More Lashed Joinery from a Mawson Sled

Updated: Jan 4

I wanted to quickly mention the other lashed mortise and tenon joint depicted in my previous post.


This one is a lot simpler, but also really clever and beautiful. The joint is a standard mortise and tenon joint, but instead of using pegs or glue to hold it in place, the joint is tied together. Holes are drilled into the two pieces (as seen above), and a rawhide lashing is used to tie them together (I will talk more about the rawhide lashing in a future post).


The benefit of this in a sled is twofold:


  • One, it allows movement. When that sled comes bouncing and sliding across a frozen landscape a stiff glue or pegged joint would break pretty fast. The flex of a lashed joint allows the joint to take those hits and still hold.

  • Two, it’s pretty easy to fix in the field. At the time of this sled’s construction, your only glue available would be hide glue. If you’ve worked with hide glue, you know it needs to be heated up in a double boiler before being applied, and it hardens as soon as it cools. This is not likely to be practical for a quick repair of your sled in the arctic or antarctic. Even a peg might lead to a broken tenon which requires either gluing or some more serious work. A lashing can be pretty easily retied.

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