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Come and discuss your requirements and get more information from our Launceston Workshop, or telephone 01566 784 216 to make an appointment with Ginette or Brian Nobbs. Although we see a bit-driven radius below, The #6 joint is also commonly seen as a square-cut mortise, managed with either hand chisels or square mortising bits. If you tranfer your lines from one side of the stock to the other and do so accurately, the end-for-end entry will line up. Because our mortise was created with a boring tools instead of a mortiser or chisel, we must ease the edges of the tenon.
We utilised MDF for this shopfitting project to line their railway arch in Southwark, which offered very uneven surfaces with which to work. Although this same procedure can be accomplished with a simple mortise box and plunge router, the alignment is somewhat more challenging. The 1"-thick tenon is eased with a roundvoer bit to the same radius as the corresponding mortise. Showing the tenon set to the mortise, extending the width of the eventual stiles, plus a little extra. Charles Prowell's articles on joinery have appeared in Fine Woodworking, Fine Homebuilding, Woodwork, Old House Journal, and This Old House, among others. By Joined Exterior Assemblies, we're referring to just about anything that is fully exposed to the weather and is not based on a methodology of metal fasteners.
What it does not include are the more common productions designed and built as a series of mounting layers, with each layer fixed in place with brackets, bolts, screws, nails, staples, or the compressed air of a nail gun, as well as the consequent need for physical lateral integrity. So let's have a look at a hierarchy of joints, drawn from decades of Charles and Ben's indentured apprenticeship.
FOR THE JOINTER 1) Use push sticks and set the blade guard and fence so the knives are never exposed.
Create two push sticks and work the stock through with these to avoid the common tendancy of your fingers working close to the blade.
CHISELS AND HAND PLANES: 1) Neither of these tools are of any use unless they are razor sharp.
If you're working regularly with Western Cedar, minimize the fine filament dust that results from this species. Fastened with nails or screws in a struggling effort to forestall the certainty of a gate's gravity.A The weight of the gate itself will eventually draw the nails or screws down and open their threaded hold and the looseness of the joint cannot be re-tightened at this juncture. Early on, while more or less still in test mode, this joint was utilized on all the Prowell gates, illustrated thoroughly in an article for Fine Homebuilding magazine.
2) The second issue that arises with the half-lap joint is how the top of the joint is essentially exposed to the elements.
3) The third issue is that the top of the exposed half-lap joint has nothing to thwart it's placement beyond the strength of the adhesives.
Here we double the glue mass, or mating surface, by having each side of the tenon, or male segment, mating to the inside surfaces of the milled stile. 1) We have already covered the issues with grain direction and seasonal breathing, and this joint is not exempt from the faults discussed in the above example. 2) We have also covered the issue of nothing between the top of the two joint seams and the gravitating weather. 3) And finally, the right side illustration resulting in our gate giving way, once again, to the madness of gravity.
2) The top of the joint has what we call a 'shoulder' above the tenon, preventing, by a matter of simple physics, the tenon dropping to the ravages of gravity. 2) The strength of our joint between the rail and the stile is now resting solely on the properties of the tenon, which is commonly cedar. The natural graduation from the Blind Tenon is the Floating Tenon Joint.A  A versatile joint utilizing horizontal mortisers and offering the forgiveness of creating the tenon after the mortise has been cut. 1) Helps eliminates the issue of the tenon breathing perpendicular to the stiles and rails.A  The rail can breath and expand without the close association of it's tenon, which is a separate stock. 1) Because the horizontal rail is mortised, this optimally requires a stationary horizontal mortising machine in lieu of the standard tenon jigs used in #4.
2) The top of the joint has what we call a 'shoulder' above the tenon, preventing, by a matter of simple physics, the tenon dropping to the ravages of gravity. 4)A  Theoretically a glueless joint.A But if you are fabricating in one temperate climate and shipping to a wholly different climate, caution would prompt the insurance of adhesives.
5) There are temples in Japan and Norway constructed with this joint that have been standing for a thousand years.
Single and two-sided high-strength band-aids.A  Colorful commodities that are also available with little actions figures.
2) The combination of the tapered tenon, the wedges, and the locking keys makes it an ideal joint for the larger loads of 140 lbs+. A typical grid pattern showing the floating tenons that join to the stiles and rail framework of a open grid fence panel. The earliest methodologies were introduced by Wyman, the step-grandfather (To read a short piece Charles wrote for Woodwork Magazine regarding Wyman and Charles, Click Here ) Those early introductions were furthered by Charles' step-father, George.
