Reply by bbasiaga

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Posted on A Tale of Two Tenons (or "Which One Will Be Stronger?")

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1240 posts in 2197 days

#1 posted 01-10-2017 11:56 PM

I think the thickness of your top and shelves is key here. You want it to distribute the load to the legs as evenly as possible, to take the pressure off the aprons and whatever joint you decide to use.

If you did bridles glued and pinned them, that joint won’t come apart from the load. To prevent racking, if you can attach sheets of plywood across the back and the sides (shortening your overhanging shelf, that will help a ton too. Otherwise you could build in cross braces on both sides and the back.

Another thought, you could make full width tenons by laminating the boards together. Meaning you’d take the thicnkess of the apron as shown, cut to the length proper for the bridle joint, then glue two thinner pieces (one on either side) to create the tenon shoulder. You’d get the advantage of the full size tenon/bridle and the extra strength and racking resistance of the shoulder, but at the expense of more weight and cost. It may help to have the extra beef there for the loads you are talking about anyway.

Just some thoughts. Hope they help.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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