Question regarding glue-free, nail-free joinery

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Forum topic by keil posted 06-19-2014 04:49 AM 1649 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 862 days

06-19-2014 04:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: joinery glue-free nail-free

Hi everyone,

This is my first post here. I ran across a daybed frame recently that I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the construction method. The claim is no glue, no nails, nothing but pure joinery. The day bed’s name in German means “wedge” in regards to technique to join the pieces together however no matter how much I look at the photos I can not figure out what joint method is being used. I thought perhaps a blind mortise & tenon but I can’t figure from where the support would come then. I’ve provided the photos here. My questions are as follows:

1. What is the assumed technique?
2. Is this just flash or is it a sustainable building model that can hold up to wear and tear over time?

Thank you for your help in advanced.

19 replies so far

View Loren's profile


8178 posts in 3072 days

#1 posted 06-19-2014 05:01 AM

Fox wedged blind tenons. Hard to do right.

That’s weird to try to sell a furniture piece based
on the claim of no glue.

View keil's profile


6 posts in 862 days

#2 posted 06-19-2014 05:05 AM

So do you think it’s not really sustainable? I’m wondering if it could hold up over time. I get the sense that is probably not the case.

View Loren's profile


8178 posts in 3072 days

#3 posted 06-19-2014 05:07 AM

It will if done correctly.

Whether you can do it correctly is another matter. The
joint is not easy to correct or repair if it loosens.

View keil's profile


6 posts in 862 days

#4 posted 06-19-2014 05:09 AM

Great, thanks for the info.

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


930 posts in 1779 days

#5 posted 06-19-2014 06:37 AM

There are a couple of other joining techniques that are possible also that require the piece to be fully assembled to hold together, in which case the piece would not come apart.

Unfortunately I’ve not seen any of these joining processes used and it’s been a very long time since I’ve even seen pictures… Things like a cross between dovetailing and tennoning, it’s full blind but… danged if I can’t remember the name of those techniques, may even be what loren is talking about.The frame around the top is most likely some kind of mortised mitre. Yeah I’ve used that one once on some hidden cabinet doors… Years ago…

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View waho6o9's profile


7125 posts in 2001 days

#6 posted 06-19-2014 12:19 PM

Here’s some interesting joinery as well. Fun stuff.

View Frank's profile


40 posts in 3087 days

#7 posted 06-19-2014 12:26 PM

I don’t believe you need to use glue with the Drawbored method, but I do not see any pins in the photos you provided. Curious how they did this.

-- Some rescue cats, some rescue dogs. I rescue tools. Feel free to send me any tools you cannot take care of or don’t want and I will foster them until I find a good home for them.

View jmartel's profile


6477 posts in 1574 days

#8 posted 06-19-2014 03:06 PM

Correct, drawboring does not require glue, though glue is typically used.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4827 posts in 2238 days

#9 posted 06-19-2014 03:46 PM

Drawboring is a great technique that works. But honestly, I use glue even when drawboring.
Belt and suspenders? Yes!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View keil's profile


6 posts in 862 days

#10 posted 06-20-2014 06:51 AM

Hi Frank, that was my thought. I almost wonder if the images are photoshopped. I haven’t seen the piece in real life but I have seen a few angles and I simply can’t find any visible pins, etc.

View keil's profile


6 posts in 862 days

#11 posted 06-20-2014 07:00 AM

Oddly enough, I happened on a more detailed description in German of the daybed and it seems the name is more referring the the fact that the leather straps are held in place with wooden wedges. The first description I read was more misleading in that it sounded like it was referring to the joinery technique so perhaps the frame construction is indeed using glue.

That being said, pretend for a moment that the whole glue/no-glue issue was never brought up, what joinery technique would you suggest simply based on the above photos to achieve a similar aesthetic? The legs are pretty thin so I’d assume a 45 deg tenon would be needed on the top connecting frame.

View Loren's profile


8178 posts in 3072 days

#12 posted 06-20-2014 07:08 AM

I would use a biscuit.

Mortise and tenon (or dowels) for the ends, biscuits for
the miters. Glue up the ends first. That stretcher down
low makes this a sturdy design which is why I suggest
dowels if you want to make it easier to build.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1170 posts in 1138 days

#13 posted 06-20-2014 08:13 AM

I 2nd Loren.
And: I realy like that design. If you end up making your own version please share it wih us!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View keil's profile


6 posts in 862 days

#14 posted 06-20-2014 09:02 PM

Sounds good. Thanks for the suggestions. I’m planning to take a stab at it. I’ll keep this updated when I finish.

View Dutchy's profile


1976 posts in 1593 days

#15 posted 06-20-2014 09:11 PM


Can it be:

-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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