Rock-Solid Miters with L-tenons
For Duncan Gowdy, the L-tenon miter joint allows for more straightforward assembly than typical splined miter joints
Solid-wood cases with mitered corners are at the heart of my furniture making. Most of my pieces involve carving, and in pursuit of good surfaces to carve, I build wall cabinets, freestanding case pieces, and small boxes, most of them mitered. And on all of those miters I use L-tenons made by finger-jointing two pieces of solid wood. Yes, I spend a fair amount of time making the tenons, but the resulting strength of the joint is well worth it. Using this technique, I’ve made L-tenons in sizes ranging from 3 in. across for large case pieces to barely 3⁄4 in. for small boxes. The L-tenon miter joint allows for more straightforward assembly than typical splined miter joints, which must be assembled on the diagonal, often causing a bit of juggling in the glue-up.
Read more about Duncan’s process for L-tenons here.
More from Duncan on FineWoodworking.com:
- Behind the Design – Furniture maker Duncan Gowdy walks you through his design process—from inspiration to sketching, scale mockups, full-size mockups, and finally the finished piece
- Man or Machine? – Learn Duncan Gowdy’s distinctive carving and finishing techniques
- Duncan Gowdy’s Illustrative Carving – Part furniture maker, part illustrator, Duncan Gowdy’s carvings are a signature that makes his work unique