previous
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • Radiant Heat Comparison
    Radiant Heat Comparison
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
    Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
  • Custom Flooring Inspiration
    Custom Flooring Inspiration
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • Classic Cabinets
    Classic Cabinets
  • Hot Water Now
    Hot Water Now
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
next
Pin It

The Essential Timber-Frame Joint

Learn from a veteran framer's technique for making large pegged mortises and tenons

For this edition of "Master Carpenter," builder and educator Will Beemer shows how to create a classic timber-frame joint, a large pegged mortise and tenon. Beemer begins the process by establishing a level work surface. Because timbers can be so large, it might be necessary to work on sawhorses with shorter legs. It's also important to find the arris, or the intersection of the two sides of the timber that are square to each other. This becomes a key reference point. Cutting a tenon always begins with the shoulder and should be cut carefully. Next, cut the housing and the mortise. To finish, draw the joint tight with an offset peg. This article includes a number of sidebars, including one about a special tool of the trade that helps timber-framers to cut plumb holes using a mirror; a trick of the trade describing a process known as the French snap; and a brief guide about how to deal with timbers that are not perfectly milled and uniform.

The Essential Timber-Frame Joint

Become a Fine Homebuilding Member

to view this article and over a thousand more

Learn More