Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 6, Issue 6
   July 2012
 
   Bridle Joints
 

Table featuring exposed bridle joinery
This table, made by the author, features exposed bridle joinery.

  Table saw jig
  To make adjustments with this table saw jig, made from 3/4" MDF, simply move the saw fence and alter the blade height.
   
The above table features bridle joints, which are attractive and strong. They're also fairly straightforward to execute if you have an accurate, vibration-free table saw; a sharp carbide combination blade; and a jig, shown here.

To produce the bridle joints for the table, I first cut, joint and thickness the legs and skirt pieces. The procedure is easier if the legs and table skirt are the same width. If you're going to shape any of the pieces, do so after cutting the joints.

Next, I cut grooves in the skirt material to house the cleats that hold the top to the skirt. Deciding the proportions for the tenons and mortises can be a bit subjective. I simply divide the thickness of the stock approximately into thirds, which results in a tenon that is half as strong as the mortise. I actually make the tenons slightly larger than 1/3 the thickness. In 3/4" stock, for instance, I make the tenons about 5/16" thick, which leaves each half of the mortise cheeks at 7/32". The exact measurement isn't important, as each side is machined to fit the other.
 
 
               
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