Thursday, February 14, 2013
Mortise and Tenon Joints
The Intermediate Woodworking course which is just wrapping up had some of the most creative people in it - that's something that's I really enjoy about teaching. You give the students the nuts and bolts of woodworking, like how to make a simple mortise and tenon joint, and then sit back while they let their imaginations run wild.
There is a young an in one of the classes who hopes to go on and study architecture, and I can see the wheels spinning in his head every time he gets his hands on some wood. Here is a good example of what he came up with in about a half hour.
This corner joint could be used on anything from a table or desk leg, to a chair. The interlocking tenons add some visual complexity, as well as strength for holding this joint together without the need for glue.
Even though I usually design my pieces in MacDraft, a simple software program, I decided to try to draw this joint in Sketchup. It took a few attempts - first the corner leg with its top tenon.
Here I added some intersecting tenons coming from the aprons. I haven't drawn the aprons yet
The apron on the left side is added.
And then the top and right apron are added.
This is a terrifically complex joint - but easily accomplished in the shop. Couldn't you just see a small end table with this joinery on each corner?
This is truly one of the best things about teaching - learning as much from the students as they learn from me!