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Mortise and Tenon Bench #1: Practice Keyed Tenon

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Blog entry by thefrozenwoodworker posted 501 days ago 1498 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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My next project has a keyed mortise and tenon stretcher. Since this is a new joint for me, I thought I should practice on some old wood pieces first. The receiving mortise is going to be a leg for a bench. I am trying to have the Mortise angle close to 5°, To provide a very slight cant upwards towards the seat. This initial attempt was mostly eyeballed without real specific measurements other than the width and thickness of the board. I used a 3/4 inch chisel as a measure for the key hole. I already learned that if you get to excited to pound in the key you will split a perfect square off your tenon :)



3 comments so far

View woodshaver's profile

woodshaver

2734 posts in 1951 days


#1 posted 501 days ago

This is a coffee table I made about 30 years ago. It’s made of pine. This was my first keyed tenon. I also had to experiment to get it right. This low angle worked well. Notice the direction of the grain in the key and the way the key is placed in the stretcher. This key can be tapped in snugly without splitting the wood. Maybe you can get some ideas from this picture of the one I built. Hope you get it worked out ok!

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View thefrozenwoodworker's profile

thefrozenwoodworker

18 posts in 530 days


#2 posted 487 days ago

Woodshaver, thank you for the input! I wrestled with this idea for awhile and I believe that running a keyed tenon with grain orientation as you have is structurally superior. In this case, I am blatantly ripping off a well known antique piece in which they keyed it in this way to please the requesting client (wife ;)
I am curious if they sacrificed some function in the name of form?

View woodshaver's profile

woodshaver

2734 posts in 1951 days


#3 posted 487 days ago

Gee, I can’t believe over 400 people look in on this and I’m the only one that commented on your post.
Glad I could help and I hope you have good luck with you project.

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

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