Beauty isn’t skin deep

Currier Table Joint DetailSometimes the most challenging aspects of a piece lie below the surface.  For the table “Luna”, which I just completed for the Currier Museum’s Heart of the Arts event, the clean lines and crisp intersection of the legs and apron hide a complex joint with incredible strength.  Combining a double miter with a tenon and a long dovetail, the joint allowed me to maintain the continuity of the curly maple around the top edge of the apron and create a visually interesting geometry at each corner.  The strength of the joint comes from the combination of the tenon and the sliding dovetail.  The long grain face of the tenon provides a good glue surface and prevents the leg from twisting.  The two dovetails on each leg lock the miters and tenons in place.  Gravity works to hold the joint together and when carefully executed the joint is rigid enough to function without glue.  An easier and faster way to achieve the same appearance would be to use slip tenons to hold the the miters together, but this approach has little mechanical strength and less glue surface to hold it together.  I am looking forward to using this technique on future pieces and I would like to build a similar table to this one in figured Claro Walnut with a hand-hewn, natural cleft slate top if the opportunity arises.