What Is Loose Tenon Joinery?

What Is Loose Tenon Joinery?

In the woodworking world you can do the same job using many methods and techniques. And many woodworkers have their preferred ways of doing things. Many woodworkers have used the biscuit joiner for these joints. If you’re looking for another versatile joiner then try the loose tenon joiner. We have reviewed an example model you could look at; it's is the Domino joiner.  Yes, the loose tenon joiner gives you a little more freedom in what you’re making. It might be the new type of join that you have to try.

Hearing the term 'loose tenon joinery' might give you some crazy notions about what it means. But, it’s actually one of the most secure joins you can do in woodworking.

The loose tenon join is great to give your pieces absolute tightness and versatility. The benefits of using this method are vast and it works especially well on certain projects. It’s a great skill to develop.

Is Loose Tenon Joinery Understood?

The name loose tenon joinery is somewhat misleading. This method provides one of the tightest fits in woodworking. Standard joiners of a mortise and tenon have one piece of stock acting from its own part. But in a loose tenon joiner, there is a “loose” tenon in the middle that connects to two separate pieces of wood.

The loose tenon is a thick piece of solid wood. That means it is sturdy and reliable at holding both parts together. Each joint gains its strength from this strong tenon in the middle. The tenon gives it a superior grip when compared to other methods you might find in woodworking.

The tenon is not a part of one of the mortises; it is its own separate entity. That fact affords this type of joint benefits not found elsewhere. One big bonus is that there’s no external damage or signs of a join. That means it looks cleaner if you’re creating furniture.

How Does It Work?

There are countless tutorials available on how to make your own loose tenon joiner. All it takes is some know-how, a plunge router, and an easy jig. For those who haven’t used the loose tenon joiner before it can be surprising how easy it is to create. Be amazed at how much strength this type of joint has.

The strength of the loose tenon join comes from the strength of either piece it’s inserted into. It has one piece being the tenon inserted in two other mortises. When you use thick and durable wood for the floating tenon, you’ll find strength when you connect the pieces.

The floating tenon or slip tenon style, as its often known, has a history that dates back as far an Ancient Egypt. It’s not a new joining method.

Woodworkers will find this join more challenging than a traditional mortise and tenon. Many people realize how versatile the loose tenon is after they use it. They go on to use it for most of their future projects.

When To Use A Loose Tenon Joiner

Most people use a loose tenon joiner on furniture. This joint helps to prevent any external damage and leaves a smooth finish. The following are a few of the popular uses that woodworkers find for applying a loose tenon joiner:

  • Miters
  • Polygon frames
  • Frame corners
  • Stretcher to rail connections
  • Table apron to leg joints

There’s no limit to where you might apply a loose tenon join. This is true especially if you’re finding it tricky to connect the pieces in another way. The unique loose tenon connection gives many benefits not available with other joins.

Loose tenon joiner

The Benefits Of Using Loose Tenon Joinery

There are many reasons why a woodworker might prefer to use a loose tenon joint. It’s easy to see why the loose tenon joint is such a preferred method. Here are a few reasons why you might want to use this unique method of joinery on your next project.

Efficiency: It’s easier and faster to cut two timber pieces the same shape and size. The other option is to cut a separate tenon and mortise. This method means you save time on the project.

Strength: Using a loose tenon joint will give you one of the tightest fits in woodworking. That's because the solid wood used as the loose tenon uses the strength of both pieces to hold them all together.

Helps odd angles: When you’re cutting at odd angles and trying to join these two together it can be tricky. But when you have the floating tenon in the middle it helps to bring them together.

Joins longer pieces: A loose tenon joiner can help connecting long boards together. It may be the fix you need to complete them without resorting to tricky manoeuvring.

A Simple Join With A Lot of Benefits

There’s nothing better than discovering a new method or way of doing things in woodworking. It's especially true when that something is efficient and makes your work easier. The loose tenon join has been around for centuries. Many woodworkers still have to try it out for themselves.

If you’ve been considering trying the loose tenon join you might shock yourself with how easy it is to do. Then the possibilities will open up for you thanks to its versatility. No other join has the flexibility of this method. Whether you’re working with odd angles, long shapes, or need extra strength why not try it out for yourself today.

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