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 In Techniques

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Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 1.44.19 PMHave modern glues and clamps rendered this ancient joinery technique obsolete? Absolutely not.

By Christopher Schwarz
Woodworking Magazine, Autumn 2005, pages 12-15

Drawboring is one of the simple reasons that so much antique furniture survives today, some of it as sound as the day it was made.

What is drawboring? It’s a technique that greatly strengthens a mortise-and-tenon joint, transforming it from a joint that relies on glue adhesion into a joint that has a permanent and mechanical interlock. In essence, you bore a hole through both walls of your mortise. Then you bore a separate hole through the tenon, but this hole is closer to the shoulder of the tenon. Then you assemble the joint and drive a stout peg through the offset holes. The peg draws the joint tight.

Drawboring Basics. Click for full-size image.

Drawboring Basics. Click for full-size image.

Drawboring offers several advantages compared to a standard glued mortise and tenon:

■ The joint will remain tight. A common problem with mortise-and-tenon joints is that the joint can open up and develop an ugly gap at the shoulder.


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