Thursday, January 22, 2009

128 Joints

What Lies Within?

I just finished up another project for my book and wanted to share a bit of the details. The piece is a simple enough form, 2" square legs with a kind of post and panel design for the sides. One door and six drawers make a total of 32 sticks to build the frame. Sounds straight forward enough right.? What lies within? A simple form like this can be quite deceiving to the untrained eye; here's how. The 32 frame components require 128 joints; nothing crazy but a simple mortise and tenon sharing the width with a bridal far so good but if you stop to consider that each one of these joints requires up to 12 separate saw cuts, some chiseling and fine fitting that brings us to a neighborhood of 1536 scribe lines! Not so much the simple cabinet it appeared to be after all?
The hardest part for me when building a piece like this is keeping the pieces labeled and orientated properly. This is probably the most challenging piece from my book but for the reader and home woodworker who builds they're own, I can promise you this; by the time it's complete you'll be a whole lot closer in perfecting your lay out, marking and sawing techniques!


  1. Hi Tom,
    I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog site. The writing and the photos are top notch.

    Just out of curiosity, how long did it take to cut all the 128 joints?

    Take care,
    Stephane Daigle

  2. Stephane,
    Thanks for the comments and the question; it was three good days last week to get through all of the joinery.
    A labour of love for sure!

  3. Thanks for the post. More and more I am looking forward to getting the book. I hope you rewarded yourself with a beer for all that work.

  4. Indeed...I think it was a Pilsner by Creemore; a local micro brewery here in Ontario.