Mitred Bridle Joint

Mitred Bridle Joint (1)

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The mitred bridle joint is a very useful corner joint which can be used for things like strong picture frames. This is a mortise and tenon alternative that can be cut very accurately using the hand router.


  1. ALLEN ROSS on 19 December 2017 at 2:25 pm

    excellent video Paul. you are a great teacher

  2. Indranil Banerjie on 19 December 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Another super useful tutorial. Thanks very much as I have often felt a need for a joint like this.

  3. terrapin52 on 19 December 2017 at 3:13 pm

    These are called “stretcher bars” by artists. Very useful. Great video!

    • bobeaston on 20 December 2017 at 7:13 pm

      “Stretcher bars” when used for mounting canvas, but also “frames” when used to surround a canvas.

      • myrv0169 on 2 March 2018 at 3:18 pm

        Does anyone know how to add the Keys if using this method for paintings?

  4. petervalcanas on 19 December 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Very nice looking joint.
    I like your new watch by the way.

  5. petervalcanas on 19 December 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Very nice looking joint.
    I like your new watch by the way.

  6. btyreman on 19 December 2017 at 3:36 pm

    can’t wait to try this on my first picture frame, thanks paul and merry christmas

  7. Roger Gilliam on 19 December 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Always enjoy. Thanks and Merry Christmas

  8. Bob Reed on 19 December 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you Paul, I just love watching you work your magic on wood. Watching you inspires me to get in the shop and and get my hands on the tools and wood and give a try on what each and everyone of your lessons you have shared. You are such a wonderful craftsman and gentleman, I greatly appreciate you.

  9. Dirk Ogier on 19 December 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks, Paul. I learned a lot from your work en explanation.. Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy 2018

    • JIM CHILDRESS on 19 December 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Paul, your detailed explanations lead me down the path to your expertise. Thank you.
      A Greeting of this Season.

  10. tenbears on 19 December 2017 at 5:25 pm

    How would you treat this differently if it were to have a rebate to accept a picture. Would you cut the rebate first and compensate with a haunch on the bottom side?

    • joeleonetti on 19 December 2017 at 7:56 pm

      I was wondering the same thing as well. Also wondering in a similar manner if you wanted to chafer the onside edges what you would do differently.

    • Philip Adams on 20 December 2017 at 3:57 pm

      You could rebate the mitred side up to 1/3 of the thickness of the stock without impacting the joinery. On the other side, you would have to adjust the joinery on the shoulder. I would advise cutting and cleaning up the rebate first, then transferring to get an accurate meeting point. More than 1/3 would complicate the joinery.

      Chamfering the inside edge of the mitred side would not cause any issues. On the other side would have to be stopped, so more complicated.

  11. chrisesch on 19 December 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Would it be best to use a plow plan to cut the rabbet for the picture/glass after this joint is cut or would you do it on the longer piece of stock before you cut the joint?

    • Philip Adams on 20 December 2017 at 4:02 pm

      Hello Christopher,
      See my response above to see how the rebate effects the joinery. If it doesn’t effect the joinery, then you can cut it afterwards.

  12. bongo817 on 19 December 2017 at 5:37 pm

    I wonder how many blokes have run out and purchased the new watch Paul has been sporting in the last couple videos.

    • Thomas Hanson on 19 December 2017 at 9:37 pm

      I still can’t believe people still wear watches with the glut of cellphones and everyone looking down. I threw mine away 15 years ago. That’s also about the time I retired so maybe that has something to do with it.

    • Simon Wilcox on 20 December 2017 at 2:13 pm

      That looks a lot like a Fitbit Alta or Alta HR. I wonder how many steps Paul does around the workshop in a day ?

  13. robertparsons81 on 19 December 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Great i have enjoyed the last set of joints you have shown us all thank you so much ,thanks to all the team hope you all have a Great Christmas and New Year.

  14. kenfriberg on 19 December 2017 at 10:08 pm


    Thanks for the video on a subject I have been contemplating for a while. I even have a good ‘practice’ project to try it out on this weekend.

  15. danm on 19 December 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you Paul, that was very useful. Are you planning to follow up with a full frame building, including a picture rabbet, maybe inside chamfering and, most importantly to me, how to make sure your frame comes out square – are there any tricks to ensuring that opposite sides run precisely the same length, and how to correct it (if possible at all) when eventually they are slightly different?

    • Philip Adams on 20 December 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Hello Dan,
      Paul may go into some of these aspects, we have not fully decided yet. We did do the picture frame project some time ago that uses different joinery on the corner and includes some helpful details.

      As far as keeping everything parallel, clamping together opposite pieces for layout with a knife is key. The same skills used for making any panel frame would come in handy. See the free series on door making for useful info.

  16. beach512 on 19 December 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Thanks Paul and crew. Great video. I really like that Preston router!

  17. Brian Burke on 19 December 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Great work and video, Paul. The wedge system looks awkward to my eye. Is that the traditional way these joints were made?

