Cutting the bridle joint
Synopsis: A strong joint that’s widely used in door and face frames, the bridle joint is simple in its anatomy and execution. A tenon on the rail fits an open-ended mortise on the stile. With a few tips and techniques, cutting a bridle joint is a quick and easy task.
In a recent Handwork I demonstrated how to cut the half-lap—and its close cousin, the T-lap (FWW #252, p. 74). It’s a great joint for honing your hand-tool skills because it teaches the fundamentals of accurate layout and cutting technique.
Here I’ll demonstrate how to cut the bridle joint, a strong joint that’s widely used in door and face frames. The anatomy is simple. A tenon on the rail fits an open-ended mortise on the end of the stile. Cutting the joint is another great exercise for your hand-tool skills. There are a few quirks to laying out the joint, but I’ll show you how to do it, then I’ll demonstrate how to cut the housing and tenon to create a perfect-fitting, strong joint.