Mission Furniture How to Make It, Part 2

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Next were the veneers for the flatsawn faces. As I planed them, I tested them on the legs until the finished thickness was exactly 2". I used all the clamps I own to ensure that the seams were tight all along their length. Later, when I was ready to assemble, I would bevel their edges to hide the veneers. I wanted square edges to reference the mortises and grooves I was about to machine.

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This will create a neat, even and stable mortise and tenon joint. After jointing and cutting the legs to finished size and sanding them to grit, I moved to the mortising machine to cut the mortises for the bottom rails. My experience is that the top surface ends up with the cleanest cuts. To achieve absolute uniformity from leg to leg, I marked the mortise location carefully on one test leg, set the machine up for the first plunge cut and clamped a stop to the fence.

I then made a test cut and, when everything was accurate, I made the first cut in all the legs, butting them against the stop before repositioning the marked leg for the second cut and resetting the stop. Two tips for accurate mortises with a mortiser: first, make the two end cuts first and then make the intermediate cuts in between them to avoid drift that might move the final end cut out of position and second, clamp the workpiece solidly to the fence for every cut with a C-clamp the hold-down on the machine does not always hold securely, making the bit difficult to withdraw and possibly causing slop.

I cut the mortises in my other test leg at this time, too. As before with the legs, I made up a couple of extra test pieces.


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The next step is plowing the grooves that hold the slats in the inner faces of the legs and the rails. Here is where the consistent thickness of stock really began to pay off. Because the groove is full length until it joins the through mortise, I could simply start the cut at the upper end and look down into the mortise as the blade entered it, stopping the cut once the groove fully intersected the mortise.

While the dado blade was on the saw, I used it to cut the exposed tenons on the lower rails and the stub tenons on the upper rails in multiple passes. I made test cuts in my test pieces and the real cuts in the rails when the fit was accurate. Now for the slats in the trestles. These would be inset into the groove I made in the legs and rails.

Mission Furniture: How to Make It, Part 2 by H. H. Windsor

A quick pass through the planer fixed that in a snap. Since the slats were less than 10" long and 2" wide, I had plenty of area within my stock from which to select the best grain figure. I chose a piece for the four curved outer slats that had a slope to the figure that complemented the curve. With the selection process done, I cut these and the stiles to 2" wide. This way the visible top of the slat would be full-width and the filler pieces there would not have to be cut to an angle. When I orignally considered the slats, I thought about the spacing between them and how it impacted the layout of the mortises for the stretchers, which are centered on the two spaces adjacent to the center slat.

I turned my attention to the beams that would support the top. I cut the beams 2" wide to match the legs and to a final length of 23". I cut them vertically on the table saw, clamping them to a purpose-built jig that rides on the fence.


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  7. At this point, I began to think about how to attach the top and decided that pocket-hole screws were my best option. I then went back and drilled oversize holes for the screws centered in the pockets — it allows for seasonal movement in the top. With the dry-fitting done, I disassembled the trestles and laid out the mortises for the stretchers.


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    As is standard practice, mortises extend just a hair inside the thickness of the lower rails, so the wedges pull the stretchers tight. In the last steps before final assembly, I sanded everything to grit and routed the bevels on the edges and bottoms of the legs and on the ends of the exposed tenons on the bottom rails and stretchers.

    How to make a Mission Style Bed Part 2

    I then glued the outer edges of the outer slats but not the tops and bottoms into the grooves on the legs. I added the next two slats, again without glue, and finally I could measure and cut the remaining spacer lengths exactly. Make sure your wedge is offset a bit before making your cuts. Then I added the top rail and did the same process over again on top the outer filler pieces on the top are, of course, narrower than those on the bottom and clamped the whole thing up. When the trestle assemblies were dry, I decided which sides looked best and would face out They are flush with the legs and present an even overhang on both sides pocket holes to the inside.

    McHugh of New York, a furniture manufacturer and retailer who copied these chairs and offered a line of stylistically related furnishings by The word mission references the Spanish missions throughout colonial California , though the design of most Mission Style furniture owed little to the original furnishings of these missions.

    The style became increasingly popular following the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. The style was popularly associated with the American Arts and Crafts movement. Mission style is a design that emphasizes simple horizontal and vertical lines and flat panels that accentuate the grain of the wood often oak , especially quartersawn white oak.

    People were looking for relief after the excesses of Victorian times and the influx of mass-produced furniture from the Industrial Revolution.

    Mission Furniture Vol 2 Content Page

    This was plain oak furniture that was upright, solid, and suggestive of entirely handcrafted work, though in the case of Stickley and his competitors, was constructed within a factory by both machine and handworking techniques. Many designers and companies played an important role in the development of the design over the years. Gustav Stickley , L.