Making A&C Picture Frames with Half-lap Joints

A completed frame with a Laura Wilder block print (

Half-lap joints are one of the mainstays of the Arts & Crafts style. They are used extensively in the grid work of contemporary Arts & Crafts furniture and picture frames. In this post I’ll show you how I make picture frames using half lap joints.

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Building Gustav Stickley’s No. 53 Double Costumer

My second collaboration with Editor Tom Casper and the outstanding staff at American Woodworker has hit the newsstands! Check out the May/June 2012 issue. Beginning on page 36 are step-by-step instructions on how to build a Gustav Stickley No. 53 Double Costumer — which is sometimes called a coat rack. What’s great about this seemingly simple 6 part project, is the unique way that Tom and I came up with for integrating through mortise and tenon joinery in big (over 2″ x 2″) posts without using a drill press, mortiser, or mallet and chisel. Check it out, I think you’ll find this a very easy way to begin mastering the through mortise and tenon. Drop me an email, or comment to this post, if you have any question about the project.

Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking–Arts and Crafts Table 2011

Well, we’ve done it again — Saturday afternoon we released 5 new Arts and Crafts tables into the wild! Thanks to Tom, Gerald, Gary, Mike, Chuck and Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking.

Back by Popular Demand!

I’m excited to announce in 2011 I will again  join Kelly Mehler at his School of Woodworking in Berea, KY.  I’ll be teaching my Arts and Crafts Table class the week of 21 -26 March 2011. Class details and registration information can be found on Kelly’s website. I hope you’ll sign up to join us.

Kelly Mehler School of Woodworking; Build an Arts and Crafts Bedside Table; Arts and Crafts Bedside Table

Build An Arts & Crafts Rocker

If you’ve ever wanted to build an Arts & Crafts Rocker, than Woodcraft magazine’s November 2010 issue (Volume 6, No. 37) is just for you! The cover story, written by furnituremaker, writer, and instructor Matthew Teague is an excellent article on how to build his Stickley and Greene & Greene inspired Arts & Crafts Rocking chair.

Matthew is former Managing Editor at Fine Woodworking who now builds furniture in his Nashville, TN studio. His work has exhibited at the Tennessee State Museum and the Knoxville Museum of Art. He is the author of  Getting Started in Woodworking: Projects for Your Shop (Taunton Press, 2005) along with other articles in Fine Woodworking, Outside Magazine, Woodcraft, The Inspired House, and Field & Stream

A challenging project, Matthew’s rocker will introduce you to some chairmaking challenges such as canted and curved backs. His project also includes through tenons, making and working with templates, and a threaded-rod joint he learned from fellow furnituremaker Alan Daigre. Woodcraft Magazine pulls the project together with online access to Matthew’s patterns. But the skill building doesn’t stop there, they also include a second article, by Matthew, on how to upholster a slip seat.

Build a Limbert Coffee Table

So much furniture to build, and so little time to do it. When my December 2010 issue of Fine Woodworking arrived, I saw something I really liked on the cover—a Charles Limbert style coffee table.  I like it for several reasons. First we, myself included, tend to focus on building Greene & Greene or Stickley (pick a brother) style furniture, and so the fact that someone is writing-about and designing furniture inspired by someone other than the Greenes or Stickleys, I think is good. Second, the article made me realize I should expand my content here on Gus’ Guild to include posts on the growing number of how-to articles being written about building Arts & Crafts furniture. Finally, closer to home I’m excited about trying Gregory’s technique for making Limbert inspired piercings—a feature I’ve always wanted to add to my furniture designs.  So here’s my inaugural post on a building Arts & Crafts furniture article.
It’s too easy to say I like this article because of the beautiful Limbert style coffee table; but I do. The neat thing about this article is it presents a great Arts and Crafts furniture project for learning bridle joints, half-lap joints, and of course, how-to incorporate Limber style piercings into your furniture. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn how to layout ellipses.  Another plus is learning a technique for performing flush-trimming operations on round, or in this case, elliptically shaped tops with a double-bearing, flush trimming bit. This is a new tool for me. So I was bit, let’s say irked, that FWW didn’t provide a sources side bar. In any event, here’s a link to get more information on a double-bearing, flush trimming bit.
Gregory has also written an article on a Stickley and Roycroft inspired book rack (FWW #197) and done a video for FWW on building a Bow-arm Morris chair for FWW Video Workshop series. To learn more about Gregory’s furniture and classes visit his webpage.

A Great Time had by All!

Thanks to Bret, Peggy, Bruce, Mike, Lowell, Mark, Rudy, and Guy–a great bunch of very enthusiastic woodworkers– for making the first Arts & Crafts Table with Stewart Crick class a huge success at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking.

A special thank you to Kelly and Terri for the opportunity to have this class. Any one who wanted to attend, but couldn’t, mark March 2011 on your calendar, that’s when we’ll hold the class again at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking. Watch Kelly’s website for 2011 schedule, coming out this October for details.