Help with Through Tenons

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Forum topic by MisterBill posted 08-28-2015 03:06 PM 649 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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411 posts in 2216 days

08-28-2015 03:06 PM

I need design help with a Greene & Greene inspired stool that I am building. I am going by a picture that I saw and I have no other information to go by except for the overall dimensions.

I have three questions about the through tenons on the legs.

1.) Should they be at the very ends of the legs or should they be inset?

2.) If they are inset, then how far? Would 1/2” be enough?

3.) Is there a “standard” formula for the length and width of the through tenons? I am using 3/4” stock so would I make them twice as long as the thickness? In other word, would I make then 3/4” x 1-1/2”?

I hope that my drawing helps to explain my questions.

1 reply so far

View FellingStudio's profile


93 posts in 1647 days

#1 posted 08-28-2015 03:34 PM

Structurally, having a shoulder on the end (edge of the leg, inset), is the same as not having one. And, structurally, the lengths of the mortise/tenon that you are considering are the same as well.

Therefore, the decision is one of aesthetics. I would suggest that your mortises/tenons should be centered at 1/3 of the way through the seat, and should be in the 1 1/2 – 2 inches wide. (Play around with size and location based on the golden ratio.)

Are you planning on wedging your tenons? (I would say yes, both for structural and aesthetic reasons.) If you do wedge the tenons, remember that you are basically creating a dovetail and slope the edges of your mortises accordingly.

-- Jesse Felling -

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