Qreene Jqreene Wall Mirror

By Mike McGlynn

Take your shop skills to the next level with this Arts & Crafts style mirror.

Cuban Arts And Crafts

This large mahogany mirror is an adaptation of a design by Charles and Henry Greene. The original piece is now part of a collection at the David B. Gamble House, a home in Pasadena, California, which was designed by the Greene brothers in 1908. Apart from their woodworking talents, the Greenes were registered architects. Perhaps that explains why their work incorporates both solid aesthetic values and superb structural integrity.

The original mirror is vertical and embellished with wavy, secondary stiles that would be rather difficult to reproduce. I kept that in mind when I built this reproduction, opting for a horizontal version with simple, straight stiles. The reproduction does, however, remain true to the original in most other aspects. For example, this mirror's design features identical mahogany stiles and rails, the Greenes' signature ebony plugs and aniline dye stain.

Honduras mahogany isn't difficult to find and is only slightly more expensive than red oak. If you don't want to pay for ebony, substitute maple for your plugs and stain them with black aniline dye.

Milling the Mahogany

I built this entire project from one plank of rough cut Honduras mahogany. To some degree, the three true mahoganies (African, Cuban and Honduras) are interchangeable, but each has some defining color characteristics. African and Cuban are a bit darker than Honduras; unfortunately, both are difficult to find, and what does come on the market is about twice as expensive as Honduras.

Honduras mahogany boards are generally quite flat, and it's not unusual to find them 24" wide and


Charles & Henry Greene

By the way, mahogany moves both widthwise and through its thickness, but not as much as some other woods do.

Once you've cut the pieces to rough size, dimension them to final size as shown in the Material List, next page. First, face joint all the pieces so one side is flat, then plane them to finished thicknesses. Joint one edge straight and rip the piece oversized by 1/32". When you take that last 1/32" off on the jointer, all evidence of saw marks goes, too.

Cutting the Mortises and Tenons

Lay out and cut the mortises on the top and bottom rails (pieces 1 and 2) according to the Pinup Shop Drawings on the pattern starting on page 39. It's a lot easier to form these mortises now, while the profile on the top rail is still square.

The narrow stiles (pieces 3) are purely decorative and are centered front to back on the top and bottom rails. Their tenons don't have shoulders, so their mortises are a full 1/2" x 1/2". I used a mortising attachment on my drill press for these square holes, but a 7/16" drill bit and sharp chisel work equally well.

The mortises for the large stiles (pieces 4) are milled to hold a 1/2" thick tenon and are cut lVi" deep. These mortises are positioned so the backs of the stiles are flush with the backs of the rails, while the fronts are a little shy — a common feature in the Greene brothers' designs.

Cut the tenons for the large stiles on the table saw. I used a shop-made tenoning jig to make these cuts, as shown in Figure 1 (next page). Or you could cut them face-down on the table saw with a dado blade instead.

Craftsman Furniture Jointery

Joinery Details

(Back view)

15' long. It's a very clear wood with almost no knots, and it rarely warps. Most of the time the figure and grain are easy to see, even when the boards haven't been planed. That's because Honduras mahogany is usually cut on a band saw mill as opposed to a circular mill. For this project, you'll need a board that's 8" wide and at least 54" long.

Generally, I like to let lumber sit around in my shop for a week or so in its rough state, especially in the winter. This allows it to acclimate to its new environment. Then, to be absolutely sure that there are no surprises, I'll usually cut the pieces oversized from that rough stock and let them sit for a few more days. I'm especially patient in the winter when the temperature in my shop is radically different from that in the lumberyard. I've seen pieces of oak 6' long move 1/4" after cutting.

Arts And Crafts Furniture

The 1/4" and 3/8" square ebony plugs add a decorative touch to the mahogany.


T xW x L

1 Top Rail (1)

1" x 25/s" x 46"

2 Bottom Rail (1)

1" x 2" x 46"

3 Decorative Stiles (2)

1/2" x 1/2" x 24%"

4 Large Stiles (2)

7/8" x 2" x 26"

5 Large Plugs (4)

3/8" x 3/8" x 1/4"

6 Small Plugs (8)

1/4" x 1/4" x 1/4"

7 Mirror (1)

1/4" x 22,5/iis" x 367m"

8 Mirror Retainers (6)

Flush tapered pads

9 Picture Hangers (2)


10 Cabinet Door Cushions (10)

5/16" Diameter

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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  • sophie
    How to make arts and crafts furniture?
    9 years ago

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