Issue 13 T.O.C. – “From the Ashes: Examination of a Mid-19th-Century Worktable”

This post is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Thirteen. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is come. 

The subscription window which includes Issue Thirteen is open now.

To get Issue Thirteen when it ships early October, you can sign up for a subscription here. 

If you aren’t sure about your subscription status, you can reach out to Grace at Keep in mind though, if you are set to auto-renew, you never have to worry about getting the next issue of Mortise & Tenon. Issue Thirteen is coming your way soon!


“From the Ashes: Examination of a Mid-19th-Century Worktable” 

The number of surviving examples of pre-industrial furniture is decreasing daily. Whether from disrepair, accident, or simply being carelessly discarded, these valuable pieces of history are being lost. And the information they contain about their makers in the form of tool marks, actual handwriting, and methods used in their construction will be gone forever. 

But sometimes, one gets rescued from the proverbial jaws of death.

In Issue Thirteen, we will examine such a piece – a unique 19th-century worktable that was pulled from a burn pile. Almost entirely complete, the hide glue in its joinery dissolved due to exposure to the elements, allowing for easy disassembly. This offers a fascinating look into the choices of joinery and layout that the craftsman chose for this particular object. From the drawer dovetails to the hand-whittled dowels used in the aprons (a method we have not seen before), everything is open for inspection. Rather than being turned to ash, this worktable rises again to share its secrets.

Subscribe now to reserve your copy of Issue Thirteen.


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