In an earlier posting, I planed the pentagonal-cross-sectioned stiles for the cupboard restoration I am working on lately. These stiles are shaped thus so the tenons that join the rails & stiles will have 90-degree shoulders. This simplifies the tenons, but slightly complicates making the stiles, and mortising them. This is a period cupboard that I referred to for details for the restoration, showing these pentagonal stiles.
To facilitate mortising, I made a cradle to position the stiles’ front face plumb, thus the mortised surface parallel to the bench. That way the mortise chisel is held plumb as well. With a little shimming this cradle worked out for both orientations for these stiles. The notion for the cradle has a seventeenth-century precedent; Randle Holme illustrated what he called a “joiner’s saddle” that is in effect the same sort of thing. His description is thus:
“…used by both Joyners and Carpenters, and is termed a Joyners Saddle. It is an end of a Spar or Joyce cut into the side with an Indent or Beviled on each side, so that any square piece will lye steady in it with one of its edges up.”
At this stage, I am just test-assembling the front 2/3 of the carcase. This particular example will then be toe-nailed to a rectangular frame-and-panel to complete the upper case of the cupboard. Then there is an overhanging cornice, but that’s getting ahead of myself.