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How To Give A Proper Wedgie

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Forum topic by HorizontalMike posted 12-12-2010 04:42 PM 1952 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HorizontalMike

7156 posts in 2380 days


12-12-2010 04:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mortise tenon wedge mortise tenon question

As a relative noobie building my fist really major project I have noticed two distinct methods of applying a wedgie to a mortise and tenon joint.

Method:
1. Cut the outside of the mortise at a slight angle (wider than 90 degrees) to accept the wedge driven to hold a straight, right-angle tenon in place.

2. Cut the end of the tenon at a slight angle (greater than 90 degrees with end of tenon skinnier), leave the mortise at right angles, and then drive the wedge in place.

QUESTIONS:
  • Is there a preferred/correct method that ranks one method over the other or is either method acceptable?
  • Is one method stronger than the other?
  • It looks as if method #2 would be easier to control shape and size of all parts, is it?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."


12 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4457 posts in 3427 days


#1 posted 12-12-2010 06:18 PM

Number one method is my style. Doesn’t take much relief in the mortise to make it bullet proof. In fact, I’ve done more straight M & Ts than tapered. Haven’t had one fail yet.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


#2 posted 12-13-2010 02:53 AM

How many need wedges as opposed to just glue?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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HorizontalMike

7156 posts in 2380 days


#3 posted 12-13-2010 03:19 AM

Well Topa, that pretty much IS my question. This is my learning curve, so which/what is it? If you have experience here, please share…If you don’t…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


#4 posted 12-13-2010 03:21 AM

You probably have as much or more experience than me:-) That is why I asked. ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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HorizontalMike

7156 posts in 2380 days


#5 posted 12-13-2010 03:26 AM

Well hello Mr. Shadow,...meet Mr. Dark,...

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View swirt's profile

swirt

2118 posts in 2438 days


#6 posted 12-13-2010 04:55 AM

I think the answer really depends on th purpose of the joint. Keep a house together, method #1. Keep a coffee table together, probably #2 would hold up just fine. When in doubt, #1

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2601 posts in 2484 days


#7 posted 12-13-2010 05:24 AM

Actually the number one wedgie is to go behind someone who is working bent over and grab the back of their underwear and hoist away then run!!! LOL Sorry couldn’t resist that one!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 2450 days


#8 posted 12-13-2010 12:14 PM

For wedged tenons I prefer to angle the mortise as opposed to the tenon. It just makes more sense to me that its a locked in joint. Where as I view angling the tenon and wedging to the mortise to lock it in, it be more given to friction failure and loosening up over time. So I would say method one is stronger. A sharp chisel makes quick work of angling the mortise for me. Blind or closed tenon joints just be careful of the length and thickness of your wedges. I rather do it straight tenon and mortise with those.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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TopamaxSurvivor

17674 posts in 3142 days


#9 posted 12-13-2010 12:33 PM

Greg, That does make sense. If it needs locking beyond glue, may as well lock it mechanically forever. Do you still glue those? Do you glue the wedge?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7156 posts in 2380 days


#10 posted 12-13-2010 04:51 PM

Gregn,
Yes, these will be blind tenons. I am building Bob Lang’s 21st Century Workbench and the DVD instructions call for method #1 and then saw off wedges and block-plane smooth before covering the joint with the other half of the leg. During my LJ “search” for others who have built this workbench I found someone who used method #2, and thus I wondered about the usefulness of the two methods and which method might be “best.”

The more I think about it, I agree that method #1 is a better “lock” in that pulling on the joint would result in tightening the wedge rather than loosening (understanding that in both cases the wedge is glued in-place along with the rest of the joint).

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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Gregn

1642 posts in 2450 days


#11 posted 12-13-2010 05:54 PM

Ya Mike, you want to use method#1 for that locking in and for the strength that this joint offers for the workbench. You might want to do a couple of practice joints first Mike, cause once you get that tenon started if the wedge is to big you its damn near impossible it pull it apart. No need for gluing the wedges in for blind tenons as the back of the mortise keeps the wedges in place.
I do glue the wedges in for through tenons.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7156 posts in 2380 days


#12 posted 12-14-2010 12:41 AM

Thanks for the head’s up with fitting the tenon. As by chance, I happen to have an inordinate amount of “practice scrap” on hand at the moment to work with ;-) ...boy do I!......

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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