1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Joinery
JOINERY, one of the useful arts which contribute to the comfort and convenience of man. As the arts of joinery and carpentry are often followed by the same individual, it appears natural to conclude that the same principles are common to both, but a closer examination leads to a different conclusion. The art of carpentry is directed almost wholly to the support of weight or pressure, and therefore its principles must be sought in the mechanical sciences. In a building it includes all the rough timber work necessary for support, division or connexion, and its proper object is to give firmness and stability. The art of joinery has for its object the addition in a building of all the fixed woodwork necessary for convenience or ornament. The joiner’s works are in many cases of a complicated nature, and often require to be executed in an expensive material, therefore joinery requires much skill in that part of geometrical science which treats of the projection and description of lines, surfaces and solids, as well as an intimate knowledge of the structure and nature of wood. A man may be a good carpenter without being a joiner at all, but he cannot be a joiner without being competent, at least, to supervise all the operations required in carpentry. The rough labour of the carpenter renders him in some degree unfit to produce that accurate and neat workmanship which is expected from a modern joiner, but it is no less true that the habit of neatness and the great precision of the joiner make him a much slower workman than the man practised in works of carpentry. In carpentry framing owes its strength mainly to the form and position of its parts, but in joinery the strength of a frame depends to a larger extent upon the strength of the joinings. The importance of fitting the joints together as accurately as possible is therefore obvious. It is very desirable that a joiner shall be a quick workman, but it is still more so that he shall be a good one, and that he should join his materials with firmness and accuracy. It is also of the greatest importance that the work when thus put together shall be constructed of such sound and dry materials, and on such principles, that the whole shall bear the various changes of temperature and of moisture and dryness, so that the least possible shrinkage or swelling shall take place; but provision must be made so that, if swelling or shrinking does occur, no damage shall be done to the work.
In early times every part was rude, and jointed in the most artless manner. The first dawnings of the art of modern joinery appear in the thrones, stalls, pulpits and screens of early Gothic cathedrals and churches, but even in these it is indebted to the carver for everything that is worthy of regard. With the revival of classic art, however, great changes took place in every sort of construction. Forms began to be introduced in architecture which could not be executed at a moderate expense without the aid of new principles, and these principles were discovered and published by practical joiners. These authors, with their scanty geometrical knowledge, had but confused notions of these principles, and accordingly their descriptions are often obscure, and sometimes erroneous. The framed wainscot of small panels gave way to the large bolection moulded panelling. Doors which were formerly heavily framed and hung on massive posts or in jambs of cut stone, were now framed in light panels and hung in moulded dressings of wood. The scarcity of oak timber, and the expense of working it, subsequently led to the importation of fir timber from northern Europe, and this gradually superseded all other material save for special work.
Tools and Materials.—The joiner operates with saws, planes, chisels, gouges, hatchet, adze, gimlets and other boring instruments (aided and directed by chalked lines), gauges, squares, hammers, wallets, floor cramps and a great many other tools. His operations consist principally of sawing and planing in all their varieties, and of setting out and making joints of all kinds. There is likewise a great range of other operations—such as paring, gluing up, wedging, pinning, fixing, fitting and hanging—and many which depend on nailing and screwing, such as laying floors, boarding ceilings, wainscoting walls, bracketing, cradling, firring, and the like. In addition to the wood on which the joiner works, he requires also glue, white lead, nails, brads, screws and hinges, and accessorily he applies bolts, locks, bars and other fastenings, together with pulleys, lines, weights, holdfasts, wall hooks, &c. The joiner’s work for a house is for the most part prepared at the shop, where there should be convenience for doing everything in the best and readiest manner, so that little remains when the carcase is ready and the floors laid but to fit, fix and hang. The sashes, frames, doors, shutters, linings and soffits are all framed and put together, i.e. wedged up and cleaned off at the shop; the flooring is planed and prepared with rebated or grooved edges ready for laying, and the moulded work—the picture and dado rails, architraves, skirtings and panelling—is all got out at the shop. On a new building the joiner fits up a temporary workshop with benches, sawing stools and a stove for his glue pot. Here he adjusts the work for fitting up and makes any small portions that may still be required.