Although no one anticipates an assembly that will stand for 1500 years, the difference, beyond the aesthetics of a trained and practiced eye for subtle design, is a product that lasts, well . Below left we have a structure illustrating a common post-and-lintel methodology that relies on the holding power of metail fasteners--brackets, screws, nails, etc.

To the right and below we have a couple of Prowell Pergolas designed and built illustrating a joinery that provides not only a departure in aesthetics, but a far stronger assembly designed to last for the foreseeable future, and beyond..
Below left a common fence and adjoining arbor assembly, again illustrating a stacked, applied approach where layers of wood are mounted to other layers by a fastening system of nails, screws, etc.
To the right we have a similar Prowell Fence, Gate, and complimenting Arbor as a married assembly that provides us not only a visual confluence of the three elements, but each of them utilizing joints chosen for their specific purpose and functionality. To the right, A Prowell fence-line in San Francisco, illustrating 150-running feet of flush joinery. Showing the versatility of design enabled by choosing, or innovating, the right joint for the right application, while being forever aware of the need to dimensional changes from season to season. Below, a few examples to help illustrate the alluring temptation toward joinery as both a functional solution, as well as performance art. A look at another glue-less joint, where the interlocking planes and wedges are such that the joint is self sustaining.
The Half Dovetail and Stopped Dovetail glue joints below are good exterior joints, allowing for a tightened joint with moisture absorption and expansion.
As a small part of an extensive Prowell interior design, the use of the traditional, yet modified, Finger Joint adds an alternative flavor to the standard Butt Joint more commonly used here. The above, and below, finger-joint was wildly popularized by Greene and Green in 1917. Left: Prowell oversees the early apprenticing of Ben (on the table) and his older brother Sam. The hierarchy of joinery takes us to a series of intricate Prowell lamp joints--on the left--, and with Prowell's Stand-Up Desk on the right,a near-obssesive use of the joint as a wood hinge in Peruvian Walnut. Below, a Serpentine fold-out table by Ben Prowell using a rendition of the finger joint hinge for the pivoting back leg. In the lower photo of the table itself, the top flips over to double the surface area, supported by the hinged leg. Another feature often exhibits the top and bottom shoulders as tapered with a hand mortising chisel to create an even stronger joint.
Normally, seasonal rains arrive in intervals, with the respite of at least a day's break between rains.
In constructing a Cutting Table, Cash Desk  as well as a lampshade and family table, all out of the ubiquitous material, we had to be very slick: no fixings could be seen and the finished product had to be smooth but not sharp-edged. Our challenge with this brief was to convert an idea into a sketch into a reality, overcoming problems of fixing, strength and the unevenness of installation space shape.
Once the glue-up process begins, the wedges are set during the same process, while the glue is still wet.
Understanding what happens with 360 degrees of exposure to various climates from San Diego to Buffalo. This might include traditional post-and-lintel timber framing associated with the New England barn-raisers, as well as Japanese and eastern temples, but more so the host of those landscape furnishings such as gates, fences, arbors, pergolas, benches, swings, post caps, and even our lighted columns. No universal solution to all the applications of all 650 various products offered by Prowell Woodworks.
2) Use a pushstick to move stock through; Joint your edges for a straight-edge against the fence to prevent binding.
2) Install an aluminum slotted fence and clad it with a wood face and set the wood face to zero tolerance at the blade to prevent small pieces from flinging every which way--such as your eyeballs. Does the pace escalate as the day progressed due in part to what you hope to accomplish before days end, or in part because you simply get wound up? 15% of those working with this species develop an alergy that can result in serious pumonary desease.
