A Woodworker’s Notebook
Jeff Gorman
The Gunstock Shouldered Mortise and Tenon Joint

Right:A trouble-free way of shaping a rail and leg and maybe the stiles and rails of a frame.

Top right:It is virtually impossible to shape the underside of a rail in this way.The short grain at the end of the curve would be so fragile that it would crumble as you try to work it.

Though it still need careful working, the mitred shoulder makes this kind of curve a possibility.

Bottom left:An exploded view of the joint

Hints for making:

  1. Cut the joint in the customary way.
  2. Form the curves prior to assembly but with an allowance of waste on the lines of the curves.
  3. Once glued-up the curve can be finished, the short grain areas now support each other. Depending on the grain of the material, you may still have to proceed carefully.
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