To my eye, one of the biggest differences between joinery in England and New England in the seventeenth century is the details around the mortise and tenon joints. This is a detail of the English cupboard door in the previous entry. The stock for the door frame has two moldings run on it. The edge molding is the one I am concerned with at this point. It affects the joinery in that this molding is mitered where the mortise & tenon meet, making some extra work at fitting the joint. The mortised stock needs to be cut back some to allow the tenoned rail’s molding to meet the other at 45 degrees.
Here’s a particularly nice example from Haddon Hall in Derbyshire. You might at first think the moldings are applied, but look at the location of the pegs securing the joints – these are the clear giveaway that this joint is mitered.
Much simpler, and almost universal in New England joinery is the straight-edged mortise and tenon joint like this one from Massachusetts:
One difference is that this joint has no edge molding. Joiners often kept the straight-edged joint, but worked either a molding, or as in this case, a bevel, that did not reach all the way to the joint, like this one from another Massachusetts chest:
One more for now, then tomorrow I hope to get some shots of dis-assembled repro joints to further confound this subject. Here is a chair back, from a wainscot chair made in Yorkshire. The edges of the stiles and rails are beveled, and the shoulder of the tenon is thus undercut at 45 degrees to slip over this bevel. With this joint, you almost always get the pegs right at the shoulder where the tenoned rail meets the mortise.