  18. Brian Miller on 20 December 2017 at 3:09 am

    I love these types of videos. The joint yes, wonderful. But the tools in action, the techniques, the on-going conversation and tips are golden for me. Your time and effort are so appreciated. Far beyond what I can express here. Thank you.

  19. Kirby Francis on 20 December 2017 at 3:20 am

    Many thanks – just finished a picture frame, will use this on the next! Happy Christmas to Paul, the crew, and their families.

  20. barrysutton on 20 December 2017 at 3:36 am

    Anyone for starting a petition to bring back Paul’s analogue watch? I found it quite informative to see how long different operations took.

  21. Peter W on 20 December 2017 at 10:30 am

    Thank You, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you All.

  22. Mario Fusaro on 20 December 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Excellent video, Paul. Nice to see the Master make a mistake now and then, too, just as we do (much more often).

  23. larryl49 on 20 December 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Paul, enjoyed this video the next picture frame I Wil use this method neat joint, I will do a dummy run first to get it in to my ageing brain.
    Many thanks, have a peaceful Christmas and a happy new year.
    Regards Larry.

  24. FRANK CHERRITO on 20 December 2017 at 8:31 pm

    i so could have used this last week when i made a picture frame for stretching canvas… i did follow Paul’s tech. for lap joints and they all 8 came out perfect… i pushed myself this time and tried all the different tech. he demonstrated… now this was a first for me… being disabled i have a big problem being able to saw squarely and perpendicular but following Paul’s tech… work fantastically
    thanks Paul… your a great inspiration to me

  25. Stephen Saputra on 21 December 2017 at 5:00 am

    Hi Paul, great video as always, thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  26. Michael Anderson on 22 December 2017 at 4:07 pm

    I’ve taken advantage of many of your techniques, Paul, but the proper use of the router plane has been one of the most satisfying. I don’t have a Preston, just a few Stanley No. 71’s, so had to use a wooden sole to enlarge one of them. But your bench techniques (and your bench) look odd to an American, holding workpieces in your vise for all operations and not using hold-downs or bench dogs. For me benchtop holding devices work best for planing, especially using a router plane where you can use an auxiliary piece to support the outboard end and keep the plane level. Probably just a matter of skill differences.

  27. Sandy on 22 December 2017 at 8:11 pm

    I can see some applications for this joint beyond picture frames. I have a few minutes for the shop… gone to try this out!

  28. Fabien Panaget on 23 December 2017 at 8:18 am

    Wonderful, as always.

    Thank you Paul.

  29. rayc21 on 25 December 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you Paul for this one very nice joint.
    I do like your chisel handles.

  30. Gcooper on 29 December 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Always a pleasure to watch. Technology will never replace craftmanship.

  31. Bill Elliott on 4 January 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Fantastic. I would’ve never thought to remove the shaving on the surface, to allow the router plane to go deeper. Simple, yet brilliant.

  32. Sten Moeller on 20 January 2018 at 10:11 am

    I can’t help thinking about Paul’s excellent mortise & tenon technique and whether this tenon couldn’t be produced in that same manner, having the piece somewhat longer and then rather use the router plane with safe support on both sides. True, the angular side might produce a problem at the pointed end, but that part could be fixed after sawing off the end part of the piece. Merely a thought – triggered by Paul himself, as it were…

  33. Machinemd on 27 January 2018 at 5:33 pm

    That’s not Paul, there is no Sieko on his wrist. LOL.

  34. George Harris on 31 January 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Am I the only one who’s slightly confused by the setup of this technique?

    I’m struggling to understand what paul means when saying the cut lines from the router should be a bit different than the size of the chisel. Does he mean the lines should be wider in the middle tenon than the chisel? If so, why? And if so, when determining the position of the router blade, you’d set it slightly shallower than the chisel?

    I’ve tried using this method these past few days and have got three joints that all line up, but only after a good bit of fettling. The other issue I’m having is that I have to cut a little deeper in the mortice each corner. I line everything up with the knife and combo square, but end up taking the channel that little bit lower each time to get the mitred corner to line up properly. Can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong, and will watch the vid for the fifth time and try to see what Paul is doing different, but if anyone has any suggestions I’m all ears!


    • Christopher Johnston on 20 March 2018 at 5:25 am

      Youre overthinking it George .All he means is that the chisel width is narrower than the gauge lines so that you cut INSIDE them with the chisel.

  35. beach512 on 24 September 2019 at 3:36 pm

    I tried this last night on 2 sample pieces of pine. I made notes and sketches after watching the video. It came out great! I took my time and worked carefully. The little jig that is made at the beginning is brilliant.
    I never made this joint but Paul’s instruction was excellent. It is a great lesson in careful prep, layout, knife walls, sawing, mortising and hand router work.
    It was so satisfying after I completed it and all the joints were tight with no gaps.
    I plan to make a picture frame using the joint now. Thanks Paul and the team!

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