110 mortise and tenon joints - outdoor table and benches

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Project by jdh122 posted 04-25-2011 09:04 PM 3767 views 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my new outdoor table and bench set that I spent part of the winter making. It’s made of eastern white cedar, whereas the plans I had called for western red cedar, but that comes from the other end of the continent, so I decided to go local. I originally made it with two long benches, but the white cedar is not a strong wood, and once I calculated the weight that four people could add up to and bounced around on the completed benches, I decided I needed to make the two benches into four (glue up 8 new legs, cut the stretchers, new m+t joints). In the end I think it’s better with four smaller benches.
As you can see in the project title, there are over 100 mortise and tenon joints here. I started out doing both sides on the router table, but acquired some decent chisels, a marking gauge and a nice little dozuki saw over the Christmas holidays and started cutting the tenons by hand. I found I got a tighter joint than with machines, and quite enjoyed doing the hand work (but this means I need to build myself a bench – aargh). I even cut the last 4 mortises by chisels and found this easier than I expected.
I’m not planning to put any finish on it – the cedar should weather to a nice grey.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

7 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2854 days

#1 posted 04-25-2011 09:40 PM

Wow that is some work.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3113 days

#2 posted 04-25-2011 09:59 PM

congrat´s with a well done job :-)
now you make a complete set only by handtool…..LOL (Grin and duck )

thank´s for sharing


View EagleTRL57's profile


9 posts in 2618 days

#3 posted 04-25-2011 10:05 PM

That is awesome!

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3062 days

#4 posted 04-25-2011 11:48 PM

NICE setup. Great job there..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Ken90712's profile


17556 posts in 3186 days

#5 posted 04-26-2011 10:47 AM

Well done enjoy!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2836 days

#6 posted 04-26-2011 02:30 PM

Lots of work- but worth the effort! I like 4 smaller benches anyway. More flexibility and they can be moved to the porch to double as tables and extra seating when you need them. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Hopdevil's profile


219 posts in 3083 days

#7 posted 04-26-2011 06:03 PM

Nicely done and you got a work bench out of the deal as well! Your efforts are well rewarded with your excellent work.

-- Buzz ---- Of all the things I have ever lost, I miss my mind the most.

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