The preparation of joinery entirely by hand is now the exception—a fact due to the ever-increasing use of machines, which have remarkably shortened the time required to execute the ordinary operations. Various machines rapidly and perfectly execute planing and surfacing, mortising and moulding, leaving the craftsman merely to fit and glue up. Large quantities of machine-made flooring, window-frames and doors are now imported into England from Canada and the continent of Europe. The timber is grown near the place of manufacture, and this, coupled with the fact that labour at a low rate of wages is easily obtainable on the Continent, enables the cost of production to be kept very low.
The structure and properties of wood should be thoroughly understood by every joiner. The man who has made the nature of timber his study has always a decided advantage over those who have neglected this. Timber shrinks considerably in the width, but not appreciably in the length. Owing to this shrinkage certain joints and details, hereinafter described and illustrated, are in common use for the purpose of counteracting the bad effect this movement would otherwise have upon all joinery work.
The kinds of wood commonly employed in joinery are the different species of North European and North American pine, oak, teak and mahogany (see Timber). The greater part of English joiners’ work is executed in the northern pine exported from the Baltic countries. Hence the joiner obtains the planks, deals, battens and strips from which he shapes his work. The timber reaches the workman from the sawmills in a size convenient for the use he intends, considerable time and labour being saved in this way.
A log of timber sawn to a square section is termed a balk. In section it may range from 1 to 11 ft. square. Planks are formed by sawing the balk into sections from 11 to 18 in. wide and 3 to 6 in. thick, and the term deal is applied to sawn stuff 9 in. wide and 2 to 41 in. thick. Battens are boards running not more than 3 in. thick and 4 to 7 in. wide. A strip is not thicker than 11 in., the width being about 4 in.
Joints.—Side joints (fig. 1) are used for joining boards together edge to edge, and are widely employed in flooring. In the square joint the edges of the boards are carefully shot, the two edges to be joined brought together with glue applied hot, and the boards tightly clamped and left to dry, when the surface is cleaned off with the smoothing plane. A joint in general use for joining up boards for fascias, panels, linings, window-boards, and other work of a like nature is formed in a similar manner to the above, but with a cross-grained tongue inserted, thereby greatly strengthening the work at an otherwise naturally weak point. This is termed a cross-tongued and glued joint. The dowelled joint is a square glued joint strengthened with hard wood or iron dowels inserted in the edge of each board to a depth of about 3 in. and placed about 18 in. apart. The matched joint is shown in two forms, beaded and jointed. Matched boarding is frequently used as a less expensive substitute for panelled framing. Although of course in appearance it cannot compare with the latter, it has a somewhat ornamental appearance, and the moulded joints allow shrinkage to take place without detriment to the appearance of the work. The rebated joint is used in the meeting styles of casements and folding doors, and it is useful in excluding draughts and preventing observation through the joint.
Of the angle joints (fig. 2) in common use by the joiner the following are the most important. The mitre is shown in the drawing, and is so well known as to need little description. Although simple, it needs a practised and accurate hand for its proper execution. The common mitre is essentially weak unless reinforced with blocks glued into the angle at the back of it, and is therefore often strengthened with a feather of wood or iron. Other variations of the mitre are the mitre and butt, used where the pieces connected are of unequal thickness; the mitre and rebate, with a square section which facilitates nailing or screwing; the mitre rebate and feather, similar to the latter, with a feather giving additional strength to the joint; and the mitre groove and tongue, having a tongue worked on the material itself in place of the feather of the last-named joint. The last two methods are used in the best work, and, carefully worked and glued, with the assistance of angle blocks glued at the back, obviate the necessity of face screws or nails. The keyed mitre consists of a simple mitre joint, which after being glued up has a number of pairs of saw cuts made across the angle, into which are fitted and glued thin triangular slips of hard wood, or as an alternative, pieces of brass or other metal. Other forms of angle joints are based on the rebate with a bead worked on in such a position as to hide any bad effects caused by the joint opening by shrinkage. They may be secured either by nailing or screwing, or by glued angle blocks.
