This ancient mortise-and-tenon joinery technique needs no glue, no clamps.
by Jennie Alexander & Peter Follansbee
The excerpt that follows is adapted from “Make a Joint Stool from a Tree,” a new book by Jennie Alexander and Peter Follansbee (Lost Art Press). While the book teaches you start to finish how to make a joint stool, many of the techniques you’ll learn therein are applicable in the modern shop – perhaps none so much as drawboring.
Drawboring is a method used in 17th-century joinery that is still valid today. That a mortise-and-tenon joint can be permanently secured with no glue and no clamps is hard for some modern woodworkers to swallow. But all it takes is some careful planning, a brace and bit, and a tapered wooden pin. Jennie Alexander and I have been very fortunate to closely study many examples of surviving woodwork from the 17th century, and have worked repeatedly to try to mimic the tool marks and techniques we saw there.
In Our Store: “Make a Joint Stool from a Tree,” by Jennie Alexander & Peter Follansbee
Article: “A 1600s Joiner’s Tool Kit,” by Peter Follansbee
Article: “The Best Oak Money can Buy,” by Peter Follansbee
Blog: Read “Joiner’s Notes,” Peter Follansbee’s blog. Read more