The last days of college before the Christmas break were spent frantically trying to finish a walnut picture frame. The trouble with a complete frame is that it only takes one mistake and the whole thing is a mess, and you only find out after you’ve put all the parts together. Compared to this, making one tenon join is easy.

As I’d messed up my practice attempts that wasn’t exactly comforting.


Making one of the joins with a 6mm chisel and mallet. The other half of the join is is on hand for testing purposes.


Frame assembled, showing some quite hideous wonkiness on the nearest corner. Fortunately these vanished during the gluing stage. There were a disturbing number of cracks in the joints as well, but it’s remarkable what can be hidden using a mix of sawdust and glue. The finished frame was just straight enough to become a Christmas present for Beautiful Wife.


My Japanese saws: these cut on the pull, not the push which allows them to be finer because even I am less likely to break the blade when cutting. For the picture frame I used my Dozuki (nearest the camera) which has especially fine teeth for cutting tenon joints.

Notice friend and hideously competent carpenter B in the background, working hard with the Raubank while I’m messing about with a camera. This explains why he got a higher grade than me.