The dovetail is a most important joint; its most usual forms are illustrated in fig. 3. The mitre dovetail is used in the best work. It will be seen that the dovetail is a tenon, shaped as a wedge, and it is this distinguishing feature which gives it great strength irrespective of glue or screws. It is invaluable in framing together joiners’ fittings; its use in drawers especially provides a good example of its purpose and structure.
|Fig. 4.—Prevention of Warping.|
Warping in Wide Boards.—It is necessary to prevent the tendency to warp, twist and split, which boards of great width, or several boards glued together edge to edge, naturally possess. On the other hand, swelling and shrinking due to changes in the humidity of the atmosphere must not be checked, or the result will be disastrous. To effect this end various simple devices are available. The direction of the annular rings in alternate boards may be reversed, and when the boards have been carefully jointed with tongues or dowels and glued up, a hard-wood tapering key, dovetail in section, may be let into a wide dovetail at the back (fig. 4). It must be accurately fitted and driven tightly home, but, of course, not glued. Battens of hard wood may be used for the same purpose, fixed either with hard-wood buttons or by means of brass slots and screws, the slots allowing for any slight movement that may take place. With boards of a substantial thickness light iron rods may be used, holes being bored through the thickness of the boards and rods passed through; the edges are then glued up. This method is very effective and neat in appearance, and is specially suitable when a smooth surface is desired on both sides of the work.
Mouldings are used in joinery to relieve plain surfaces by the contrasts of light and shade formed by their members, and to ornament or accentuate those particular portions which the designer may wish to bring into prominence. Great skill and discrimination are required in designing and applying mouldings, but that matter falls to the qualified designer and is perhaps outside the province of the practical workman, whose work is to carry out in an accurate and finished manner the ideas of the draughtsman. The character of a moulding is greatly affected by the nature and appearance of the wood in which it is worked. A section suitable for a hard regularly grained wood, such as mahogany, would probably look insignificant if worked in a softer wood with pronounced markings. Mouldings worked on woods of the former type may consist of small and delicate members; woods of the latter class require bold treatment.
The mouldings of joinery, as well as of all other moulded work used in connexion with a building, are usually worked in accordance with full-sized detail drawings prepared by the architect, and are designed by him to conform with the style and class of building. There are, however, a number of moulded forms in common use which have particular names; sections are shown of many of these in fig. 5. Most of them occur in the classic architecture of both Greeks and Romans. A striking distinction, however, existed in the mouldings of these two peoples; the curves of the Greek mouldings were either derived from conic sections or drawn in freehand, while in typical Roman work the curved components were segments of a circle. Numerous examples of the use of these forms occur in ordinary joinery work, and may be recognized on reference to the illustrations, which will be easily understood without further description.
Mouldings may be either stuck or planted on. A stuck moulding is worked directly on to the framing it is used to ornament; a planted moulding is separately worked and fixed in position with nails or screws. Beads and other small mouldings should always be stuck; larger ones are usually planted on. In the case of mouldings planted on panelled work, the nails should be driven through the moulding into the style or rail of the framing, and on no account into the panel. By adopting the former method the panel is free to shrink—as it undoubtedly will do—without altering the good appearance of the work, but should the moulding be fixed to the panel it will, when the latter shrinks, be pulled out of place, leaving an unsightly gap between it and the framing.
Flooring.—When the bricklayer, mason and carpenter have prepared the carcase of a building for the joiner, one of the first operations is that of laying the floor boards. They should have been stacked under cover on the site for some considerable time, in order to be thoroughly well seasoned when the time to use them arrives. The work of laying should take place in warm dry weather. The joints of flooring laid in winter time or during wet weather are sure to open in the following summer, however tightly they may be cramped up during the process of laying. An additional expense will then be incurred by the necessity of filling in the opened joints with wood slips glued and driven into place. Boards of narrow width are better and more expensive than wide ones. They may be of various woods, the kinds generally preferred, on account of their low comparative cost and ease of working, being yellow deal and white deal. White deal or spruce is an inferior wood, but is frequently used with good results for the floors of less important apartments. A better floor is obtained with yellow deal, which, when of good quality and well seasoned, is lasting and wears well. For floors where a fine appearance is desired, or which will be subjected to heavy wear, some harder and tougher material, such as pitch pine, oak, ash, maple or teak, should be laid. These woods are capable of taking a fine polish and, finished in this way, form a beautiful as well as a durable floor.
Many of the side joints illustrated in fig. 1 are applied to flooring boards, which, however, are not usually glued up. The heart side of the board should be placed downwards so that in drying the tendency will be for the edges to press more tightly to the joists instead of curling upwards. The square joint should be used only on ground floors; if it is used for the upper rooms, dust and water will drop through the crevices and damage the ceiling beneath. Dowelled joints are open to the same objection. One of the best and most economical methods is the ploughed and tongued joint. The tongue may be of hard wood or iron, preferably the latter, which is stronger and occupies very narrow grooves. The tongue should be placed as near the bottom of the board as is practicable, leaving as much wearing material as possible. Two varieties of secret joints are shown in fig. 1.—the splayed, rebated, grooved and tongued, and the rebated, grooved and tongued. Owing to the waste of material in forming these joints and the extra labour involved in laying the boards, they are costly and are only used when it is required that no heads of nails or screws should appear on the surface. The heading joints of flooring are often specified to be splayed or bevelled, but it is far better to rebate them.
Wood block floors are much used, and are exceedingly solid. The blocks are laid directly on a smoothed concrete bed or floor in a damp-proof mastic having bitumen as its base; this fulfils the double purpose of preventing the wood from rotting, and securing the blocks in their places. To check any inclination to warp and rise, however, the edges of the blocks in the better class of floors are connected by dowels of wood or metal, or by a tongued joint. The blocks may be from 1 to 3 in. thick, and are usually 9 or 12 in. long by 3 in. wide.
Parquet floors are made of hard woods of various kinds, laid in patterns on a deal sub-floor, and may be of any thickness from 1 to 11 in. Great care should be taken in laying the sub-floor, especially for the thinner parquet. The boards should be in narrow widths of well-seasoned stuff and well nailed, for any movement in the sub-floor due to warping or shrinking may have disastrous results on the parquet which is laid upon it. Plated parquet consists of selected hard woods firmly fixed on a framed deal backing. It is made in sections for easy transport, and these are fitted together in the apartment for which they are intended. When secured to the joists these form a perfect floor.
|Fig. 6.—Built-up Skirting tongued to floor.|
Skirtings.—In joinery, the skirting is a board fixed around the base of internal walls to form an ornamental base for the wall (see fig. 7). It also covers the joint between the flooring and the wall, and protects the base of the wall from injury. Skirtings may be placed in two classes—those formed from a plain board with its upper edge either left square or moulded, and those formed of two or more separate members and termed a built-up skirting (fig. 6). Small angle fillets or mouldings are often used as skirtings. The skirting should be worked so as to allow it to be fixed with the heart side of the wood outwards; any tendency to warp will then only serve to press the top edge more closely to the wall. In good work a groove should be formed in the floor and the skirting tongued into it so that an open joint is avoided should shrinkage occur. The skirting should be nailed only near the top to wood grounds fixed to wood plugs in the joints of the brickwork. These grounds are about 3 to 1 in. thick, i.e. the same thickness as the plaster, and are generally splayed or grooved on the edge to form a key for the plaster. A rough coat of plaster should always be laid on the wall behind the skirting in order to prevent the space becoming a harbourage for vermin.
Dados.—A dado, like a skirting, is useful both in a decorative and a protective sense. It is filled in to ornament and protect that portion of the wall between the chair or dado rail and the skirting. It may be of horizontal boards battened at the back and with cross tongued and glued joints, presenting a perfectly smooth surface, or of matched boarding fixed vertically, or of panelled framing. The last method is of course the most ornate and admits of great variety of design. The work is fixed to rough framed wood grounds which are nailed to plugs driven into the joints of the brickwork. Fig. 7 shows an example of a panelled dado with capping moulding and skirting. A picture rail also is shown; it is a small moulding with the top edge grooved to take the metal hooks from which pictures are hung.
Walls are sometimes entirely sheathed with panelling, and very fine effects are obtained in this way. The fixing is effected to rough grounds in a manner similar to that adopted in the case of dados. In England the architects of the Tudor period made great use of oak framing, panelled and richly carved, as a wall covering and decoration, and many beautiful examples may be seen in the remaining buildings of that period.
Windows.—The parts of a window sash are distinguished by the same terms as are applied to similar portions of ordinary framing, being formed of rails and styles, with sash bars rebated for glazing. The upright sides are styles; the horizontal ones, which are tenoned into the styles, are rails (fig. 7).
Sashes hung by one of their vertical edges are called casements (fig. 8). They are really a kind of glazed door and sometimes indeed are used as such, as for example French casements (fig. 9). They may be made to open either outwards or inwards. It is very difficult with the latter to form perfectly water-tight joints; with those opening outwards the trouble does not exist to so great an extent. This form of window, though almost superseded in England by the case frame with hung sashes, is in almost universal use on the Continent. Yorkshire sliding sashes move in a horizontal direction upon grooved runners with the meeting styles vertical. They are little used, and are apt to admit draughts and wet unless efficient checks are worked upon the sashes and frames.
Lights in a position difficult of access are often hung on centre pivots. An example of this method is shown in fig. 8; metal pivots are fixed to the frame and the sockets in which these pivots work are screwed to the sash. Movement is effected by means of a cord fixed so that a slight pull opens or closes the window to the desired extent, and the cord is then held by being tied to, or twisted round, a small metal button or clip, or a geared fanlight opener may be used. For the side sashes of lantern lights and for stables and factories this form of window is in general use.
In the British Isles and in America the most usual form of window is the cased frame with double hung sliding sashes. This style has many advantages. It is efficient in excluding wet and draughts, ventilation may be easily regulated and the sashes can be lowered and raised with ease without interference with any blinds, curtains or other fittings, that may be applied to the windows. In the ordinary window of this style, however, difficulty is experienced in cleaning the external glass without assuming a dangerous position on the sill, but there are many excellent inventions now on the market which obviate this difficulty by allowing—usually on the removal of a small thumb-screw—the reversal of the sash on a pivot or hinge. For a small extra cost these arrangements may be provided; they will be greatly appreciated by those who clean the windows. The cased frames are in the form of boxes to enclose the iron or lead weights which balance the sashes (fig. 7), and consist of a pulley style—which takes the wear of the sashes and is often of hard wood on this account—an inside lining, and an outside lining; these three members are continued to form the head of the frame. The sashes are connected with the weights by flax lines working over metal pulleys fixed in the pulley styles. For heavy sashes with plate glass, chains are sometimes used instead of lines. Access to the weights for the purpose of fitting new cords is obtained by removing the pocket piece. A thin back lining is provided to the sides only and is not required in the head. The sill is of oak weathered to throw off the water. A parting bead separates the sashes, and the inside bead keeps them in position. A parting slip hung from the head inside the cased frame separates the balancing weights and ensures their smooth working. The inside lining is usually grooved to take the elbow and soffit linings, and the window board is fitted into a groove formed in the sill. The example shown in fig. 7 has an extra deep bottom rail and bead; this enables the lower sash to be raised so as to permit of ventilation between the meeting rails without causing a draught at the bottom of the sash. This is a considerable improvement upon the ordinary form, and the cost of constructing the sashes in this manner is scarcely greater.
Bay windows with cased frames and double hung sashes often require the exercise of considerable ingenuity in their construction in order that the mullions shall be so small as not to intercept more light than necessary; at the same time the sashes must work easily and the whole framing be stable and strong. The sills should be mitred and tongued at the angles and secured by a hand-rail bolt. Frequently it is not desired to hang all the sashes of a bay window, the side lights being fixed. To enable smaller angle mullions to be obtained, the cords of the front windows may be taken by means of pulleys over the heads of the side lights and attached to counter-balance weights working in casings at the junction of the window with the wall. This enables solid angle mullions to be employed. If all the lights are required to be hung the difficulty may be surmounted by hanging two sashes to one weight. Lead weights take up less space than iron, and are used for heavy sashes.
In framing and fixing skylights and lantern lights also great care is necessary to ensure the result being capable of resisting rough weather and standing firm in high winds. Glue should not be used in any of the joints, as it would attract moisture from the atmosphere and set up decay. Provision must be made for the escape of the water which condenses on and runs down the under side of the glass, by means of a lead-lined channelled moulding, provided with zinc or copper pipe outlets. The skylight stands on a curb raised at least 6 in. to allow of the exclusion of rain by proper flashing. The sashes of the lantern usually take the form of fixed or hung casements fitted to solid mullions and angle posts which are framed into and support a solid head. The glazed framing of the roof is made up of moulded sash bars framed to hips and ridges of stronger section, these rest on the head, projecting well beyond it in order to throw off the water.
