To glue or not to glue...

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Forum topic by jmroach posted 12-22-2010 06:16 PM 989 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 3369 days

12-22-2010 06:16 PM

I’m building a large dining room table out of walnut. Spreaders in between the table legs are to be joined with wedged through tenons. I can’t decide what to glue and need some help. The tenons are about 6in long, 1 in wide, and 3 in tall. They go through legs that are made from three laminated pieces of walnut and measure about 5.5in square. Wedges are made of hard maple and are cut at about 2.5 deg.

I’m thinking I should only glue in the wedges and leave the tenon itself unglued. Thoughts???



5 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17307 posts in 2971 days

#1 posted 12-22-2010 07:36 PM

Im no professional by any means, and also dont know how it “should” be done, but my thought is that if you are going to glue the wedges in the tenon, the tenon will never come out again so why not glue the tenon inside the mortise as well. No harm no foul.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View jmroach's profile


15 posts in 3369 days

#2 posted 12-22-2010 08:44 PM

I guess I’m worried about the length of cross grain glueup combined with the fact that the glued up section would also be normal to the laminated leg sections…

Bigger question: how long can a tenon be before gluing cross grain creates a problem?

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3015 days

#3 posted 12-23-2010 08:36 AM

Glue the tenon and wedges. Wedging the tenons would cause just as much cross grain problem as glue, with the added problem of the tenons working loose and no real way to repair. At least glue will prevent that. You’re really overthinking cross grain problems. It’s been done this way since glue was invented. You’ll be fine. Merry Christmas.


PS Nice work, so far.

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3613 days

#4 posted 12-23-2010 09:30 AM

glue it all. treat the mortise and tenon for what they are which requires them to be glued. the wedges just give some extra mechanical hold but will not substitute the permanent grab of the glue between the mortise and tenon parts. in some cases you may want to keep the joint dry, but in the case of table and furniture you’d want the firm bond of a good joint to stand up to raking.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View jmroach's profile


15 posts in 3369 days

#5 posted 12-23-2010 10:20 PM

Thanks for the input guys. Ill glue it all.

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