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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Re: White oak panels for triptych

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  • AlbionWood
    Great figure. 14d especially, as it is a form of joinery that would hardly occur to most of us, yet makes perfect sense to the medieval. All of these methods
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 29, 2011
      Great figure. 14d especially, as it is a form of joinery that would
      hardly occur to most of us, yet makes perfect sense to the medieval.

      All of these methods avoid the problem of cross-grain glue joint
      failure, which is pretty much inevitable. I was surprised to discover
      how much movement a pinned joint can accommodate. There are plenty of
      medieval examples of pinned cross-grain joinery, and they don't all
      involve elongated holes (as in modern breadboard ends). For example, in
      clamped-front chests of the XIIIc, the lid is often fixed to battens
      with treenails - wooden pegs driven in just like nails. You'd think
      this would not hold up long-term, but it does.

      Sir Stan is correct that many, if not most, of these triptych panels
      were decorated on both sides. Most of the time, the triptych was closed
      up, and the painting on the "back" was exposed to view. This painting
      was nearly always simpler than what was on the inside, frequently just
      armory of the donor; in some cases portraits of saints, done in muted
      colors or grisaille. It was the "everyday" appearance. It didn't seem
      to bother the medievals to have exposed fasteners on that side; nails,
      clips, wedges, etc. There may or may not have been a moulding applied
      to the "back" side. Basically it was not considered the "pretty" part.
      This is almost the opposite of our modern expectation - the side most
      often viewed should look the best!

      One other thing that made your glue joint failure inevitable was the use
      of flatsawn lumber for the panels. Not only does this move more than
      quartersawn, but it moves differently: it bows as it moves. Panels for
      paintings should always be made from quartersawn wood.

      Nice job with the beveled moulding on the bottom rail. Some (most?) of
      these mouldings were actually M&T framed; I did that with the side-panel
      tracery on the West Kingdom Court Thrones and found it a bit tricky to
      cut, but a nifty joint when done. I have photos if anybody's interested.

      Cheers,
      Tim


      On 6/27/2011 6:06 PM, sdhunter3 wrote:
      >
      > The omitted figure: (Fig. 14a-d). Has been uploaded to my Triptych directory.
      >
      > There are several examples of triptychs with decoration and molding applied to the outside surface of the panels.
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