Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Advice please.. which tools and in what order to make non straight mullions/muntins

  1. #1

    Question Advice please.. which tools and in what order to make non straight mullions/muntins

    I need to make a large (44" wide, 82.5" high) door that rather seriously exceeds my skills. The two drawings below are by Heinz Demes, a stained glass maker. I need to make the frame.

    I have the yellow birch for this coming, making the basic four sides should be within my skills, more or less. However, the "tree" parts inside have me worried.

    Should I make the tree parts first and then cut the mortise/tenons to put them in place? or should I put them in place using rectangular pieces and squared edges, then cut them in situ to produce the right shapes using a jig saw, router, and sand paper? or is there a better way?

    Regardless or the order in which things are done, can I use a mortise/tenon join for the tree root if that combo includes drilling part of the mortise into the tenon on the bottom horizontal piece (and thus into the mortise on the vertical side)? Since that bottom strip will be about 11" (the drawings show top and bottom the same, but I plan on a 4-5" top/sides plus an 11" bottom), one idea would be to tenon it only on the bottom 8" or so (maybe 2 x 3.75" tenons?) and thus butt join the upper 3" where the tree root would then act as a tenon holding both the root and that horizontal piece to the vertical. Or, is there a better way?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    That's outside of my skill range too, but you could always make the parts from easy to use square stock, but just dry fit them when cutting your mortise and tenons. Take it apart, then cut your curves on your bandsaw, router table, jigsaw, whatever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    4,364
    I like Bert's plan. For hand fitting small tenons, the little Iwasaki extreme fine file, is a wonderful tool.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    6,266
    If the tree is supposed to look like a tree then you want the grain running parallel with each member (trunk and limbs). I would cut the tree parts first and join them with loose tenons.

    I like your idea of using a 5" top rail (or whatever the stiles are, actually) and an 11" bottom rail. I would put a single 3" wide M&T or loose tenon in the top rails and two in the bottom rail, starting 1-1/2" from the bottom and leaving 1" between the two tenons. That will leave you 2-1/2" above the top tenon for the tenon that holds the trunk. If you tree is the same thickness as the door I would use loose tenons for all the tree joints to the frame. But if the tree and glass panels are not as thick as the door (more typical, I think) then I would take a different approach. I'd cut a rabbet in the frame to accept the glass panels and tree, silicone them into the finished frame and install molding to fill the remaining portion of the rabbet.

    John

  5. #5
    Thank you.

    I got the birch for this Friday but was out of town until last night. Wood looks very dry so I plan to plane it down to size today and see if it needs drying time here, but doubt it does.

    I'll try Bert's approach (above) while following John's advice about grain.

    I had assumed the tree and the frame would be the same thickness - I can see how the thinner + rabbet approach would be a bit easier, but is it better? (in planing today, I'll assume that everything goes to a hair less than 7/8th, but it's easy to change the tree afterward if there are reasons to do so.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    6,266
    Rudy, if this is going to be a functional interior passage door the frame needs to be at least 1-3/8" thick, and maybe even thicker for a door that wide. Exterior door frames are at least 1-3/4" thick.

    John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Woodstock, VA
    Posts
    802
    Rudy,
    I'll second Johns suggestion for a thicker door. I'd make it 1 1/2" thick with 1/2" tenons. Also, for the lower rail I would place the top tenon at the top of the rail. In doing this any expansion of the rail will be directed down and away from the glass panels.
    Looks like a cool project! Please continue to share your progress! Jeff

  8. #8
    Oh.. um.. I already have the birch for this at about 15/16th thick -planed and rough sanded. This thing will be heavy, but birch is pretty strong stuff so I'll continue with this thickness (wood's expensive and my board thickener doesn't seem to work).

    As it turns out, the tenons are easy (practiced on scraps) but the mortises aren't, so I'm off to a friend's place next week to have him show me how to do that using his mortiser and will do the real tenons after that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    1,372
    At 15/16 thick, I have no idea how it will stay flat. You'll need a lot of hinges on it, but still likely to twist.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    6,266
    Rudy, stop. Go look at some passage doors. You will never see a modern one that thin. Buy some more birch and laminate two peices together to end up at 1-3/4". Yes, it will be heavy. Doors are. Good ones also stay flat. Having to remake the door because it warped will be far more expensive than making it right the first time.

    Richard's suggestion to put lots of hinges on it will only keep the hinge side straight. The rails and lock side will still be free to do whatever they want, as he alluded to.



    John

  11. #11
    I had not understood that the thickness concern is twisting rather than strenght. Yikes.

  12. #12
    I 'm lost. The old ones I've seen only had lead and glass. Are the bars in that door going to be wood only ?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •