Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ironwork Joinery


I was surprised today to find that the Wikipedia article titled Joinery completely ignores the subject as it relates to ironwork and exclusively devotes the text to woodworking.

To me the word joint implies an articulation - the point where two or more things come together with some possibility of movement.  Therefore to join by welding, brazing, soldering or other similar technique removes the joint.  Joining is a type of fastening and seems to imply the possibility of unfastening in some non-destructive manner. 

I tend to think that joinery is accomplished by strategies which can rely a lot or a little on friction.  Capturing mechanisms such as rivets, collars/wraps, passthroughs, the Stuart hill pipe capture joint and mortise with peened tenon rely mostly on geometrical obstruction.  Wedges and threaded or heat-shrink joinery relies mostly on friction.  I think articulations held together by spring detents, magnets, and such fall more into the category of latch schemes than joinery schemes.

Someone who knows more about this subject has an opportunity to
improve the Wikipedia article and give metal working equal representation.  Probably the subject could be extended well beyond iron.  When I visited Ephesus years ago, a guide pointed out the dovetail pockets carved in some of the stone blocks where bronze dovetail wedges had been fitted to prevent the blocks from moving apart.

I found these to be interesting joinery references.








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