Wedged tenon in table apron?

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Forum topic by BinghamtonEd posted 06-23-2015 01:36 PM 786 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2298 posts in 2370 days

06-23-2015 01:36 PM

So my wife sends me an e-mail yesterday from work, requesting a table. She is a teacher, and it’s not like the school is going to give her money for one, so this is usually where I come in.

She wants a table 72” long, 22” deep, and 36” high. She would like a lower shelf as well, but only want it to be half as deep, basically the back half will be a shelf and the front half will be open (see picture below).

All aprons are 2.5” tall and made of 3/4” stock. The top aprons will be mortised and drawbored into the legs, pretty straightforward. The bottom rear, and side, stretchers will be the same. The bottom front stretcher needs to be set back, so the front of the bottom is open. My idea is to use a wedged tenon to attach it to the side stretchers. If they are 2.5” tall, and the tenon is cut to be 1” tall, would I need to place the wedges one the sides of the tenon to avoid splitting the side stretcher, or would the top and bottom still be OK?

The first picture shows the top-down design of the lower stretchers, and the second shows a front view of how I plan to join the front stretcher to the side stretchers. I’ll apologize right now for my MS paint skills.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

5 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2370 days

#1 posted 06-29-2015 07:38 PM

Wow this must be a LJ record, a question asked, 175 views, and not a single opinion! I’m open to other joinery suggestions, as well.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5664 posts in 2814 days

#2 posted 06-29-2015 08:40 PM

Yes, your idea will work.
For that type of joint I usually use a through tenon, and peg it from underneath.

By the way I think shelves under desks are shin wackers. One thing that Stickley didn’t get right.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View jerryminer's profile


923 posts in 1442 days

#3 posted 06-29-2015 09:00 PM

Top and bottom will give you more long-grain-to-long grain area than side-to-side.

Safer to clamp the joint top-to-bottom (as well as end-to-end) before driving wedges. my .02

you might also consider a double tenon (twice the glue surface. might be over-kill)

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View DalyArcher's profile


115 posts in 1120 days

#4 posted 06-29-2015 09:44 PM

I vote through tennon and wedge, like a trestle table.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2370 days

#5 posted 06-30-2015 11:32 AM

The through tenon and wedge doesn’t quite fit the aesthetics I’m going for with this table, but thanks for the additional idea.

I think I may consider doing a through tenon and pegging this joint, instead. I was planning on using 1/4” drawbore pins to secure the aprons/stretchers to the legs, so pegging this joint, even from above, would match. This is 3/4” stock, so I think if I make the tenon 5/8” wide and 1” tall, it should be plenty beefy enough to accept a peg. Plus, it makes assembly so much simpler, I can assemble the entire base without clamps.

As for the shin-whackers, I had the same comment. But, its what she wants, so its what she gets.

I also had the directive to use as much of my existing wood (besides the maple which has been reserved for the kitchen remodel) without spending any more money. So, she’s getting an ash desk, with a couple of thin cherry strips in the top, because I didn’t have enough ash to do the whole thing. I figure the drawbore pegs will be made of cherry as well, and will at least give some sort of uniformity.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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