Follow Us: iconfinder 5365678 fb facebook facebook logo icon 64px   iconfinder 5296765 camera instagram instagram logo icon 64px   iconfinder 5296516 tweet twitter twitter logo icon 64px   youtube 64px



Visit our Members Gallery to view the many fine pieces built by SAPFM members. Many are museum reproductions. We hope that among these many masterworks you will find inspiration for your next build.



Visit the Gallery




Phil Lowe

Woodworker and Friend



As most of us know PhiL Lowe was a longtime SAPFM member, 2005 Cartouche Award recipient, teacher to countless students, mentor and friend to many of us.

It is with great honor and privilege that the Board of Directors at SAPFM is announcing the support of preserving the Phil Lowe drawing library .

Visit the Library >>


American Period Furniture Throughout the Decades


Enjoy the Many Benefits of SAPFM Membership

Members enjoy the following benefits.

  • A subscription to our annual American Period Furniture Journal mailed each December
  • A subscription to our quarterly Pins & Tails e-magazine.
  • Participation in all local chapter events
  • Eligibility to attend SAPFM confrences and particapte in SAPFM exhibitions
  • Access to on-line resources including our library of articles, past issues of Pins & Tails e-magazine, and more
  • An online gallery where Members' work is displayed
  • Our online Members forum

See More >>

Article Index


Heller Fitting Asymmetrical Splat Photo 05Photo 52) This is the key step, and wasn’t obvious to me. Even though the splat is a natural shape, it is necessary to define a center line for the splat, and an axis perpendicular to that center line which is the shoulder of the tenon. Defining the center line sets how the upper portion of the splat will register against the crest rail. I lay the splat down behind or on top of the assembled chair back, and rotated it until the splat was framed nicely by the back, <photo 5>. I transferred the top center and bottom center from the chair parts then connected the lines.

That was my center line. I determined where the tenon shoulder should be to get the upper portion of the splat where I wanted it, then marked the line perpendicular to that center line, <Photo 6>. I duplicated this across the six splats. In retrospect, I should have been more exact about locating the shoulder line vs the flowers. They vary between chairs by over 3 mm, which caused fitting issues.

Heller Fitting Asymmetrical Splat Photo 06Photo 63) Cut the base of the tenon parallel to the shoulder line. My tenons were 15 mm long, 12 mm thick, and 120 mm wide. Cut the shoulder line, front and back. The 3 mm mark on the photo is the portion that will would hidden in the housing.

4) Use the tenon dimensions to mark the dimensions of the mortise on the shoe. I generally make mortises first and cut the tenon to match but in this case the splat is difficult to work with and the chair rail simple, so I made the tenons on the splats first and made the mortises to fit. The front of the tenon is xx mm from the front edge, since I wanted the splat to sit front of center. Using a router with a micro-adjustable fence, the fit of the mortise can be dialed right in. The fit of the tenon isn’t critical – the splat will be held in place in five places besides the shoe, so having the some wiggle in the shoe makes fitting and final assembly much more forgiving.

Upcoming Events


New Articles

  • Fitting an Asymmetrical Splat Into an Oval Chair Back

    BY DAVE HELLER April 1, 2021 Updated: April 1, 2021 This article discusses a specific aspect of making a set of not-yet-completed Bing-style Art Nouveau dining room chairs of my own design. I will write an article for SAPFM on...

  • A Standup Davenport Computer Desk

     BY JOE PARKER April 1, 2021 Updated: April 1, 2021 The name "Davenport" comes from a reference in the records of an 18th-19th century English furniture maker Gillows. The reference, in about 1795, gives the original design and...

  • Remembering Phil Lowe: Craftsman, Mentor, Friend

    BY MICKEY CALLAHAN April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021 It’s with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of one of America’s master period furniture makers, Phil Lowe. I’ve known Phil for over 30 years and was privileged to have...

  • Luthier's Friend To Thickness Small Part

    BY JEFF THOMPSON April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021 There are number of ways one can thickness stringing and bindings. I’ve used a couple methods myself like on a drum sander, but mine is in a shed out back behind my shop...

  • Mirka Hand Sanding System

    BY BOB LANG April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021 I can develop a pretty smooth surface with a hand plane and/or a scraper, but before finishing I sand to ensure that all the surfaces of a project are consistent. Each hand...

Cartouche Award

  1. The Award
  2. Guidelines
  3. Cartouche Recipients


  1. SAPFM Business Member Directory
  2. Our Sponsors


  1. American Period Furniture
  2. Pins & Tales Magazine