Ideal for framing residential walls, which are strengthened by shere plys and joists and rafters and a solid connection to a concrete foundation. As we see in the far right illustration, once the joint opens from the exposure to direct weather, then checks and cracks from the opposing grain directions, the rail begins to crack and check under the stress and drops, or sags, with nothing to prevent the lure of a beckoning gravity. The Through Tenon has no top shoulder, which is a major component of a joint that weighs against the omnipresence of gravity. It can also allow for the use of wedges and splines to improve the fit to an even tighter mate--a variation of which is shown in #6 below. Standing, we'll add, in a controled environment of a temparate climate without exposure to tourists and their bacteria nor the fluctuations in humidity and moisture common to the conditions found in Hawaii or Southern Florida. As the fabricator, whose product is subject in part to the variables of installation, we're producing a better joint with #6, but a joint that may cause hurdles to the installer. There is a fairly exacting system to the length of the pre-cut kerf in the tenon and it's positioning from the edges of the tenon so the wedges do not, when hammered into place, drive beyond the pre-cut kerf and into the remaining tenon until the tenon itself splits. Carrying this entirely through thr tenon and into the rail stock, as with #9, removes too much tenon stock. Carrying these entirely through the tenon and into the rail stock, as with #9, removes too much tenon stock. Each of the tenons distributes the load over the spread of the entire gridwork, as with a torsion box, resulting in enormous lateral strength. Solid inserts floating and breathing within a series of half-lap joints and dadoes with secondary drainage troughs. As well as a design that invites a limited lifeline before theonset of beams and joists giving in to the rabages if twists and cups and warped eventualities.

The ultimate strength of the assemblies rely entirely on the joinery and a design that accomodates an aging process free of the former stressing environment. Although a few of the below examples are beyond reasonable requirements, the idea is to illustrate how joinery not only defines the limits of functionality and stress loads, but in all likelihood, the life of the work itself. A spline, essentially, that might, to the layman, more closely resemble a Rubik's schematic.
The example here is often utilized in Japanese temples for joining the rafter tails to cross-beams. Brothers and architects whose greatest asset was a lifelong association with a top notch team of woodworkers who realized their designs with flawless workmanship.
Once the wedges are driven in, the portions of the tenon on either side of the kerf can expand into the tapered shoulder as the tapered wedge drives deeper. On the table saw, the entire length of the tenon is cut on the miter gauge with a dado blade, including the side cheeks. If you are a writer and expect someday to pen a timeless cultural classic, you are limited in part by your command of the language. Cute little thingies that cost a fortune, but unless they're used with the correct ergonomics, accidents will result.
Install an air filtration system to clear up much of the particle dust floating around your airspace.
The tenon consequently mates to a corresponding mortise milled into the vertical stile. Not the worst scenario, as the the split tenon by theory remains contained by the mortise itself. What survived are a number of tools dating to the mid to late 1800's that, remarkabley, were in use until the mid 1990's when Charles and Ben realized they belonged in a case, on a shelf, and were removed from general use.
It becomes stressed, attempting to breath, and in its frustration, checks and cracks occur. Take notice of this on your next trip to the San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. The logic is easy to visualize, and somewhat similar to a wedge-style expansion masonry bolt. Using a band saw, the initial shoulder and cheek cuts are made on the table saw, with the rest roughed out on the band saw.
The actual vehicle one would hope you have mastered long before you sit down to that first sentence of your magnum opus. And if you'll notice, after some 50 years of cutting joints, all his fngers are in their proper, original place. If you find you're coughing regularly, in the shop and at home, bite the bullet and buy a Power Air Respirator, the only style dust mask that works. Assuming a good tight fit has been fabricated, this is a reliable and long-standing favorite among woodworkers and furniture-makers, as well as traditional timber frame homes. Once exposed to the elements, it will absorb the dew or fog or humidity and consequently expand. It's an extraordinary joint, relying solely on the execution of the Jointer's steady hand. The same procedure as if we were building a dining room table where the aprons join to the legs. The panel swells and continues to swell until it eventually pushes the vertical stile away from the top rail. Learning the appeal and usefulness of the basic dozen or so joints expands the parameters of what can subsequently be designed. If you are holding your stock steady with this free hand, clamp the stock in place or use bench dogs and get that hand back where it belongs--behind the tool. But traditional timber-framing requires a strong, dense properties, such as Douglas Fir or Spruce to accomplish the spans that support the stress loads of a second floor or a roof, without sagging. The simple joint #6 demands a swelling pressure beyond what even a rain forest can provide.
Learning to invent and modify known joints toward your own application expands those possibilities even further. There are of course tables and equations calculating the length of a span and the stress load of what it supports to the density properties of acceptable species--A one-story structure supports only the joists, rafters, and roofing material, whereas a two-story structure supports all this in addtion to the load of the upper floor--joists, sub-floor, partitioned walls. A low-density cedar beam calculates to a much shorter span than a stronger, denser, fir or spruce beam. And if you canot actually sleep, allow your mind to wander in a light episode of daydreaming.
In furniture design, this is a principle that cannot be slighted, as the result can often lead to a tug of war that results in one of the two members suffering the severe damage of checks and fissures.

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