M and T design question - basic

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Forum topic by JoeinDE posted 11-13-2009 08:44 PM 1213 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JoeinDE's profile


444 posts in 3519 days

11-13-2009 08:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: joining

I’m building a rectangular hallway table with relatively thin (1 and 1/8”) legs, walnut aprons and a marblewood top. I want to joing the legs to the arpons with M&T joints. I’ve never made mortise and tenon joints before. What is a good tenon length (mortise depth) to support a 26” long 4” wide walnut apron? Since I am limited by thickness of the legs, I see two choices
1. limit the depth to 1/2” so that the tenon from the other apron doesn’t collide
2. offset the mostises (and the tenons) so that they can be longer (or through tenons) but not collide.
—-to that end, would having the tenon on the bottom of the apron still create a strong joint? The side arons are going to be shorter (lighter) so if putting the tenon on the bottom is going to create a weaker joint, I could use that on the side aprons and not the front.


5 replies so far

View AaronK's profile


1507 posts in 3661 days

#1 posted 11-13-2009 08:57 PM

sorry, i may be missing something, but why not miter the tenons or notch/lap them? that way they are full width for the maximum possible length, then half width for the length=tenon thickness. (hope that makes sense!)

View Thuan's profile


203 posts in 4014 days

#2 posted 11-13-2009 09:04 PM

I vote a thumbs up on Arronk’s answer.

-- Thuan

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3773 days

#3 posted 11-13-2009 09:08 PM

No reason to half lap them just miter them were the touch after cutting your mortises.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View JoeinDE's profile


444 posts in 3519 days

#4 posted 11-13-2009 09:13 PM

Thanks. I like the idea of notching/lapping them. I’ll try that.


View dustyal's profile


1299 posts in 3671 days

#5 posted 11-13-2009 09:40 PM

I used the miter method on my yellow shaker table that had dimensions similar to yours. There is a photo of the miter M&T. In the workshop where we did this, I asked about notch/lap. Opinion seem to be that miter was just a bit easier and you could easily adjust tenon length by trimming back the miter cut as may be necessary such as when the apron miters collide and push the opposite apron out. Simple fix by a trim. You could also pin with a dowel for a little added strength.

Since I haven’t tried the other types I toss this out from the whatever it’s worth dept.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

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