Another Slice of Humble Pie?

So just when I thought I was making good progress on my cabinet doors for the entertainment center, I am once again reminded that I am not the one in control here. Recall in Episode #46, I laid out the ends of the mortises in the stiles of the door frame by coming in 1/4″ from the end of the stile. All went well during dry fit of the door frame, so I glued it up. Today I cut off the horns, planed everything flush and double checked that everything was the correct size. It was. So I proceeded to plane the rabbets in the front for the molding. All went well. So I proceeded to plane the rabbets on the inside of the door frame for the lip. That’s when I noticed this.


The ends of the mortises were located 1/4″ from the end of the stiles. The rabbet that creates the lip on the door frame is 1/4″ wide. So I planed away the ends of the mortises. On the bright side I can see that the tenons fit the mortises well. But now I have no outside support to the tenons.

I’ve never done this before. In fact, the two other door frames I’ve built already were done correctly with a 1/2″ outer shoulder on the tenon so that the lip wouldn’t encroach on the mortise. But on this one I just forgot this important detail.

I’ll have to fix this by adding some pegs to the inside of the door frame to lock the tenons in place. The pegs won’t show if done on the inside of the door. But I will always be reminded of my mistake every time I open this door because there’s no way to add back the bottoms of the mortises now. I’ll just fill in the gap between the bottom of the mortise and the end of the tenon and live with the tenon showing. So I’ll have sort of a pegged bridle joint for this door.

Bet I won’t make that mistake again.


5 thoughts on “Another Slice of Humble Pie?

  1. The good news is that sash windows were made with pinned bridle joints for a long time; they took a lot more stress and racking forces than the overlay door ever will and held up well. This door will last a lifetime. The other thing is that no one will ever notice except you.

    I do appreciate the fact that you will focus in on it every time you open the door…a great little lesson reminder without compromising the structural integrity of the door. Glad it was planned as an overlay.

    I feel your pain, but when it is all said and done, it is still a nice piece of work.

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