Shutters for domestic windows have practically fallen into disuse, but a reference to the different forms they may take is perhaps necessary. They may be divided into two classes—those fixed to the outside of the window and those fixed inside. They may be battened, panelled or formed with louvres, the latter form admitting air and a little light. External shutters are generally hung by means of hinges to the frame of the window: when the window is set in a reveal these hinges are necessarily of special shape, being of large projection to enable the shutters to fold back against the face of the wall. Internally fixed shutters may be hinged or may slide either vertically or horizontally. Hinged folding boxed shutters are shown in the illustration of a casement window (fig. 8), where the method of working is clearly indicated; they are usually held in position by means of a hinged iron bar secured with a special catch. Lifting shutters are usually fitted in a casing formed in the window back, and the window board is hinged to lift up, to allow the shutters to be raised by means of rings fixed in their upper edges. The shutters are balanced by weights enclosed with casings in the manner described for double hung sashes. The panels are of course filled in with wood and not glazed. The shutters are fixed by means of a thumb-screw through the meeting rails, the lower sash being supported on the window board which is closed down when the sashes have been lifted out. Shutters sliding horizontally are also used in some cases, but they are not so convenient as the forms described above.
Shop-fronts.—The forming of shop-fronts may almost be considered a separate branch of joiner’s work. The design and construction are attended by many minor difficulties, and, the requirements greatly varying with almost every trade, careful study and close attention to detail are necessary. In the erection of shop-fronts, in order to allow the maximum width of glass with the minimum amount of obstruction, many special sections of sash bars and stanchions are used, the former often being reinforced by cast iron or steel of suitable form. For these reasons the construction of shop-fronts and fittings has been specialized by makers having a knowledge of the requirements of different trades and with facilities for making the special wood and metal fittings and casings necessary. Fig. 10 shows an example of a simple shop-front in Spanish mahogany with rolling shutters and spring roller blind; it indicates the typical construction of a front, and reference to it will inform the reader on many points which need no further description. The London Building Act. 1894 requires the following regulations to be complied with in shop-fronts:—(1) In streets of a width not greater than 30 ft. a shop-front may project 5 in. beyond the external wall of the building to which it belongs, and the cornice may project 13 in. (2) In streets of a width greater than 30 ft., the projections of the shop-front may be 10 in. and of the cornice 18 in. beyond the building line. No woodwork of any shop-front shall be fixed higher than 25 ft. above the level of the public pavement. No woodwork shall be fixed nearer than 4 in. to the centre of the party wall. The pier of brick or stone must project at least an inch in front of the woodwork. These by-laws will be made clear on reference to fig. 10, which is of a shop-front designed to face on to a road more than 30 ft. wide.
Rolling shutters for shop-fronts are made by a number of firms, and are usually the subject of a separate estimate, being fixed by the makers themselves. The shutter consists of a number of narrow strips of wood, connected with each other by steel bands hinged at every joint, or it may be formed in iron or steel. This construction allows it to be coiled upon a cylinder containing a strong spring and usually fixed on strong brackets behind the fascia. The shutter is guided into position by the edges working in metal grooves a little under an inch wide. When the width of the opening to be closed renders it necessary to divide the shutters into more than one portion, grooved movable pilasters are used, and when the shutters have to be lowered these are fixed in position with bolts, the shutter working on the grooved edges of the pilasters. Spring roller canvas blinds work on a similar principle. The wrought-iron blind arms are capable, when the blind is extended, of being pushed up by means of a sliding arrangement, and fixed with a pin at a level high enough to allow foot passengers to pass along the pavement under them.
Doors.—External doors are usually hung to solid frames placed in the reveals of the brick or stone wall. The frames are rebated for the door and ornamented by mouldings either stuck or planted on. The jambs or posts are tenoned, wedged and glued to the head, and the feet secured to the sill by stub tenons or dowels of iron. Solid window frames are of similar construction and are used chiefly for casements and sashes hung on centres as already described. Internal doors are hung to jamb linings (fig. 7). They are usually about 11 in. thick and rebated for the door. When the width of jamb allows it, panelling may be introduced as in the example shown. The linings are nailed or screwed to rough framed grounds 1 in. in thickness plugged or nailed to the wall or partition. Architraves are the borders or finishing mouldings fixed around a window or door opening, and screwed or nailed to wood grounds. They are variously moulded according to the fancy of the designer. The ordinary form of architrave is shown in the illustration of a cased window frame (fig. 8), and a variation appears in the combined architrave and over door frieze and capping fitted around the six-panelled door (fig. 7). The latter would need to be worked and framed in the shop and fixed entire. Polished hard wood architraves may be secretly fixed, i.e. without the heads of nails or screws showing on the face, by putting screws into the grounds with their heads slightly projecting, and hanging the moulding on them by means of keyhole slots formed in the back.
