Testing Ancient Technology


Part of the season 36 episodes of the Woodwright’s Shop are now online. One of them is on testing tusk tenon joints that Roy and I filmed a few months back. I made an apparatus to pull the joints apart and measure the amount of force it took to make them fail. The results are pretty impressive. The episode is called “Wedged Tusk Tenon” and is available to stream here.


I also shot a short video showing the joint smoker in action that is available here.

— Will Myers



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2 Responses to Testing Ancient Technology

  1. scareyone says:

    Hello Will, I watched that show this last weekend. I have one question regarding that joint. Do you need that amount of length after the tusk so the tenon doesn’t fail? The difference I noticed on the joints from the bookcases and the joints on the bench is the tusk on the bench is running the full width the tenon, where on the smaller joints the tusk was only as wide a 1/2 of the tenon, so that piece would pop out the width of the tusk. I hope that made sense. Thank you

    • Will Myers says:

      On the smaller arts and crafts joint if you ran the wedge thru the width it might make it a little stronger but the wedge would have to be narrow and thin. Then you would have a probable wedge failure. In my opinion adding a bit of length the tenon would do more to strengthen the joint.

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