How to Drill Windsor Chair Mortises
Biscuit Joiner Tips and Tricks
T-Track is a Smart Workbench Accessory
Best Tabletop Finish
How to Sharpen a Card Scraper
Five Minute Guide: How to Use a Tablesaw
3 Steps to Great Glue-Ups: Sliding Dovetail Joints
Five Minute Guide: Glue-Ups
Dedicated Sled Delivers Perfect Finger Joints
Bevel-Up Jack Planes are a Workshop Workhorse
Fixing Woodworking Mistakes
Mounting Knife Hinges in Curved Doors
How to Cut Sliding Dovetail Joints
Buying and Using Trim Routers
The Essential Tool Chest
How to Make a Simple Jig for Offset Knife Hinges
A Woodturner's Guide to Chucks and Jaws
Making a Window Sash or Breakfront Cabinet Doorcomments (8) January 1st, 2009 in blogs
Classic window sash and breakfront glass doors with molded muntins are challenging woodworking projects. However, I find that working through the detail design in SketchUp clears up any uncertainty in the construction of these complex joints. Below I will show how I go about designing a window sash. The techniques are similar for doing 18th C breakfront doors, however there will be more angled muntins in this case.
Here is the example sash in an assembled and exploded view.
Step 1: I find that it is very important to start out on a sash or door with a detail of the muntin shape. By the way, muntin is an unusual word and refers to the thin connecting molding frames that hold the glass.
Step 2: Having designed the muntin molding we can now move on to designing the rails and stiles. I will use an example of the Top Rail in the next steps as shown in the following illustration.
Step 3: The first step in making the Top Rail is to create the cross-section shape which includes half of the muntin molding shape we created above.
Step 4: Push/Pull the shape into the desired length not including tenons.
Step 5: Locate guidelines for the tenon and Push/Pull to length.
Step 6: The molded edge will require a miter cut to fit up with the corresponding molding edge on the stiles. So we need to make a 45 degree cut on the lower molding. I use a face or plane set at 45 degrees to use with Intersect to create the cut.
Step 7: After Intersection the miter joint will require clean-up of the waste with the Eraser.
Step 8: We need a socket for the vertical Muntin that connects into the center of this Top Rail. Again I make 45 degree planes which are used to Intersect with the Rail.
Step 9: After Intersection, clean-up is required with the Eraser. The finished socket is shown below. I also create the small rectangular mortise for the Muntin tenon end.
Step 10: To create the Muntin, Push/Pull the cross-section shape of the Muntin as shown in the first Step.
Step 11: We need to create the 45 degree cuts on the end of the Muntin. I make planes at 45 degrees to use with Intersect to create this joint.
Step 12: I've shown the end joint below after Intersection and clean-up. Also I pulled out the small tenon which will socket into the Top Rail mortise.
Step 13: With the Move Tool, latch onto a corner of the Muntin that corresponds to a matching corner in the Top Rail socket.
Step 14: The Muntins cross one another with lapped joints. The first step is to prepare cutting planes to create the "V" cut for the crossing muntins.
Step 15: After clean-up, I've shown below the resulting lapped joint for the vertical Muntin. Note the rectangular cutout that matches up wit an opposite rectangular cutout in the horizontal Muntin.
Step 16: After making the horizontal Muntin, the crossing joint is ready for fit up.
Step 17: Here is a close-up of the final assembly.
I've made several doors and sash using these classic techniques. I'm always amazed how strong the structure is even with delicate muntins and heavy glass.
posted in: blogs, cabinet, period interpretation, tenons
Save up to 52% on Fine Woodworking
Become a Better Woodworker
About Design. Click. Build.
Learn the art and science of designing furniture in SketchUp with Fine Woodworking's official blog. Moderated by a devoted community of woodworkers, we feature step-by-step SketchUp tutorials on designing components, downloads of pre-built 3D models of furniture parts, and news and information about the evolving world of digital furniture design.
Basic SketchUp Tutorials
Learn the basics of building furniture in SketchUp with these classic posts from the Design. Click. Build. blog.
Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp
How I Draw in SketchUp
Axes in SketchUp
The SketchUp Move Tool
The SketchUp Rotate Tool
The SketchUp Scale Tool
Materials, Colors, and Textures
Applying Wood Grain Skins in SketchUp
Easy Dovetail Joints in SketchUp
Meet the Authors