3-way frames in 3 steps

3-way frames in 3 steps

Synopsis: Designing a eating desk with out decrease gurneys to stabilize the body was a problem that Tim Coleman tackled utilizing three-way frames. This joint, usually seen on Chinese language furnishings, is powerful sufficient for the job, however depends on a posh association of integral fittings, miters, and complex cuts. By constructing the aprons in two layers, nonetheless, he made the job easy, with a thick layer that has a considerable squared tenon and a thinner prime layer that’s squared off. With these two layers laminated collectively, it preserves the energy of the joint whereas giving the looks of mitered corners.

My furnishings tasks usually depend on joinery in tight areas, so I needed to provide you with methods to maximise joint energy with out compromising the integrity of small elements or weighing down a chic design.

I confronted this problem on a current dinner desk fee. The desk was designed to sit down in an alcove in entrance of a number of massive home windows overlooking a harbor, and the purpose was to create a sleek, uncomplicated silhouette composed of slender elements. The curves on the backside of the aprons would move seamlessly into the legs and right down to the ground, and there can be no decrease stretchers to interrupt these strains. I proposed three-way frames for becoming a member of the leg to the apron, a element seen in historic Chinese language furnishings. Accomplished properly, it is a robust joint, but it surely depends on a posh association of tenons and integral frames and requires difficult cuts. Lastly, I discovered a technique to simplify the creation course of.

Slicing the grooves and recesses with miters on the legs was not scary. However I wished to simplify the aprons. So I made a decision to make them in two layers: a thick interior layer with a considerable integral cob, and a thinner outer layer that I might laminate to the within after the cobs have been reduce.

As soon as the apron was laminated, I reduce the body within the skinny layer, forming a wing that was glued within the recess of the leg body. After chopping the principle miter into the wing, I might make the small miter reduce into its tip, the place it mates with the adjoining apron wing.

I received the perfect of each worlds with this association – the predictable energy and straightforward meeting of a big 90° mortise and tenon and the look of a miter nook. Moreover, the squared wing provides glue floor to bolster the joint, a welcome plus contemplating the shortage of stretchers. Accomplished this manner, the legs are a design component that improves energy and includes good approach.

test your instruments

You need your machines and jigs to be arrange and adjusted correctly with any undertaking, however the level is price emphasizing right here. With such a posh joint, “just a little out of the sq.” will rapidly multiply. The front-end work of checking your instruments and jigs will prevent numerous back-end futzing and complications.

covering the miter
Tape the miter. Coleman runs a strip of tape alongside the whole joint. The tape retains the leg halves aligned, dry miter first, whereas he secures the securing membranes with a paper gasket; after which when he glues and staples the lengthy miter.

A chamfer builds the legs

The thick legs are half the equation in energy and straightforward meeting of a big sq. mortise and tenon joint on a desk. However I did not have stable inventory thick sufficient to make these one-piece legs. As a workaround, I constructed the leg blanks from two items, squaring them alongside one lengthy edge and gluing them collectively. In consequence, the legs look and act thick although they’re product of thinner materials.

— Longtime FWW writer Tim Coleman is a furnishings maker in Shelburne, Massachusetts.3-way frames in 3 steps

Images: Barry NM Dima.

Designs: John Tetreault.

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