An Experimental Woodworking Joint: An Alternating Half-Lap with Through-Tenons

This Ourou shelving system employs an unusual wood joint. It was developed by French industrial designer Guillaume Bloget, working with craftsman Antoine Rivie`re.

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“I wanted to make a wooden shelving system, without nails or screws, completely removable so that it could be stored flat,” Bloget explains. “After going back and forth between drawing and prototyping, we found a self-locking solution, capable of locking the assembly as the shelf was loaded.”

To explain what you’re looking at: The trapezoidal verticals have had round tenons milled into their bottom edges.

The horizontals are where it gets tricky. Each end of the horizontals have had half-lap tabs cut into them that alternate, top/bottom. Where the tabs switch over, a round mortise has been bored.

With two horizontals lapped, the tenons at the bottom of the verticals lock into place. The top of the vertical slots into a mortise in the center of the horizontal above.

“The constructive principle of the shelf is reduced to two parts: the upright and the top. The multiplication of these elements allows the shelf to adapt without limits to the dimensions of the spaces in which it is inserted.”

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The Ourou isn’t a production piece; Bloget developed the design during a stay at France’s L’Association Rhizome residency program, which promotes creative research and interdisciplinary exchange. Rivie`re co-founded the association with architect Laure Girardeau.

Source: core77

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