Graphical Construction Glossary >> Woodwork. >> Joints >> Loose Wedged Tenon

Loose Wedged Tenon
A tenon running through a mortise with extra length to allow for a small mortise and a wedge at right angles to secure the joint. Typically in large heavy joints.

table leg and tie rail

This shot is a detail of a huge table about 15ft. long that is in the large hall Eltham Palace in London, UK. (of the hammer beam roof fame). It makes good sense in a case like this to make the table demountable so that it can be split up into smaller parts f it needs to be removed. I have no age for this piece, but the crocodile carving is a similar motif to many that I have seen from the middle ages.

It is rare to see really old wedged tenon joints like this that are still in good original condition, as over enthusiastic use of a hammer tends to split the end of the tenon.

The trick is precise measurement and not too steep a slope for the wedges. I reckon that any wedges for mortise and tenon joints should be about 8:1 slope ratio or even more. When they are less they tend to want to pop out again instead of remaining snug.

table rails and wedges

A modern copy of a lot older table seen at Hampton Court Palace, London UK.

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