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Trestle Table #28: Angled Mortise Cut in Thru Tenon

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 10-31-2016 03:25 AM 749 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 27: Fitted Through Tenons into Leg Mortises Part 28 of Trestle Table series Part 29: Through Tenon Mortises Cleared for Wedges »

Today I setup my 8 degree sled up on my drill press so I could drill small 1/4 inch holes in order to make the mortises in which the wedges will hold the legs tightly together.

I clamped the stretcher to the sled and then aligned the mortise hole under the drill bit. Then I clamped everything down tightly.

The mortise will be made where the XXXs mark the spot. You can notice the 8 degree angle marked on the sides of the tenon for the mortise. Since my drill bit was not very long I had to roll up my floor drill press’ table in order to punch through the tenon.

I placed one of the cutoffs of he tenons and shimmed it so I would not blow out the underside of the tenon.

After drilling both tenons, I clamped the stretcher to my workbench.

This night I just made sure I had a clear hole through this tenon. I will use my hand chisels tomorrow to clean up the surfaces and square off the ends of the mortise.

Tomorrow I will clean the mortises so I can fit the wedges through them.

-- --- Happy Howie



3 comments so far

View Mikesawdust's profile

Mikesawdust

323 posts in 2856 days


#1 posted 10-31-2016 01:32 PM

When I did my trestle table I just did the mortise straight and then angled the outside end, the inner edge was inside the leg that was held and I didn’t want to remove more material than necessary.

-- You never cut a piece to short, you are just prepping that piece for a future project

View HappyHowie's profile

HappyHowie

459 posts in 1762 days


#2 posted 10-31-2016 03:32 PM

Hi Mike, this is my first trestle table build and first time using a wedge. I would have no glue of how to design such a wedged application if it was not for the plan of Gary Rogowski’s trestle table. The process is a bit complicated, but I am assuming his process will give a good result.

I have followed Gary’s method exactly; even to his use of an 8 degree angle and a sled with the same angle on the drill press’ table. As you can see in the photo I took above that angle points back towards the inside of the leg; thus a good portion of the 1 1/8 inch long mortise will be hidden inside the leg on the underside of the long tenon. The strength of the table is the result of the wedge being long enough to span the distance through the tenon and being hammered into a tight fit between the outer surface of the legs and the outer wall of the mortise. It is a good lesson in physics: equal and opposite forces applied where the wood materials are the strongest. No wonder this joint has been used for centuries.

I am interesting in learning other methods. Yours sounds interesting and sounds like a more simple process. I wonder if you could point me to a drawing showing your design. Maybe there is a article on the web that demonstrates it?

Thank your for providing me with your comments…

-- --- Happy Howie

View Mikesawdust's profile

Mikesawdust

323 posts in 2856 days


#3 posted 12-09-2016 12:28 PM


Hi Mike, this is my first trestle table build and first time using a wedge. I would have no glue of how to design such a wedged application if it was not for the plan of Gary Rogowski s trestle table. The process is a bit complicated, but I am assuming his process will give a good result.

I have followed Gary s method exactly; even to his use of an 8 degree angle and a sled with the same angle on the drill press table. As you can see in the photo I took above that angle points back towards the inside of the leg; thus a good portion of the 1 1/8 inch long mortise will be hidden inside the leg on the underside of the long tenon. The strength of the table is the result of the wedge being long enough to span the distance through the tenon and being hammered into a tight fit between the outer surface of the legs and the outer wall of the mortise. It is a good lesson in physics: equal and opposite forces applied where the wood materials are the strongest. No wonder this joint has been used for centuries.

I am interesting in learning other methods. Yours sounds interesting and sounds like a more simple process. I wonder if you could point me to a drawing showing your design. Maybe there is a article on the web that demonstrates it?

Thank your for providing me with your comments…

- HappyHowie


I did one not long ago using the method he described above, basically you mark the length of the tenon where it protrudes. Drill straight through as that as the center then cant it to 8 degrees, as you did, and work from the outside edge inward stopping when you go through or meet the first hole. Clean it out with a chisel and finished. your method probably works just as well for the intended use, one less step ,and as you stated you can’t see the extended cut when it’s together.

-- You never cut a piece to short, you are just prepping that piece for a future project

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