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  • Every woodworker will from time to time have call for a stay of some kind. Stays of one sort or another are used to hold chest and box lids from falling backward and sometimes forwards. They can be used to support desk writing surfaces, to hold drafting tables at a suitable working angle and then allow them to fold flat for storage. Windows can held open with a variety of types depending on application. Countless other situations will crop up. Choosing the right stay and figuring out how to install it p...
  • Catches come in a bewildering assortment of function and design. In very general terms a catch is any device whose purpose is to hold two or more components together while allowing for easy release. Quite what distinguishes a catch from a latch is unclear to me so we will group them together for the sake of this guide. Locks are dealt with elsewhere and are considered distinct from catches. Door Catches Door catches can either be mounted to show on the outside of the door or the can be mo...
  • We carry around 200 different keyhole escutcheons in a variety of styles in both iron and brass. Escutcheons can be divided into two distinct categories. Surface mounted types that are simply pinned or screwed over the keyhole and "Thread" escutcheons that are mortised into the keyhole and show as a keyhole shaped brass line (thread). A third style called the flanged thread escutcheon has attributes of both, its body is mortised into the keyhole while it's bead-like flange sits on the surface. Sur...
  • A full mortise lock is embedded into a deep mortise cut into the edge of the door or drawer. The exposed "selvedge" and a keyhole are all that is visible of this type of lock. Unless some unusual consideration comes into play these locks are generally centered in the thickness of the material. Because the lock is normally placed in the middle of the material thickness the choice of escutcheon and the method of its attachment will be a consideration. Thread escutcheons rely on a viable thickness for s...
  • Single ball catches can be used with a strike or without. In softer woods it may be advisable to use the strike. As a general principal always use the largest catch your material will accommodate, the larger the catch the better they feel and sound. The Brusso catches we sell are supplied with a cylindrical dome profiled strike. The idea behind this technological breakthrough was to eliminate contact between ball and wood. Up to this point the spring loaded ball either rode directly on its adjacent wood...
  • Drop Leaf Rule Joint While at first glance the rule joint seems simple, the realities of this joint can be frustratingly troublesome. A first attempt will often result in a joint that scrapes and binds or leaves unsightly gaps. To get it right the first time requires both an understanding and application of the geometry at work. These days the majority of us will cut the rule joint profiles with a router. Though this tool can quickly produce a very accurate pair of matching cuts, it can just a...
  • Yesterday The need to secure precious objects is so innate to humans and many other animals that it is not surprising the earliest locks appear as long ago as 4000 years. The oldest known locks employed a pin tumbler mechanism much like that of our modern "Yale" lock but on a far larger scale. They have been found in cultures as diverse as those of Egypt, Japan and Norway. The Romans can be credited with the invention of the metal lock and in fact developed the "warded lock" which uses the familiar ske...
  • Door & Drawer Locks Locate the center of the drawer front (or the appropriate position on the door if mounting a door lock). Using the lock as a template, mark its outline on the back and upper edge of the drawer front. Be aware that the key pin is usually offset to one side of the lock and it is the key pin that must be centered on the drawer. With a sharp knife, ruler and square go back over these lines. Use a router or chisel to create the shallow mortise for the lock plate (I use a 1/4" high s...
  • Many cabinetmakers build jigs to speed up repetitive tasks. Installing thread escutcheons could well be a candidate for this approach. I have never been a jig enthusiast, either I'm too lazy or because I have seen too many craftsmen design work to suit existing tools, cutters and jigs rather than the other way around. A thread escutcheon is a short keyhole shaped brass tube that is set into a matching mortise. Our thread escutcheons are cut from long extrusions of the required section and are very cons...
  • For the sake of efficiency in smaller rooms such as child's bedrooms and guest rooms a desk dresser makes sense. Once the upper drawer of the dresser is pulled out its front can be released and will hinge down to create a flat writing surface. The hinged joint will need to be formed as shown in the drawing above, this lap type joint serves to help support the leaf when laying flat and to cover the joint when in the closed position so no large unsightly gap shows when the drawer is shut. It may be ...