Why make 2 shorter tenons vs on longer one?

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Forum topic by jimmy J posted 04-16-2016 07:08 PM 663 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jimmy J

229 posts in 2161 days

04-16-2016 07:08 PM

I understand the math rules, but am unsure why it would be stronger to have two 2.5 long mortise/tenons vs one 5 inch set. I’m joining 3/4 stretchers into 1.75” entry table legs.

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View Ripthorn's profile


1443 posts in 2767 days

#1 posted 04-16-2016 07:21 PM

There are a number of reasons: slightly more surface area, increased torsional resistance, reduced face area for a single tenon so that there is less total expansion contraction per tenon, etc. You are more than welcome to do it a different way, but over the last few hundred years, many people with many decades of experience have kind of settled on that approach.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View ArtMann's profile


629 posts in 598 days

#2 posted 04-16-2016 09:29 PM

You are saying “long” but do you actually mean “wide”? Tenons are subject to the same dimensional instability with changes in humidity as any other piece of wood. A 5 inch wide tenon might expand and contract enough to break the glue bond.

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