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Workshop — Crafts

Joinery

The joints are decisive to the longevity of a product and it is important to undertake extensive preparation in order to reach the most ideal conditions to join two pieces of wood.

Many of the joints made at PP Møbler are extremely complex and are based on idealism and a love for joinery and wood rather than simply the application.

Joints such as those on the back of the Round Chair are visible from many angles. This leaves no room for imperfection which is a daily challenge for our workshop. The slightest inaccuracy in the cut or in the way it is glued will result in a visible flaw.

A good joint takes time and parts have to be cut with absolute accuracy. Some joints cannot be fully completed by machines alone and may need manual adjustment in order to fit correctly.

Proper joinery is decisive to the longevity of a chair

The basic joint of the PP Møbler joinery is the tenon, often cut out of the part that it’s going to connect.

Tenons are very strong because they have a high connecting surface along the direction of the wood grain. We have tested a large number of sample joints at a laboratory and found them withstanding about one ton of pulling strength.

Careful preparation of each part is important, but the most critical moment is when the glue is applied, and it’s a question of a few minutes before all joints will have to be tightly fit under adequate pressure.

As soon as the glue starts to bind, there will be no way to adjust the outcome, and obstacles occurring while gluing may very well result in complete failure and loss of all parts involved.

Pressure on the joints is important as the glue has to penetrate the wood as deep as possible in order to gain optimal strength. In complicated constructions it will often be difficult to secure proper pressure to all joints in time while the glue is still fluid.

Having finished assembly the joints can be inspected and checked for quality of appearance, but the inside of the joints, the actual strength achieved, in other words the fundamental important result will not be possible to check, but will only show with time.

The joints may hold, but will they last? If all the previous work, the conditioning of the wood, the cutting of joints and final fitting was done properly, there is a chance, it will hold for a lifetime – or more