post and panel chest - tenon thickness advise

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Forum topic by martin007 posted 12-28-2009 04:11 AM 1066 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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141 posts in 2864 days

12-28-2009 04:11 AM

Hi all

I am currently designing a post and panel chest of drawers. The post will also serve as style for the side panel.

The groove in the post will be 1/4 inch wide to accept the panel. The easiest would be to have the mortise for the rails tenon to be 1/4 inch also. the rails are 3/4 thick.

So is 1/4 sufficient or should I bother to make the mortise 3/8 or so

chest is 50 inch wide



-- Martin, Gatineau, Québec

5 replies so far

View TimF's profile


31 posts in 2329 days

#1 posted 12-28-2009 04:24 AM

What kind of wood are you using? If is a hard wood 1/4” should be fine. Oak , cherry …........

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 2929 days

#2 posted 12-28-2009 08:41 AM

As Tim said the type of wood makes a difference. But a good rule of thumb is no more than one third the thickness of the wood. So a piece of 3/4” you would want a 1/4” tenon. 6/4 you could go to a 1/2” tenon.
Make sure you cut the mortise first, then make the tenon to fit the mortise. This helps prevent a loose joint, just sneak up on it and take your time.
Hope that helps,


-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View martin007's profile


141 posts in 2864 days

#3 posted 12-28-2009 05:02 PM

for the side it`s hard maple rail and post. For the back it`s white pine rail

-- Martin, Gatineau, Québec

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

7022 posts in 2517 days

#4 posted 12-28-2009 06:22 PM

Just my opinion, 1/4” should be fine for the maple as well as the pine. Today’s glues should insure a good joint regardless of specie, as long as you have a well fitting M and T.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View patron's profile


13422 posts in 2430 days

#5 posted 12-28-2009 06:30 PM

i always make the tenon 1/3 the thickness ,
1 1/2 ” stock , 1/2 tenon ,
3/4 ” stock , 1/4 ” tenon .
otherwise the mortice cheeks are to thin ,
in my opinion .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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