Doors may be made in a variety of ways. The simplest form, the common ledged door, consists of vertical boards with plain or matched joints nailed to horizontal battens which correspond to the rails in framed doors. For openings over 2 ft. 3 in. wide, the doors should be furnished with braces. Ledged and braced doors are similar, but have, in addition to the ledges at the back, oblique braces which prevent any tendency of the door to drop. The upper end of the brace is birdsmouthed into the under side of the rail near the lock edge of the door and crosses the door in an oblique direction to be birdsmouthed into the upper edge of the rail below, near the hanging edge of the door. This is done between each pair of rails. Framed ledged and braced doors are a further development of this form of door. The framing consists of lock and hanging styles, top, middle and bottom rails, with oblique braces between the rails. These members are tenoned together and the door sheathed with boarding. The top rail and styles are the full thickness of the door, the braces and middle and bottom rails being less by the thickness of the sheathing boards, which are tongued into the top rail and styles and carried down over the other members to the bottom of the door. The three forms of door described above are used mainly for temporary purposes, and stables, farm buildings and outhouses of all descriptions. They are usually hung by wrought-iron cross garnet or strap hinges fixed with screws or through bolts and nuts.
|Fig. 11.—Forms of Panelling.|
The doors in dwelling-houses and other buildings of a like character are commonly framed and panelled in one of the many ways possible. The framing consists of styles, rails and muntins or mountings, and these members are grooved to receive and hold the panels, which are inserted previously to the door being glued and wedged up. The common forms are doors in four or six rectangular panels, and although they may be made with any form and number of panels, the principles of construction remain the same. The example shown in fig. 7 is of a six-panel door, with bolection moulded raised panels on one side, and moulded and flat panels on the other (fig. 11).
A clear idea of the method of jointing the various members may be obtained from fig. 12. The tongues of raised panels should be of parallel thickness, the bevels being stopped at the moulding. The projecting ends or horns of the styles are cut off after the door has been glued and wedged, as they prevent the ends of the styles being damaged by the wedging process.
Where there is a great deal of traffic in both directions swing doors, either single or double, are used. To open them it is necessary simply to push, the inconvenience of turning a handle and shutting the door after passing through being avoided, as a spring causes the door to return to its original position without noise. They are usually glazed and should be of substantial construction. The door is hinged at the top on a steel pivot; the bottom part fits into a metal shoe connected with the spring, which is placed in a box fixed below the floor.
For large entrances, notably for hotels and banks, a form of door working on the turnstile principle is frequently adopted. It is formed of four leaves fixed in the shape of a cross and working on top and bottom central ball-bearing steel pivots, in a circular framing which forms a kind of vestibule. The leaves of the door are fitted with slips of india-rubber at their edges which, fitting close to the circular framing, prevent draughts.
When an elegant appearance is desired, and it is at the same time necessary to keep the cost of production as low as possible, doors of pine or other soft wood are sometimes covered with a veneer or thin layer of hard wood, such as oak, mahogany or teak, giving the appearance of a solid door of the better material. Made in the ordinary way, however, the shrinkage or warping of the soft wood is very liable to cause the veneer to buckle and peel off. Veneered doors made on an improved method obviating this difficulty have been placed on the market by a Canadian company. The core is made up of strips of pine with the grain reversed, dried at a temperature of 200° F., and glued up under pressure. Both the core and the hard wood veneer are grooved over their surfaces, and a special damp-resisting glue is applied; the two portions are then welded together under hydraulic pressure. By reason of their construction these doors possess the advantages of freedom from shrinking, warping and splitting, defects which are all too common in the ordinary veneered and solid hard wood doors.
The best glue for internal woodwork is that made in Scotland. Ordinary animal glue should not be used in work exposed to the weather as it absorbs damp and thus hastens decay; in its place a compound termed beaumontique, composed of white lead, linseed oil and litharge, should be employed.
