnut and maple. The design is by Jeff Greef and can be found at Oriental Box of Drawers and he also has a nice tutorial about making the mortise & tenons for this project.
I especially like the way a single strip of wood is used to pin all four of the joints on each corner of the box. This maple strip is about 5/8” wide and a little less than 1/8” thick. The drawers use dovetail joints. Since I wanted it to be a jewelry box, and the three lower drawers were around 3 1/2” deep, I crafted insert treys that were also partitioned and lined with velvet to give me a total of seven partitioned areas that allow for a lot of items. You can see the drawers and treys in the last photo. I liked the way it turned out so much that I constructed another one that I enhanced with what I learned doing this one. I just finished it and will post it later today.
Thanks for looking.
-- Doug, Georgia