Bookshelf: Modified Housed Joint, Part 2

In the previous installment, I cut the dado for the housing, marked out the shelf tenon, and cut the tenon cheeks. The next step was to cut out the long shoulders:

It’s a little bit difficult to do this with this backsaw because it’s not deep enough to finish the cut, but I found that if you go as far as you can diagonally on both sides, it’s trivial to finish off with a coping saw. Something like a ryoba or thin panel saw would also work.

Here’s how the end of the shelf looks when trimmed and finished:

Now the slightly tricky part: marking and cutting the mortise for this little tenon. To mark, I put the shelf into the housing, registered where it needed to be registered, and used a lead holder to mark the lines at the bottom of the housing:

(However difficult this may look, it turns out that taking that photo was the most challenging part of this project so far.)

Then I removed the shelf, cleaned up the marks I had just made, got out the pigsticker, and started chopping away (but not too violently, since it’s not a through tenon):

Some paring was necessary to clean up the sides and bottom, as you’d probably expect.

That’s pretty much it. In the end, these were the final components:

And here is how it looks in a test-fit:

I also made the other three of these joints for the bookshelf prototype project today and did a test assembly. However, I’m not ready to glue up yet. There’s still a matter of the panels.

Bookshelf: Modified Housed Joint, Part 1

I finished with all of the stretchers for the bookshelf, meaning it was time to move on to the shelves. My original plan was to use a housed joint. I decided to make a small modification to the joint, though, to ensure that the bookshelf would resist twisting forces. The modification is basically just a small mortise and tenon hidden inside the joint.

The hitch is, of course, that I’ve never made a housed joint before, so I set off on a test on some of the cutoffs from the projects. Surprisingly, that actually went well, so I proceeded to the first of four “production” joints.

I started with the dado housing. First, I squared a knife line, clamped down a guide strip, and sawed a kerf on the inside of the line. Then I marked out the width from the shelf, put down another knife line, and sawed down that side. This is after both kerfs were cut:

Note that this is a stopped joint in the back. It doesn’t matter if I overshoot a little, but I can’t go all the way to the back. If I’d had a stopped joint where overshoot actually matters, I would have clamped a stop in place.

The next step was to remove the waste between the kerfs. I started with a chisel to get most of it out:

Then I went to the bottom with my router plane:

In this photo, I’ve stopped the board against a couple of bench dogs in the back. (I should have done this when I was chiseling, too.)

After the bottom was reasonably smooth, I turned my attention to the shelf section. I marked out the line where the board would protrude from the side first, then the line where the edge would meet the housing. Finally, I marked out a small tenon about an inch and a half into the board and sawed the cheeks:

And that’s all I had time for today. Notice my test joint making a cameo in the background behind the saw.

In the next installment, I’ll cut out the waste, chop the mortise, and clean up. Then I’ll have to do everything three more times.