Cutting Bridle Joints

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Forum topic by DaveMoore posted 11-09-2011 01:32 AM 2880 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 3231 days

11-09-2011 01:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bridle joint question joining


I’m starting to build a dining table along the lines of Nakashima’a Frenchman’s Cove design, like this . I say along the lines, but actually I mean a blatant copy :-)

My problem is the joints between the legs and feet. I presume these are bridle joints, but I’ve bever cut one before so I’m hoping someone can confirm if I’m going about it the right way. First, the actual joint design – there seem to be two obvious ways the joint could be constructed –

Am I right in thinking the second design will give me a much more solid joint? Or are there any downsides to the second design? Do people think it’d be worth drawboring it or is there more than enough glue surface to hold?

Next, cutting the joint itself. I presume I’d cut the leg piece first and then fit the foot to it? That seems like the most sensible way to me, but if anyone has any advice for cutting the joint it would be very welcome. I guess I should mention, I’ll be limited to hand tools and a router.

Thanks in advance,

5 replies so far

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2688 days

#1 posted 11-09-2011 02:13 AM

I use a similar joint for a table that I’ve been building with a slight twist. Here’s a picture of what I’m referring to. Check out picture # 3, it’s the best photo I have of it.

I find cutting the legs first and then fitting the post to it works best for me.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Timberwerks's profile


360 posts in 3157 days

#2 posted 11-09-2011 03:24 AM

I used what you have in figure 2 for this table, one of the photos show a bit of detail of the joint:


View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2689 days

#3 posted 11-09-2011 05:12 PM

A dado stack would do the job.. but a router will suffice in a pinch. I’d lean towards #2, as it will hide gaps better

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View DaveMoore's profile


26 posts in 3231 days

#4 posted 11-09-2011 07:45 PM

Gaps? I don’t understand – why would there be gaps Dan? Hehe….yeah, good point, there probably will be a few :-)

It seems like number 2, legs first, is the way to go. Thanks for the advice guys, and nice tables Dale and Darrell…

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2689 days

#5 posted 11-09-2011 07:48 PM

Hehe.. Aside from the sides of the crosspiece, in #1, the seam between the crosspiece and the post might show (sorry, don’t know the technical terms with this joint). In other words, if you were to flip it over, it would be the bottom part of the U that forms. In #2, this sits below the level of the crosspiece, so its hidden

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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