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!

1 comment:

Drmimosa said...

I want to make good on my promise to bring Moe some alligator meat next year. Does anyone know how to get in touch with "Moe" as he signed my wood carving??