mitered bridle joint

This one falls under odds n’ ends. I dug out this cupboard door to study its panel carving; but shot the mitered mortise & tenon too. I guess it’s really a bit of a bridle joint, more than a proper mortise and tenon. I have only cut this joint for one door, it’s not all that common, but something you do see once in a while in 17th-century English work. Notice that the framing material here is quartered, nice & stable. the panel is fast-grown oak by contrast. This joint really needs the stable material; best done in dry stock. When I did a door this way, I drawbored it just for good measure. I assume that’s the case here too.

cupboard door, oak
mitered bridle joint
mitered bridle joint rear view
mitered bridle joint, edge

I had shown my attempts at this joint back when I discussed the miter gauge.

and now, I can’t resist. here’s two recent shots from the workshop.

Daniel shaving white cedar


Rose's plane stroke

17 thoughts on “mitered bridle joint

    • Thanks, Luke. glad you like it. while I have you here, thanks very much for the efforts you put in to keep the site up & running. I use it as a portal to many sites and blogs every day, and I see that many of my readers get here from there. I want you to know I appreciate it. Happy holidays
      Peter Follansbee

  1. I know this is sort of off the subject of this article, but I have a question about drawboring. I am new to woodworking so forgive me if the answer is obvious. I have read pretty much all of your posts and quite a few others and no one really discusses the use of glue with drawboring. Do you glue the joint prior to putting in the pin or do you just glue the pin? Or, do you just let the wedging effect of the pin and joint hold the joint by itself? Thanks for your time and Happy Holidays.

  2. Hi Peter,

    The kids are great! Now they need a shaving bench and work bench their size. You should have picked up a #1 for Rose while you were at Lie-Neilson a couple of weekends back. It was good to see and talk with you again. Please keep working, writing, and teaching the youngsters . Happy Holidays and shavings.


  3. Beautiful panel, and more beautiful children.
    Thank you again for all the knowledge & help you contribute to us all.
    Merry Christmas Peter.

  4. Thanks to everyone for the comments on the kids. I sometimes hesitate to put them on the web, just because of the way things are these days; but because they are the central part of my life, once in a while, I can’t resist. Plus they like to make things here and at the shop…

  5. Peter:
    Know you are busy but if time permits a bench proper height for the kids would lead the way. Perhaps figure out a way to adjust the height. They grpw you know.
    Merry Christmas to all of you

  6. I noticed that the pins were recessed on the back side about the same amount as they protruded on the front. They must have been planed flush originally.

  7. Reply to W. Mickley

    Thanks for noticing the interior end of the peg. I was astonished to see that the image of the back of the panel frame when magnified several times does indeed show the pin! However I do not believe that the pin is inside the back surface. I believe what we are seeing is the interior end of a pin that was split when blasted off with a hammer or more likely a heavy single blow with a chisel. This is common on the interior of 17th Century joinery. Out of sight, out of mind. The exterior end of the pin projects as is typical. This tells us the door frame still contained substantial moisture content at the time of assembly. The frame shrank in thickness as it dried exposing the exterior end of the pin.

    Peter: Pardon me for going on about pin projection. As you know I am simply unable to pass the subject by.


  8. Another sort of oddball New England joint is found in picture frames. These are often a mitered lap joint of some sort, and they were made without a rabbet for the picture. Dr. John Clark at the Harvard Medical School has the earliest oak one. I think the lady at Pilgrim Hall has an original pine one. We made a bunch of them for New England Begins, and then I bought the overstock from the MFA Boston to make frames for many of the early portraits at the CT HS in Hartford.

  9. Peter – thanks for this post. I am curious as to how the panel is secured – is there a groove running the length of the stiles and rails – in which case It would be seen exiting at the corners, or is it a rebate on the inside edges?

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