How to Make a Bridle Joint
A variation on a mortise-and-tenon joint that you can easily cut on the tablesaw. Andy Rae shows you what to do.
A bridle joint is similar to a conventional mortise-and-tenon joint and a half-lap joint. In a bridle joint, an open-ended mortise straddles the tenon. It’s a strong joint that works well in a number of applications. On a Shaker rocking chair, for example, bridle joints typically join the front and back posts to the rockers. It’s also used where a leg is set into a continuous top rail on a table or sideboard.
As Andy Rae shows in this video, a bridle joint also works well when constructing frame-and-panel doors. The joint provides all the strength of mortise-and-tenon joints (and more strength than cope-and-stick joints cut with router bits). The exposed ends of the stile and rail can make an interesting design element. And because both parts of the joint can be cut on a tablesaw, a bridle joint may well take less time to make than a conventional mortise-and-tenon joint.