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Japanese Wedged Through Tenon

I really enjoyed this bed project, as I was able to take some of the aspects of Japanese timber joinery and adapt them to the smaller scale bed frame. Since training with Dale Brotherton, I’ve fallen in love with Japanese timber architecture, so it was a pleasure to craft a bed with this style as the inspiration.

The wedged through tenon shown here is part of the headboard of the bed. The “posts” of the headboard have tenons at the top that slot all the way through the mortises of the “beams”. The tenons are held in place by wedges of wood that are pounded down into shallow lengthwise cuts in the tenon, thereby widening the end of the tenon so that it can no longer slip back out of the mortise. These create some stunning focal points on the bed frame and give the observer a hint as to the details of how the bed was crafted.

If you want to see more of how I hand cut this bed with human-powered tools, read my earlier “Furniture” blogs!

~Tim