Alternative Joint

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    Topic
  • #136003
    chemical_cakechemical_cake
    Participant

    Hi all,

    My grandfather taught me this joint, I use it from time to time and thought I might share it here after cutting one today. I’ve never seen it in a book for whatever reason, but it has some advantages for the hand tool woodworker that I think make it very useful.

    Its application is for square frames where two sides are hidden and one or both of the others are on show, such as drawer blades/separators fitted into housings. Typically the joint is a stubby tenon fitted into either a groove or a mortise, but I believe this joint is faster, stronger and more accurate. Faster because the full mortise depth is cut with the saw and the waste is easily removed. Stronger because there is plenty of glue area. More accurate because it never relies on judging whether your chisel is perpendicular; the full depth is guided by gauged lines, and the longer tenon means less likelihood of clamping one member out of plane with the other.

    I wonder if anyone else uses or has come across this joint? I think perhaps you don’t see it in books because it has become more or less obsolete now mortises can be so quickly machined, and modern books might tend to present hand tool methods as alternative ways of doing things machines do.

    Matt

    Southampton, UK

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  • #136012
    EdEd
    Participant

    @ed

    This looks like it wood work for making cabinet doors. Put the tenons on the rails and the “mortises” in the stiles. Plowing a groove to take a panel would not really change the joint at all

    When you say drawer blades/separators, do you mean building a frame like this, set in housings, for drawers to run on in a chest of drawers? Again, you could plow grooves to take a thin dust panel.

    To cut the mortise, do you saw across the 45-degree and then just pare across with a chisel, working down to the final 45-degree shoulder? Seems like the only gotcha would be watching for diving grain.

    I really cannot see any down side to this for most cabinet doors. Was the joint used for that?

    #136020
    Matt McGraneMatt McGrane
    Participant

    @mattmcgrane

    Seems like I’ve seen that somewhere, Matt. But I don’t remember where. It’s fairly attractive, too when put together. Seems like it would be tough to pare the mortise walls. Or do you simply rely on accurate sawing to the lines?

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016: http://tinyshopww.blogspot.com/

    #136021
    Peter GeorgePeter George
    Participant

    @pjgeorge

    Basically it’s a bridle joint that hides the end grain on one of the pieces.

    I found this in “Woodwork Joints” by Charles Hayward. If you look at H, it’s similar except the the faces are mitered instead of the tenon.

    Peter in
    Biggar SK
    "New York is big, but this is Biggar"

    Attachments:
    #136024
    chemical_cakechemical_cake
    Participant

    @chemical_cake

    @ed, yes it works well with grooves, though in contrast to a normal mortise and tenon it is much easier to cut the joint before the grooves. I have not used it for doors though for light ones I don’t see why not, especially if the panel is ply and glued in.

    Here’s the sequence: prepare stock, pretty square ends are necessary though mine here are off the saw. Knife nick the width of each piece onto the other, square onto three faces on the tenoned member and inside edge of mortised member. Gauge your lines on two faces of the mortised member and all faces of the tenoned member. Saw the mortise walls from corner to nick, if you saw carefully and follow the lines there is no need to trim the walls. Blast through most of the waste with the chisel in one go, directly on the line on the inside and leaving maybe 1/4″ on the outside corner (it generally pops out easily from the force alone), then pare down to the corner. Paring is favourable because of the slope, even the wildest grain is unlikely to cause much trouble. Cut the tenon in the usual way then mark a line from corner to corner on the tenon, saw, trim slope if necessary, voila.

    @matt, the idea is to saw to the lines and then never touch the walls again, it’s a joint built for speed!

    @pjgeorge, Yes I see the similarity in that joint, it’s also similar to the mitred lap joint which is basically the same thing but without one wall of the mortise, but these joints have one major difference the way I see it – they are used to strengthen mitres so the angled cuts must be accurate, my “half-blind bridle” uses the angle for speed and it does not have to be accurate.

    Thanks for all your input so far!

    Matt

    Southampton, UK

    #136028
    EdEd
    Participant

    @ed

    @chemical_cake, thank you for the details. Can you add what you meant by drawer blade/separators?

    #136030
    EdEd
    Participant

    @ed

    Do you need to be careful that, if you need to plane the outside edge of the mortised member after assembly, e.g, for fitting or cleanup, then the tip of the tenon can come through and show?

    #136033
    chemical_cakechemical_cake
    Participant

    @chemical_cake

    Hi @ed, sorry for my omission. The description you give is what I meant, i.e. frames fitted into housings that drawers sit on in a chest of drawers or similar construction.

    You do have to be careful with planing the good edges, yes, but if you use stopped housings the part of the joint that is liable to do that gets notched out anyway so it’s not an issue then.

    Matt

    Southampton, UK

    #136038
    EdEd
    Participant

    @ed

    Ah, indeed. Brilliant! I was a little too focused on the door application… Thanks, again.

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