We made a quick, whirlwind visit to Old Fort Harrod in Harrodsburg, Ky. over the weekend. The Fort, a full scale replica of the original fort built in 1774 by James Harrod, had its gates open and we arrived 40 minutes prior to them closing. With park brochure in hand, and not much time to kill, our tour began. One of the things we love doing when visiting historic sites is examine the things they built and how they were built, especially joinery. There were a lot of examples in this fort to take in, one of which was this simple, yet functional bench. That is something we see over and over again from historic pieces…simple and functional. It is my opinion we strive to overcomplicate things these days just to “try” to make them look pretty, regardless of how functional. I love these period pieces for what they are.
This bench is basically three boards connected with through mortise and tenon and pegged in place. Simple, elegant, fairly quick to build, and highly functional.
Closeup of the through tenon, with pegs to secure.
This joint creates a very stable bench with years of functionality.
Tip: As you can see in the photo, the pegs are cut smaller at the bottom and wider at the top. This allows for them to be driven in tightly and not fall through.