Church Work.—Joinery work in connexion with the fitting up of church interiors must be regarded as a separate branch of the joiner’s art. Pitchpine is often used, but the best work is executed in English oak; and when the screens, stalls and seating are well designed and made in this material, a distinction and dignity of effect are added to the interior of the church which cannot be obtained in any other medium. The work is often of the richest character, and frequently enriched with elaborate carving (fig. 13). Many beautiful specimens of early work are to be seen in the English Gothic cathedrals and churches; good work of a later date will be found in many churches and public buildings erected in more recent years. Fine examples of Old English joinery exist at Hampton Court Palace, the Temple Church in London, the Chapel of Henry VII. in Westminster Abbey, and Haddon Hall. Specimens of modern work are to be seen in Beverley Minster in Yorkshire, the Church of St Etheldreda in Ely Place, London, and the Wycliffe Hall Chapel at Oxford. Other examples both ancient and modern abound in the country.
Carving is a trade apart from ordinary joinery, and requires a special ability and some artistic feeling for its successful execution. But even in this work machinery has found a place, and carved ornaments of all descriptions are rapidly wrought with its aid. Small carved mouldings especially are evolved in this manner, and, being incomparably cheaper than those worked by manual labour, are used freely where a rich effect is desired. Elaborately carved panels also are made by machines and a result almost equal to work done entirely by hand is obtained if, after machinery has done all in its power, the hand worker with his chisels and gouges puts the finishing touches to the work.
Ironmongery.—In regard to the finishing of a building, no detail calls for greater consideration than the selection and accurate fixing of suitable ironmongery, which includes the hinges, bolts, locks, door and window fittings, and the many varieties of metal finishings required for the completion of a building. The task of the selection belongs to the employer or the architect; the fixing is performed by the joiner.
Of hinges, the variety termed butts are in general use for hanging doors, and are so called from being fitted to the butt edge of the door. They should be of wrought iron, cast-iron butts being liable to snap should they sustain a shock. Lifting butts are made with a removable pin to enable the door to be removed and replaced without unscrewing. Rising butts have oblique joints which cause the door to rise and clear a thick carpet and yet make a close joint with the floor when shut. Hinges of brass or gun-metal are used in special circumstances. Common forms of hinges used on ledged doors are the cross garnet and the strap. There are many varieties of spring hinges designed to bring the door automatically to a desired position. With such hinges a rubber stop should be fixed on the floor or other convenient place to prevent undue strain through the door being forced back.
Among locks and fastenings the ordinary barrel or tower bolt needs no description. The flush barrel is a bolt let in flush with the face of a door. The espagnolette is a development of the tower bolt and extends the whole height of the door; a handle at a convenient height, when turned, shooting bolts at the top and bottom simultaneously. Their chief use is for French casements. The padlock is used to secure doors by means of a staple and eye. The stock lock is a large rim lock with hard wood casing and is used for stables, church doors, &c.; it is in the form of a dead lock opened only by a key, and is often used in conjunction with a Norfolk latch. The metal cased rim lock is a cheap form for domestic and general use. The use of a rim lock obviates the necessity of forming a mortice in the thickness of the door which is required when a mortice lock is used. Finger plates add greatly to the good appearance of a door, and protect the painted work. Sash fasteners are fixed at the meeting rails of double hung sashes to prevent the window being opened from the outside and serve also to clip the two sashes tightly together. They should be of a pattern to resist the attack of a knife inserted between the rails. Sash lifts and pulls of brass or bronze are fitted to large sashes. Ornamental casement stays and fasteners in many different metals are made in numerous designs and styles. Fanlight openers for single lights, or geared for a number of sashes, may be designed to suit positions difficult of access.
The following are the principal books of reference on this subject: J. Gwilt, Encyclopaedia of Architecture; Sutcliffe, Modern House Construction; Rivington, Notes on Building Construction (3 vols.); H. Adams, Building Construction; C. F. Mitchell, Building Construction; Robinson, Carpentry and Joinery; J. P. Allen, Practical Building Construction; J. Newlands, Carpenter and Joiner’s Assistant; Bury, Ecclesiastical Woodwork; T. Tredgold and Young, Joinery; Peter Nicholson, Carpenter and Joiner’s Assistant. (J. Bt.)