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Barnsley Reproduction Build #26: Butterfly Mortises

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Blog entry by stevo_wis posted 02-15-2016 09:55 PM 992 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 25: A Bucket O’Buttons Part 26 of Barnsley Reproduction Build series no next part

Butterfly Mortises
I know it has been a while but I am finally back to my table build.

The top of the table has 20 butterflies mortised into the top. In the original piece, these went all the way through the top and may have actually helped to hold the top together, but it is more likely that they were probably just decorative, as Barnsley has used them in several pieces. My friends all warned me that it would be much better to just rout a quarter inch deep or so, as going through is a lot more work.
Well, the original went all the way through and I think that is the correct thing to do.

So there you go then!

If you recall, my friend had made me an aluminum template on a cnc and I finally got to use it. After layout and clamping, I first drilled what I could before I started routing. Sorry that the photo is washed out as the aluminum did weird things to the photo. If you look into the window reflections you can see the owner of the table (Joy) doing the photography.

Three holes into each mortise removed quite a bit of waste.

A template guide on my router made quick work of the remaining excavation down to a one inch depth.

The router of course left round corners in the mortise and they needed to be chiseled out by hand.

The top side of the first mortise is finished and then repeated on the remaining nineteen mortises.

Flipping the table shows the bottom of the table top. I did get some tearout from the drill, but the router eventually took care of that.

Routing from the bottom with a pilot bit duplicated the mortise opening on the top side.

After again chiseling out the corners, the mortises are complete. I flipped it and clamped it to the side of my bench for the next operation.

Next, making and gluing three piece butterflies.

-- Stevo



5 comments so far

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2795 days


#1 posted 02-16-2016 01:35 PM

Really nice precise work on those butterflys Stevo. I think you did the right thing putting them all the way through. I use butterflys on some of my projects, especially to hold jointed thin pieces together or to reinforce mitered corner joints as I have done on the bottom and corners of my wooden baskets. This allows me to make very lightweight baskets, but still extremely strong. I think they will ensure that your table top will never come apart at the seams and since the butterflys go all the way through it will be possible in the future to re-plane the top if needed without degrading or weakening them.

Glad to see that you are getting this table finished as I’m looking forward to seeing the completed project.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View stevo_wis's profile

stevo_wis

125 posts in 2488 days


#2 posted 02-16-2016 02:52 PM

Stefang, thanks for the encouragement. Your work is stellar as well. I noticed your ball within a ball project. When I was 14, our class went to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis where they had an ivory ball with a screen pattern. It was approximately 4” in diameter. It was beautiful, but it also contained 6 levels of balls within it. Unforgetable.

-- Stevo

View stevo_wis's profile

stevo_wis

125 posts in 2488 days


#3 posted 02-16-2016 04:32 PM

Stefang, thanks for the encouragement. Your work is stellar as well. I noticed your ball within a ball project. When I was 14, our class went to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis where they had an ivory ball with a screen pattern. It was approximately 4” in diameter. It was beautiful, but it also contained 6 levels of balls within it. Unforgetable.

-- Stevo

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2566 posts in 1718 days


#4 posted 02-16-2016 11:17 PM

Stevo, excellent design and craftsmanship. I have a number of butterflies in my near future. I had thought to get closer to the corners with a metal-cutting blade in a scroll saw. Do you think that would work? Thanks.

-- Art

View stevo_wis's profile

stevo_wis

125 posts in 2488 days


#5 posted 02-17-2016 12:07 AM

AndCstyle,
I guess that a scroll saw might help. I was worried about going too far and the chiseling really went pretty quickly.
If you like arts and crafts, check out some of the Barnsley stuff at the Cheltenham Museum. I would guess that they have some of it online and if you get a chance to go there it is terrific.

-- Stevo

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