Glueless Joinery and some thoughts on furniture design

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Forum topic by bobro posted 12-28-2014 01:29 PM 2826 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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320 posts in 1306 days

12-28-2014 01:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table cherry glueless hand tools


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Glueless joinery, from rough lumber, with a few basic hand tools. A hand saw, a backsaw, couple of chisels, two handplanes, sliding bevel, square, pencil. Electric drill for boring out peg holes, but not for the mortises (it’s more precise and almost as fast to chop the whole mortise out than it is to chain-drill then clean up).

Joints are pegged mortise and through-tenon, dovetails, and pegged dovetail tenons.

The top looks like a cross-grain construction, but it is not. The top is not glued down and only the center pin is physically bound, which means as little, or less, actual cross-grain constriction than a typical mortise and tenon joint on a stretcher. The beech edges are pegged to the sides of the top but not down. So the top can move with the seasons. Now that I have a camera again I’ll finally be able to do drawings of this top/end construction on my “blog” here.

You could say that the table is without decoration and be technically correct- all the decorative elements are functional, decoration is a byproduct of structural elements. That’s a design approach I really dig. Got more to say about that but my computer is extremely slow at the moment.

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.

2 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3883 posts in 1763 days

#1 posted 12-28-2014 02:39 PM

Very nice. I admire your skill.


View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3239 days

#2 posted 12-28-2014 06:42 PM

Glue-less joinery; that’s a whole different skill. I’ve seen Chinese and Japanese glue-less joinery and marvel at the use of complex joints. When I was in Japan, I watched two carpenters build a house using a few simple tools and hand cut glue-less joints.

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