Bridle joint

This article will cover what is a bridle joint, why use a bridle joint, and one way of making a bridle joint.

What is a Bridle joint?

A bridle joint is best used in framing. It is often used in furniture framing to join rails to legs. A bridle joint is made up of 2 pieces, a mortise with an open-ended slot, and a tenon which has 2 protruding sides. Both pieces interlock with one another. To avoid coming apart, glue or pins are required to hold the joint together. Once assembled, a bridle joint can be shaped e.g. rounded, without affecting its strength.

There are various variations of bridle joints:

  • Corner bridle: two end pieces joined to form a corner

  • Half mitred bridle: two end pieces joined to form a corner, where one side is at a 45° angle

  • Mitred bridle: two end pieces joined to form a corner, where both sides are at 45° angles

  • Tee bridle: one end piece joined to the middle of another piece

Other than their appearances, the main difference between the corner bridle, the half-mitred bridle and the mitred bridle is the strength of the joint. The corner bridle joint is stronger due to its larger gluing surfaces.

How do I make it?

The process to create a bridle joint will vary from project to project. To make this joint in the easiest way possible, you can use the table saw and tenoning jig available in the MSD Machine Workshop.

For more information, below is a video demonstrating making a bridle by hand.

Last updated