The Array of Joints

Ken Chow

To Ken Chow, the essence of traditional wood craftsmanship lies in the “mortise and tenon” technique. Ken hopes to display thirty-six types of mortise and tenon joints to show the wonders of the craftsmanship. Without any glue or nails, various parts of wood can be brought together, composing myriad forms of woodwork structures. The various mortise and tenon joint designs, through Ken’s continuous experimentation and reflection, were turned from sketches to reality.

The slightest difference leads to a huge error.

Accurate mortise and tenon joints come from precise markings. With a pencil, carpenter’s square, ruler and other tools, Ken meticulously marked the position of the joints and then cut the mortises and tenons with a tenon saw or chisel. Modern chisels are mainly divided into “square-edged chisels” and “bevel-edged chisels” for cutting large pieces of wood and fine shapes. During cutting or chiseling, the craftsman must ensure that the tilt angle of the tool has no error so as to ensure that the tenon and the mortise can be properly aligned without gaps and flaws. Traditional mortise and tenon joints can be made in a variety of ways,
including joineries between corners of boards, intersection of straight timbers and so on.

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