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Entertainment Center #5: Moving On - Mortise and Tenon

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Blog entry by Dano posted 06-27-2007 01:54 AM 1014 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Ouch, the Verdict Part 5 of Entertainment Center series Part 6: Back in the Saddle »

Well, it is time to move on, I have cut the legs and the mortises in them. I used 1/4 inch wide mortises for 3/4 inch wide stock but almost wish I’d used 3/8 inch wide ones. I’d appriciate it if everyone would chime in here and tell me what width they typically use. Here is a pic, I glued them up out of 4/4 stock and then milled to size, the color match could have been better though.

Mortise

Moving on to the tenons I was concerned that the Forrest WWII blade would not give good results if I nibbled away at the tenons and I was also concerned with the cheap Craftsman dado set I have so I decided to build a jig to cut smooth tenon shoulders. After looking around I decided to build the one on the “Plans Now” website, I built it to spec with the exception that I used UHMW plastic for the miter slot runners and decided against using a loose clamp to hold the workpiece. Instead I am going to install a toggle clamp as soon as I get one. Here is a pic less the toggle clamp.

Tenon Jig

As soon as I recover from my goof up I’ll get the tenons cut for the rails. Oh, I know you are dying to see my fingers so here they are. Graphic though they may be…..

Fingers

-- Dan in Central Oklahoma, Able to turn good wood into saw dust in the blink of an eye!



8 comments so far

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2693 days


#1 posted 06-27-2007 02:24 AM

I typically use 3/8” mortises, but 1/4” will work fine. Don’t worry about the color match. It won’t bother anyone else but you. LOL. It just provides contrast. The tenoning jig looks hot! Sorry again about the fingers.

Looking forward to seeing how this progresses!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Karson's profile

Karson

34878 posts in 3057 days


#2 posted 06-27-2007 02:29 AM

The rules that I’ve seen are 1/3 on each surface. 1/3 wood, 1/3 mortise, and 1/3 wood.

If you were making a workbench then the Tenon would be chunkier but I wouldn’t have the same width legs as I had aprons.

It’s like your picture the mortise is back from the edge so that the apron is not an even match to the edge.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Karson's profile

Karson

34878 posts in 3057 days


#3 posted 06-27-2007 02:38 AM

Dan A trick I learned in a class I took on number legs is like this.

You put the legs together to get the match you want. Then you fit the aprons into the mortise in each leg and you label the ends as 8 and 1 for the front apron 2 and 3 for the right side 4 and 5 for the back and 6 and 7 for the left side.

That way you can put them back to the corner that you fit them to.

It saves problems at assembly and glue up time.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Dano's profile

Dano

222 posts in 2689 days


#4 posted 06-27-2007 03:42 AM

Karson, I like the numbering idea better than my layout lines in the picture. Also, yes there will be a 1/4 inch reveal between the legs and the rails so the mortises are 1/2 inch back from the edges.

One thing I did was to layout the mortises at each corner but I had a hard time using pencil on red oak so I placed masking tape over the legs and then used a sharpie marker. Anything better than that idea?

-- Dan in Central Oklahoma, Able to turn good wood into saw dust in the blink of an eye!

View Karson's profile

Karson

34878 posts in 3057 days


#5 posted 06-27-2007 04:36 AM

I usually draw the end lines across the leg so it is easier to see. I don’t bother doing the up and down lines because where i cut the mortise could be a trial and error allignment using maple, or popular or some scrap or a steel rule to get the offset from the edge.

The stop and start lines are critical because thats where you would do the cuts with the Mortise machine.

But yes the tape would work. A sharpie might be too wide a line for close cuts. They also use a marking knife where the wood fibers are cut and so then they are easier to be seen.

Here are my lines on the buffet hutch that I’m making. I wouldn’t normally make the lines down the legs, but these are panel cuts that start and stop at the apron pieces. So i was trying to get the perspective.

The plywood boards are my story sticks where I’m showing all of the cutting on each of the 4 legs, because they are different for the front and rear legs.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1763 posts in 2747 days


#6 posted 06-27-2007 04:31 PM

I second the call for the 1/3 rule. If you were doing 7/8” stock you could bump it up. At some point there would be little material left if the mortise were enlarged.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1763 posts in 2747 days


#7 posted 06-27-2007 04:33 PM

Most of the strength of the joint is coming from the glue surface, which is not changing with thickness of tenon. Obviously a paper thin tenon is not desirable but yours are fine.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View Dano's profile

Dano

222 posts in 2689 days


#8 posted 06-29-2007 02:43 AM

Karson,

Story boards are a fairly recent discovery of mine. I understand the concept but need to see how they are truly executed. I have seen them referenced in cabinet making and never thought about them for this project. Thanks for the reminder.

-- Dan in Central Oklahoma, Able to turn good wood into saw dust in the blink of an eye!

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