Ok, not very good at remembering the names of joints, but this really
has me baffled.
I assist in the teaching of year 10 and 11 pupils at a local school in
the UK, and we have just started a new coarse this academic year.
We have been practising the making of Mortise and Tenon joints, we have
covered the Open End, Corner, Closed End, or Blind, Haunched, and
Bare-Faced types, but the teachers manual gives a small questionnaire
which has brought about some debate.
The question we have a problem with is: 'There are many types of Mortise
and Tenon joint, but all are referred to as .......... joints more
We have no definitive answer for the common name for these types of joint.
Please can anyone give a reasonable answer to this question?
I have researched the web but so far only found that it is the most
common of furniture joints, not that it is known commonly as a furniture
may thanks for any help you can offer.
I think it's a bit of an unintentional trick question. I think the
author is trying to say that while there are these different types
with different names, they all fall under the general category of
tenoned joints. My guess is that the author is looking for "tenoned
joint". Or possibly "mortise and tenon" joint.
Maybe not ... the answer "depends", and odds are it varies depending upon
where you are from (or as Charlie would more grammatically expound "from
whence you spring").
" The Mortise and Tenon Joint. Probably evolving from the lap joint, the
mortise and tenon joint is a connection of two pieces by the use of the
tenon (a reduced end of one piece) fitted into the mortise (a cut hole in
the second piece). The well-fitted joint can withstand more and varied
stresses than the simple lap joint. Principle types of this joint include
the blind or stub joint, the through joint, the open joint and the housed
or, Pacific Rim:
"These may be either be lashed on to the posts or attached through a housed
joint, where the horizontal member penetrates the post through a hole cut in
or, New Brunswick:
"Fully Housed Frame. This means the frame is constructed using a Mortise and
Tenon joint. A mortise and tenon joint consists, in simple terms, of a
'tongue', (the tenon) that slots into a hole or groove (the mortise) cut in
the mating piece of timber. The strength of the joint makes it ideal for use
in framing and general furniture work. For a really strong joint the tenon
must be a tight fit into the mortise, so care must be taken when cutting
both parts of the joint. For maximum strength, the tenon width should never
be more than one third the width of the timber in which it is cut."
... and every thing you want to know about mortise and tenon joinery from a
civil engineering viewpoint:
Well that's wrong for starters. The evolution is either from the English
clamped joint (most likely), or possibly from the Norse open tenon, but
certainly not from lap joints. For one thing the tooling needed to cut
them represents a divergent trend, not an evolutionary one.
Britannica is to encyclopedias what Webster's is to dictionaries.
Although I usually agree with your analyses, on this point I am forced
I believe that you have misunderstood the implied doubled entendre of
those fun loving EB definitioners.
Surely, if you look closely at your lap, you will find a tenon, of
sorts. It is the nature of this joint to seek out a mating lap joint,
which may be called a "mortice", even in polite society.
Within this sphere of description we must certainly allow for the
possibility of a "clamped joint", or an "open tenon", depending
entirely on the adroitness of the individuals involved in mating the
elements of the joint.
I have heard that the English often suffer from the "clamped joint"
syndrome and that the Norse are famous for their much more open
In reference to "the tooling needed to cut them", I believe this to be
an article of early Hebraic law which has been generalized, although
by no means universalized, and is the subject of much speculation
among the morticed.
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
What on earth is a "closed end" tenon? They're blind tenons, and have
been since Noah was cutting them. Nor does anyone refer to "open end"
No wonder. If it's a UK teachers' manual, whether it's on woodworking or
IT, it'll be wrong. I don't know who writes this garbage (this isn't a
criticism of teachers themselves) but there's no field like it for
inventing new words for things, contrary to the established practice of
those who actually do the stuff day-in, day-out.
They're mortice and tenon joints. Mortice is spelled with a "c" in the
UK too. They're not referred to as _anything_ commonly as no-one teaches
woodwork any more. Those who do still recognise what they are just call
them mortice and tenon joints.
I understand and accept all of your comments as you are far more
informed about these joints than I, but as for 'no-one teaches woodwork
any more', I must educate you.
Our school now runs the 'Construction BTEC first diploma', and I include
a course description. Although it dose cover many other points, it is
mainly concentrating on Woodwork, as the school is not yet set up to
cover brickwork, and alike.
The high grading of this course is why I am so keen to ensure we give
the pupils the correct answers, being some what struggling myself in
this area I was hoping this would be a fairly straight forward question,
but I now apologise for the obvious complexity for its answer, and
thanks you for your help in this area.
This is a poorly worded or trick question. Mortise and tenons are a
sub-set of Traditional Joints. However, they are not commonly referred
to as this. They are commonly referred to as Mortise and Tenon joints.
Shaun (Island Boy)
I believe that the answer they are looking for is, "Housed", although
they would have to decline the joint into unlovely sub descriptions,
such as "Fully Housed" and "Partially Housed", which are best left to
political and social think tanks.
It would neither be the case that all mortice and tenon joints are
fully housed, nor that all fully housed joints are mortice and tenons,
which leaves one with a sense of loss as to a useful definition of
Fear not, for we WoodDorkers are not alone in the problem of
I have a wonderful old book called, "The Ashley Book Of Knots", which
attempts to give individual names to every conceivable sort of knot.
What results is that the names are harder to remember than the process
of making the knots.
Probably not what the author would have wished.
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
~Many many thanks to all for your help, I think I will agree that this
may be either a trick question, or more probably a very poorly written
one taken form another source, by a teacher who's true area is not Woodwork.
I have found this happens often as these people get to their position in
the system through teaching many subjects including some they are not
very specialist at, and then have the task of having to cover the course
notes for many subjects the government has put in one group so they can
use less personnel to cover this problem.
I shall inform the students that as far as this group can decide the
answer is Tenon, or Housed but seams to have no definitive answer as
different parts of the world, or country would have different answers.
Again many thanks for all the help.
Or could be that I was just using the normal miss spelling I find on all
forums as I too am not Omnipotent, just human, and we all make mistakes
especially when typing is not a strong point ;-)
And I too am the student as I am more of a Metal work person, but I can
and will learn.
But I do remember stating I ASSIST, not teach ;-)
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