First M&T attempt question

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Forum topic by Tim posted 09-11-2009 04:31 PM 896 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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43 posts in 3181 days

09-11-2009 04:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mortise tenon joining

I’m building the Planter’s Desk from NYW as my first attempt at M&T joinery. I used my router table for the 3/8 mortises and a stop block and stacked dado for the tenons. I then used a chisel to round off the edges of the tenons to fit. Last night, I tried a dry fit of the legs and apron (without the plywood bottom) to see how it was coming. It was assembling into a perfect rhombus. Now, I realize the plywood bottom, if square, will correct all this during final assembly, but IYOs, did I do something wrong or is this normal?

The shoulder cuts seem to sit nice and flush when I hold it square, but I just can’t see why it doesn’t want to naturally sit square. If something is going to be structurally off, I’ll try and fix before final assembly. It’s only pine, so replacing a couple of aprons is only a matter of a few bucks. Thoughts?


2 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3649 days

#1 posted 09-11-2009 04:39 PM

do you have any pics to show what you mean?

generally speaking – the parts should mate together perfectly without you having to push them into square – if you DO have to push them square it means something is off, and by pushing – you are creating stress on the joint and parts.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3384 days

#2 posted 09-12-2009 04:07 AM

I’m assuming this is the project you are talking about. Did you joint the surfaces of the legs at 90 degrees to each other before mortising them? If not, that could explain the problem as a few degrees off won’t look like much on the leg, but extend that out with the apron and it will definitely be noticeable. Just a thought.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

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