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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.



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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 .

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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

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Article Index

Heller Fitting Asymmetrical Splat Photo 09Photo 98) Once it is fit, two of the four sides are done. For this chair the (crest) top rail is captured inside the legs, so I slid the long mating surface of that rail along the leg and marked the contact point, <photo 9>. This technique only works with dominoes or floating tenons. Again, the splat thickness didn’t need to be 22 mm, so I cut 7 mm off of the front of the splat to more-or-less center the tenon in the top rail. In this case, the length of the splat was excessive, so I cut the splat parallel to the edge of the top rail so that it has ~15 mm of insertion into the top rail. Since the shape of the top rail is both steep and curved, cutting this mortise is more challenging than the others, but the same approach worked.

Heller Fitting Asymmetrical Splat Photo 10Photo 109) Fit the top rail onto the splat. In a perfect world, the two flowers would both contact the top rail at the same time, and both mortises could be cut together. In my case, the second flower was considerably shorter, so I fit the first flower while using the edge of the chair leg for alignment, <photo 10>. Be aware that it is easy to rotate the top rail to match up against the splat. I only did that once, and regretted it. The mortises were slightly in the wrong place and their depths were wrong.
The depth of the mortises needs to be sufficient for the crest rail joinery to line up. I used dominoes for this piece, and the alignment marks are on both the leg and rail. Keep fitting until the lines align.

Because the crest rail has two mortises to fit it takes a little longer but is straightforward. Fit both holes, and confirm that there is no gap between the chair leg and either the chair rail or the crest rail, as in <Photo 10>.

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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...

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