recent projects




I have a number of projects underway, as usual. I have just test-fitted these two joined stools, in preparation for the demonstrations I have next week at Winterthur Museum in Delaware. I plan on assembling them there, but haven’t got a chunk of oak big enough for seats right now…


For that demo, I am mainly concentrating on furniture from Plymouth Colony, where this sort of “lipped” tenon was standard practice for joined chests and cupboards. In this configuration, the molding is integral, not applied.


detail, Plymouth Colony joined chest w integral molding
detail, Plymouth Colony joined chest w integral molding





It makes for some complicated work cutting the tenons. The cheeks are sawn, and the joint is not draw-bored. One or two square pins secure the tenon in place. I haven’t done one in almost 15 years, so I will make a new demo piece to replace this grubby-looking example.


PF sample repro of "lipped" tenon
PF sample repro of “lipped” tenon




unassembled view of "lipped" tenon
unassembled view of "lipped" tenon
 But what I have been really excited about is the new London carved pattern I wrote about last week. I knew I would try to squeeze it in, so I carved this sample of it the other day. It took some tinkering to figure out the layout and sequence of cuts. A test version is essential for me when I’m doing something this complex. I got it along pretty well, but knew this one is a sample at best. So I didn’t bother finishing it, but now have a good idea of how to tackle it for next time.

test-carving of London pattern
test-carving of London pattern






4 thoughts on “recent projects

  1. Good to see that you have added a reproduction of the so called Jacques stool at Winterthur to your family. I really like your turnings.Hm….you say the two stools are “test-fitted” but there is not a single metal draw pin in sight! By coincidence, I read only today that double tenoned joints could not be drawbored.Your lipped tenon presents a similar difficulty. It helped me visuallize what a pin wold have to do to make its way trough a drawbore.

  2. I used double lipped tenons to connect a pair of centre post on a 4-door cabinet I made in Oak about 10 years ago. The two posts each secure the locks etc. of a pair of glazed doors.

    The construction of the joint and rail is just about identical to yours, except for the carving.

    Presented with that problem, I used foxed wedges glued in a (slightly) tapering mortise.
    There’s absolutely no room for error or trial fittings with the wedges in place.

    My customer assures me that it’s been rock solid ever since.

    Is there any evidence to suggest that makers in that era used similar methods?

    Keep up the interesting posts,



  3. As your father said, “Look for one thing, you find another.” I was looking through Charles H. Hayward, Woodwork Joints (Sterling, 1979) for the name of the tapered metal pin used to draw draw-bored mortises and tenons together. Hayward carefully describes the metal drawpin but does not name it! He does identify the Pymouth Colony “lipped tenon joint” as a “bridle and tenon joint.” I find no period reference to either. Do you know of one?

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