Frame Corners

 Frame Joinery…
Each wood frame built uses one of the three types of joinery in each corner.  There is lap-joined, mortise and tenon, and mitered.  These are joints used often by the master craftsman of the 1900’s during the Arts and Crafts era.  Each of these joints allow for various styles of frames to be constructed and provide a strength that will last for generations to come.There is no metal used in any of the frames constructed as metal and wood do not play well together.  Wood expands and contracts with the change of moisture in the air, and metal does not.  Therefore, if metal is used in combination with wood, the wood will eventually begin to crack around any metals used and weaken the joints of the wood frame.  The one exception to this is brass, as brass also expands and contracts some just like wood.  However, the only brass used are the screws on the back that hold in the turn buttons that hold in the contents of some frames  based on what’s being mounted so the joints are still not affected.  Below are descriptions and pictures of the types of joinery used to create the frames found with
Lap Joint

This joint is the lap joint where the corners lap over the top of the other, thus giving to the name, lap-joint.  In the corners there can be an overlap from 1/4 to 1/2 inch.   Once the joints are complete either a round dowel or square peg is used to secure each frame corner.

Mortise and Tenon

This is one of the most popular frame styles.  There are many types of mortise and tenon joinery, however for the purpose of frame making, the most common are the hidden tenon and the through tenon, both illustrated in the first image to the left.  (Top picture is a through tenon with a sample of a hidden tenon directly under it.)

Once the frame is constructed using this joint the corners are then anchored using either round dowels or square pegs.  There is an array of various treatments that can be applied to the corners to give this style of frame that unique look.  Such as ebony square pegs, raised (pillowed or proud) pegs, diagonal or standard flush pegs




Miter Joint

This is the most common joint used throughout the framing industry.  The end of each rail of the frame is cut at a 45 degree angle and then joined together.  Most framers in the industry use metal to hold this joint together, however with Solid Wood Frames, a spline is used to secure each of the corners.  And because it is made of a slat of wood, it expands and contracts equally with the frame so there will never be any splitting that will happen using metal nails.