Joinery - angles and tennons, oh my!

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Forum topic by JOAT posted 02-11-2012 03:59 PM 1300 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 2783 days

02-11-2012 03:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tip trick pine joining

I have a knack for making projects harder on myself. The wife wanted a demilune table for the hallway and of course she had to choose a design with no plans for to assistance.

I have replicated everything except the joinery necessary to join the sides. At first I thought I could cut the angles then join with biscuits. I have been playing with mortise and tenons and would like to build a solid piece of furniture using these methods, but I can seem to figure out how to do the joint on the side where the angles are. Any help out there from the more experienced?

I could always pocket screw the sides, but again, I like to make things more difficult. Is mortise and tenon even possible on this table? My focus is to build a very solid piece of furniture. I have utilized mortise and tenon on the front (the drawer piece) and back. Is this where I would use a spline joint?

Looking for some wisdom….Thank you.


5 replies so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3166 days

#1 posted 02-11-2012 04:11 PM

Joat, if you want to use a mortise and tenon joint on these, you can make either short, angled tenons, or my preference is to cut the mortise into the corner of the leg and put the angle on the shoulder of the rail. This allows for a longer, straight tenon. You can use a floating tenon, if you think it would be easier to get the angles right. I use a block that will hold the leg at the correct angle to drill or mortise into the leg. If I can find the picture I have of it, I’ll post it later.

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2999 days

#2 posted 02-11-2012 04:20 PM

Tim has said it all ,you might might look into a book by Gary Rogowski “Joinery”

-- Custom furniture

View JOAT's profile


10 posts in 2783 days

#3 posted 02-11-2012 04:36 PM

Awesome! Thank you for the replies. I’ll check these tips out. I built everything else so fast…and its just a combination of the angles and joinery that has me perplexed. I’ll look into what you have recommended. Thanks again.

View Loren's profile


8164 posts in 3070 days

#4 posted 02-11-2012 04:43 PM

I might do those apron-leg joints with sliding dovetails. Still
challenging and leaves a lot of wood in those thin legs for

And yeah, cutting an angled face to take the straight-cut tenon
shoulder is a straightforward workaround to avoid difficult
angled shoulder cuts. I say “difficult” because they generally
have to be done by hand and that takes some confidence and a
well-tuned saw.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3166 days

#5 posted 02-11-2012 05:20 PM

Here’s the picture of the jig I made for holding the leg in position. Make it long enough to cut off about a 3” section to use as a hold down. This jig can also be used on a drill press or mortise machine.

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