Now that all the pieces are planed to thickness and cut to width, it’s time to execute the joinery. Structural failures in furniture almost always occur at the joints, so select a joint to suit the types of forces a piece will be subjected to. Since this crib will convert into a double bed and I expect it to outlive me, the joints need to be robust. It’s hard to beat a draw-bored mortise and tenon for strength — they have been used for centuries to frame stout barns and houses.
First, chop out the mortises with a chisel and heavy mallet. This makes me want to build a massive workbench because everything bounces all over the place when I hammer. I will get to that someday.
Next, the tenons are marked and cut out with finely set hand saws, then tuned to fit with a wide chisel.
Plow a groove in the top and bottom rails for the maple slats to live.
The draw-boring part involves drilling offset holes through the mortise and tenon such that when a peg is driven through, the tenon is pulled tightly into the mortise. First, drill holes crossways through the mortise, then put the whole thing together and mark the tenons.
Take it back apart and drill holes through the tenons intentionally shifted toward the tenon shoulder. Reassemble and this is what it looks like:
The pegs are made from red oak by driving them through a steel plate with progressively smaller holes.
Finally, drive the pegs home, trim off the excess, and we’re done!
Stay tuned for finishing!