Tom McFadden
F U R N I T U R E


P.O. Box 162 - Philo, CA 95466 - (707) 895-3606

www.mcfaddenfurniture.com   -   tamcfad@pacific.net


Joinery Methods

      My pieces are assembled using traditional techniques. Panels float within their frames to allow for wood movement and are finished before assembly so that there will be no unfinished line where the panel has shifted in its frame. The end frames are asssembled with through mortise and tenon joints wedged into the end grain. Horizontal members are through dovetailed front and back and are slotted to carry the guides for the top and bottom of the drawer sides.These drawer guides, as well as the side guides, are stub tenoned.

      I like to combine solid wood construction with veneering because this allows me to make optimum use of some of the very beautiful pieces of wood that I have collected over the years. Sometimes a very special cut is revealed by the saw; it may be an unspoiled piece of the crotch grain where a limb has grown on the tree, or mabye there will be many of the tiny knots known as birds-eyes, or perhaps the wood will curl into waves the same way that a person's hair will be naturally curly. On a few rare occasions all of these things seem to happen at the same time. When I find a piece of wood like that I want to stretch it as far as I can, so I tune up my bandsaw and make bookmatched veneer. I saw the boards into pieces about 3/16 inch thick, and then open these pieces like a book so that the grain pattern repeats itself over and over and the grain matches. I run these thin pieces through my thickness sander to make sure that they are smooth aand a uniform 1/8 inch thick. Then I glue them up onto solid wood or onto a stable substrate such as MDF particleboard or Baltic Birch Plywood. I use these special pieces for drawer fronts, tops, or end panels; and I frame them with the vertical and horizontal pieces of solid wood that are joined solidly together to supoort the piece of furniture.


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