colonial lanternLanterns of all shapes and sizes have made a resurgence in recent years. In the past, especially before electricity became common, they were used to illuminate homes and other buildings. Now they are more decorative than functional, but they can easily be made functional by adding battery or solar powered LED lights.

This version is loosely based on a colonial style of lantern that emulated a tiny house with windows. An interesting design with many sharp angles that makes it an interesting project and with the added feature of brass hinges, a brass clasp and even brass fittings for the hanger, it makes an attractive piece.

I could have used 3/4" material to make the frame for this lantern, but I wanted something that was a bit "beefier" so I custom planed some rough wood down to 7/8". Not much bigger but big enough that it is noticeable, and I used the same thickness for the top and bottom.

I tried to plan this project so I could do some glue-ups but still keep working on on other parts, so began by gluing up the boards that would later make the base, which ended up being 8-1/2" square. Next I began to work on the main body of the lantern and agonized over what method to use.

I could have used a variety of methods from a simple gluing with an epoxy glue then air nailing the sides together to hold them until the glue set, to a more complex system of saddle joints (similar to mortise and tenon), but finally opted to use my doweling jig.

The idea of using the doweling jig was also a bit of an experiment. My plan was to use 3/8" dowels to assemble to opposing sides, then to join the 2 sides with the connecting pieces using 1/4" dowels. My idea was the 3/8" dowels would hold the sides nicely, but then later I could drill into them with the 1/4" dowels and still get a great fit. As it turns out, this worked well. I think I may have hit a couple a voids when drilling so in the future I would ensure my dowels we seated more closely to the bottoms of each hole to ensue a good hold. For any of you who are new to these videos, I am using the doweling jig.

 After gluing two of the side up, I decided to make the cross frames for each of the 4 sides of the lantern. I wanted the insides to slightly smaller so as to have a bit of a "reveal" to help add to the appealing look of the lantern. I cut the raw material 5/8", I would also use this material for the door.

To joint the cross pieces, I cut dado cuts into each piece then carefully fitted them. I decided earlier that it would be easier to make the cross pieces and fit them together - then mark them for fitting into each side. 

Once all the cross pieces were made I assembled the 4 sides. To fit the cross members into each side, I simply took them apart and cut each piece to fit on the sliding mitre saw. To fasten them into each side I again used 5 minute epoxy glue.

The door assembly, shown in the video was assembled with epoxy glue and pinned with 23 guage pins to hold it while the glue dried (5 minutes).

Here is the link for the router bit I used to put the decorative edge on top and bottom of the lantern.
 Yonico 13123q Double Roman Ogee Edging Router Bit with Medium 1/4-Inch Shank

Final assembly was done with screws, then the brass fittings added. The brass fittings can really make a piece "pop" they are that detail that really adds to visual effect of the piece.