For years I would use clamps to along the length of the frame or door
stiles to pull the rails in and flush with the ends of the stiles. The
problem would be if the rails were in too far to begin with. I would have
to tap the rails back out to the ends of the stiles flush with the clamp
Below Is my solution that requires no tapping and it pulls every thing up
snug and flush,
After tightening the clamps pulling the sides of the stiles up to the ends
of the rails I remove every thing else, all other clamps.
This was just showing the "extra and temporary" clamps used to insure that
the outer edges of the rails were on the same plane as the ends of the
During the actual glue up two more clamps sat under all of this on each end
directly under the rails. Once the rails were in their correct positions
the bottom clamps were tightened and then all of the clamps in the picture
were removed. Only the bottom clamps remained during dry time.
I'm always eager to learn from (someone else's) experience, but your
photo puzzled me. My first question was the same as woodchuckers; you
seemed to have everything clamped *except* the joints themselves!
I think I get that this setup is for getting the pieces aligned first.
But now I'm wondering what mechanical connection you use between the
rails and stiles. I know you're a Domino user; is that what's in there?
And if so, (asking my usual ignorant question here) doesn't the loose
tenon set the alignment? Or is there some slop?
Yes. this picture is only showing the method for aligning the pieces.
I only used the picture showing the initial trial to see how well the
rails would pull into position.
During the actual glue up I ran a clamp under each rail to clamp the
stiles to the rails. These clamps set on the work surface. Then I
placed the "glued, Dominoed, and partially assembled but not squeezed
together frame" on top of those clamps.
Next I clamped the rails to the longer outer piece of oak that extended
past the stile ends. Then clamped that piece of oak up snug to the
bottom of the stiles.
Once "snug" I tightened the bottom clamps that actually pulled the
joint together and removed all of the clamps used only for alignment
that were on top.
In the picture I thought that the fewer clamps the less distracting it
might be, apparently not. LOL
The rails and stiles on 6 of the 8 frames were joined by a combination
of lap joints and a Domino.
The front 2 face frames had no lap joints so they were held by the butt
joint along with a Domino in each joint.
The Domino joiner/mortiser will make an exact fit and two over size
width mortises to accept the Dominoes. I never use an exact fit mortise
for the Dominoes for both sides of the joint. I typically cut an exact
fit mortise in the ends of the rails and a wider mortise on the side
ends of the stiles. This allows a bit of wiggle room for tweaking the
fit in the event that you are not spot on with both mating mortises.
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