Tage Frid stool question about shoulderless tenons

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Blog entry by Furnitude posted 06-11-2014 09:11 PM 1496 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For anyone who has already made a Tage Frid three-legged stool, I’m curious about one of Frid’s decisions. In his book, he said the tenons for the stretchers don’t have shoulders. I’ve never made anything with a tenon that has no shoulders. It seems like it wouldn’t have any (or very much) mechanical purpose. One advantage of not having shoulders is the difficulty of cutting the shoulders at a compound angle and have it be perfect with no gaps. Another advantage is the streamline look—the stretchers are allowed to be more slender at the ends. I guess i’m gun shy and fear that the stool with come apart if someone hits the leg the wrong way.

Is having no shoulder a chairmaking technique? I have definitely seen it in post-and-rung construction.

Any thoughts?

-- Mitch, Also blog at

2 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8166 posts in 3004 days

#1 posted 06-12-2014 02:28 AM

I’m not really sure what you are asking but I have built a few of them. I didn’t follow plans or instructions but remembered reading the article and being impressed by the advantages of three legs and having the stretchers arranged the way he did. I winged it from there but the stools are great.

I did a detailed photo blog on the construction here.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View TheFridge's profile


10767 posts in 1692 days

#2 posted 06-12-2014 02:37 AM

I would say it’s ok. The weakest point is where the shoulder meets at the mortise and I would nt think a tenon of the same size with no shoulder would be as structurally inferior as you might think. But I haven’t seen how narrow you are talking about

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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