|Project by SalvageCraft||posted 02-28-2012 06:46 AM||2256 views||1 time favorited||22 comments|
I recently made a set of 2 matching bookcases for my stepmother’s new house. She wanted the design plain and simple, but with an arched top rail. I learned about this preference after I had assembled the sides. I thought over several ways of joining the rail without using any fasteners or resorting to simply butt jointing the rail to the shelf face, top, or sides.
I decided to mortise the ends of the rail into the sides of the cabinet. I wasn’t sure at first how this would look, but I really like how it showcases the joinery in the finished piece!
Here’s the tricky bit:
Since the mortises for the rail ends are so close to the end grain, some type of support was needed to keep the short fibers from splitting off with the waste wood. I have a c-clamp with flat steel stock welded on to each pad, and this works perfectly for holding those short bits in place while chopping out the mortise. If you don’t have a clamp like this, you can use some flat stock in the same way on a normal clamp or handscrew. Just be sure to spread the clamping pressure out over a large enough area that you don’t indent the surface of the wood!
I finished these with Minwax PolyOne urethane and stain in one with my new fangled HVLP sprayer. This was my first time using HVLP, and WOW am I impressed! I’ll never brush on poly again!
P.S. – The finish was still wet in that first pic. I’ll try to get a photo of the set once she’s got them set up in her new house.
Thanks for looking :)
-- Jesse --