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