Custom Slab Tables

This custom work was done by Maker Marc, as a commision.

More details will be posted here shortly, but for a brief overview, the tables use a tripod leg structure, done in a mortisse and tenon style joint for strength and durability.

What is Mortise and Tenon?

A mortisse and tenon joint is a joint that uses some kind of a wedge and aperture to hold two pieces together. Basically it is a press-fit joint. These kinds of joints are popular in woodworking because they are very strong at the connection point, and tend to remain strong over time. This joining method is one of the oldest forms of construction, used in hand-raised barns and many other old structures. Mortise and tenon joints have been found dating back over 7000 years. And it’s use in furniture is considered to have originated in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

The mortise is the hole cut into the receiving part. The tenon is the shaped part that gets inserted into the mortisse.

Mortise and tenon are most commonly used for 90 degree joints, but not always. As you can see from the design above, there is a slight angle to the mortise that allows the leg to angle outwards for extra stability. This angle can be a bit tricky - too high a degree and the table will not have strength in the downward direction (picture someone leaning on it). Too little angle and the table will not have lateral strength (imagine someone pushing against the side, or bumping into it). This is where “feel” comes into play - and experience.

The joint used in this project would be considered a “stub mortise” - one that does not go through the material. This is for aesthetic reasons, in order to preserve the surface of the table, with it’s incredible natural wood pattern. The tenon employed is a “stub wedge”.

The end result is a lovely custom piece that is strong, has clean, unbroken lines, and in the spirit of the natural design employs one of the oldest jorms of joinery known to humans.

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