Tréteau XX

Today’s task on the tricky tréteau are tenons, lotsa tenons. Here we are at post 20 in this build, describing the layout and construction of a 19th century French sawhorse designed by Louis Mazerolle.

I thought I would continue along with working on the legs, since they’ve become like old friends (you know, twisted, difficult to understand). I clamped a leg upright in my Japanese irregular splay sawhorse, which serves as my workbench much of the time, and started sawing into the Canarywood, leg BN is up first:

After ripping the tenon cheeks, I re-clamped and started on the inside face of the barbe:

Then the tenon shoulder:

Here’s that first leg roughed out:

Onto the next one, leg DP:

And it’s done:

Next it was time for the two legs, AO and CM, which are rotated to have their side faces plumb. These two have tenons which travel more or less obliquely across the stick:

Cheeks ripped, then the inside face of the barbe is next in line:


The remaining leg was cut out in the same manner, and at the conclusion, I had this tidy pile of off-cuts:

Here are the four legs with their tenons roughed out:

I then decided that I may as well commence fitting the legs to the beam. I started with leg BN:

It was a try-it and trim-it affair, and here we are getting closer:

Once I was within 0.5 mm or so of contact at the barbe’s inner face and/or main tenon shoulder to the beam, I brought out my treasured flush-cutting saw made by Miyano Tetsunosuke (aka, Yataiki) to kerf the pieces together:

That’s the 15 pictures for today folks – I hope you’ll return next time to see how the tenon fitting turned out. As always, thanks for taking a moment out of your day to drop by the Carpentry Way.

–> Go to post XXI

6 thoughts on “Tréteau XX

  1. That's amazing. That is going to be very nice. I am starting to think I might get into the hand tools and shy away from the power tools some.


  2. Thanks gentlemen for your comments.

    Grover, it's an asset to be able to wield any tool, and hand tools have some added benefits of being light, portable, quiet, and provide immediate feedback from the material. That said, poor quality hand tools can be utterly infuriating and are best avoided.

    Dale, glad you enjoy the detail photos – sometimes the photos flatter the work, other times make it look worse than it is.

    Extremely Average, glad you like the photos of the joints. i hope you come back to see more, especially with future posts showing more Japanese joinery.

  3. This is a fantastic read.
    The trick with the flush cut saw in the last picture is pure genius. I would never have thought of this.

Anything to add?