Make a Tusk Tenon Joint with Hand Tools (Part 1/5)

//Make a Tusk Tenon Joint with Hand Tools (Part 1/5)

In this video, hand tool woodworking expert Will Myers shows his method for making the strong and attractive wedged tusk tenon (or keyed tenon), and he demonstrates it during his building of a Moravian Workbench at Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s School.

A tusk tenon is especially great for furniture that needs to be collapsible. A wedge is tapped down into a mortise, and tightens the mortise and tenon joint right up. And tapping the bottom of the wedge will loosen the joint. “But…but…tusk tenons aren’t strong” you say? Watch here as Will shows the force required to destroy one of these beefy joints:

It’s true that some frail tusk tenon joints can be weak (like those on Arts & Craft furniture), but Will shows how to make them exceedingly strong, and not just decorative.

Closeup of a wedged tusk tenon joint or keyed tenon joinery on a Moravian workbench

Here are a bunch of tusk tenons that I made for Moravian workbenches in my school:

A row of Moravian workbench legs that feature the wedged tusk tenon joint or keyed tenon joinery

Watch this fun episode on the Woodwright’s Shop television show where Will Myers briefly demonstrates the construction and destruction of these tusk tenons with Roy Underhill:

Will Myers & Roy Underhill testing the strength of a tusk tenon joint

Lastly, Will Myers will be teaching a great class at my school next month: “Sep 19-22: “Make the Canterbury Shaker Side Table with Will Myers”. Beginner woodworkers will learn how to make this charming reproduction side table, and will walk away with many valuable hand tool woodworking skills. I’m offering a discount for my readers so we can fill the remaining spots. Use this coupon code during checkout for $100 off: $100SALE

Canterbury shaker side table made by Will Myers sitting next to a shaker rocking chair

If you want to be notified when the next parts of this five part video series are released, make sure you’re on the email list:

2018 CLASS SCHEDULE IN VIRGINIA:

May 4-5: “Make a Custom Dovetail Saw with Tom Calisto”

May 10-12: “Building the Hancock Shaker Candle Stand with Will Myers”

May 25-26: “Restoring Wooden Handplanes with Bill Anderson”

May 31-Jun 2: “Introduction to Hand Tool Woodworking with Joshua Farnsworth” 

Jun 16: “Make a Moravian Dovetailed Footstool with David Ray Pine”

Jun 23: “Build a Pair of Heavy-Duty Sliding Dovetail Saw Benches with Joshua Farnsworth” 

Jun 28-30:  “Introduction to Hand Tool Woodworking with Joshua Farnsworth” 

Jul 7: “Wood Joinery by Hand with Joshua Farnsworth”

Jul 13-14: “Make an 18th Century Panel Saw with Tom Calisto”

Jul 20-21: “Make a German Shave Horse with Ervin & Willie Ellis” 

Jul 27-28: “Make a Moravian Dovetailed Candlebox with David Ray Pine”

Jul 30-31: “Make Workbench Hand Tools with Bill Anderson”

Aug 15-18: “Building a Dropleaf Pembroke Occasional Table with Bill Anderson”

Aug 21-25:  “Building a Classic Walnut Wall Cupboard with David Ray Pine” 

Sep 7-8: “Make a Custom Dovetail Saw with Tom Calisto”

Sep 19-22: “Make the Canterbury Shaker Side Table with Will Myers”

Oct 1-3:  “Introduction to Hand Tool Woodworking with Joshua Farnsworth” 

Oct 12-13: “Make a German Shave Horse with Ervin & Willie Ellis”

Oct 17-20: “Make a Sailor’s Tool Chest with Tom Calisto” 

Nov 2-3: “Restoring Wooden Handplanes with Bill Anderson” 

Nov 13-17: “Make a Cherry Shaker Wall Cabinet with Joshua Farnsworth

2018-08-08T08:47:07+00:00

About the Author:

Joshua loves mixing his passion for traditional hand tool woodworking with his ability to teach in a simple manner. He lives on a small farm in Earlysville, Virginia with his wife and four children, and builds furniture in his workshop / woodworking school.

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Thanks, Joshua. It brings me some ideas :)

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