Mortice and Tenon
Dowelled joints and biscuit joints have their place. I use them where I have to. For doors, carcase frames and tables they do the same job as a mortice and tenon....nearly. Mortice and tenon joints are tremendously strong. They take time, and skill, to make. I use them wherever I can. Occasionally I make a feature of them, by placing a peg through the cheek of the mortice, but most of the time it is enough to know they are there. A thoroughly satisfying joint, hidden in the wood, giving strength, integrity.
Dovetailed drawer joints are not essential, drawers will hold together adequately without them, particularly if metal drawer runners are used, but who can deny the satisfaction of a perfectly fitting set of dovetails, and the quiet, satin slide of wood on wood in a well fitted drawer?
Sprayed synthetic lacquer makes a durable, maintenance free finish. I use it quite frequently. Great for protecting tabletops and horizontal surfaces against the ravages of children, pets and inebriated friends....Oil, beeswax, French polish....natural finishes that require a bit of care and maintenance. They last forever if you look after them, but I do have to admit they damage fairly easily.
Then again, there is history in the small marks and stains… stories of family and friends for the future, and always the soft smell of oil, resin or beeswax when you open a drawer.
Return to Background