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Mortise and Tenon??

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Forum topic by siouxdawgs0409 posted 12-08-2012 01:00 AM 937 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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siouxdawgs0409

107 posts in 1748 days


12-08-2012 01:00 AM

Topic tags/keywords: mortise tenon

I am designing a project and I am curious on the joinery of a part of it. I hope that someone can help me out here. The project part I am curious on is this. I will have a flat top and to that flat top I am joining two upright “baulsters” or spindles shall we say. Should I use a mortise in the top and a tenon on the spindle? It will be supporting a mirror so I want it strong from side to side and front to back movements.


15 replies so far

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1455 days


#1 posted 12-08-2012 01:20 AM

Mortise and tenon is a very strong joint. Chair makers have used it for centuries, and if it can support a fat guy’s rear end, it can handle a mirror.

I don’t know exactly what you have in mind, but if you can make the tenon pass all the way through the wood and then put a wedge in the end to tighten the fit, it will last forever. If not just make it tight fitting and use some liquid hide glue so you can repair it if it ever comes loose. Repairing a joint like that glued with regular yellow glue is tough.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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MonteCristo

2097 posts in 843 days


#2 posted 12-08-2012 01:36 AM

M &T is indeed a strong joint, but there are a couple of things to consider. 1) if the top isn’t very thick, that will reduce the joint’s strength. 2) If the leg part can be kicked, flexed or whatever, there would be a lot of torque/stress on the joint – the joint could well hold but the baluster might even break (in some cases anyhow).

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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a1Jim

112089 posts in 2232 days


#3 posted 12-08-2012 01:41 AM

A photo or drawing would help . Even though M&T joints are strong it may not be the best option for your project.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1455 days


#4 posted 12-08-2012 01:43 AM

On Windsor chairs the round tenons on the legs are supported my a mortise about 1 1/2”-2” deep and are often wedged from the top. But they also use wet/dry techniques for tight fitting joints. I suppose if the mortise was only in 3/4” stock, Monte may be right.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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siouxdawgs0409

107 posts in 1748 days


#5 posted 12-10-2012 10:08 PM

I have provided a little drawing to see if that helps to get the idea accross. Thanks

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1455 days


#6 posted 12-10-2012 10:15 PM

If the mirror is not very large and heavy, as I assume this is a dresser top kind of thing, and as long as the stock that the mortise will be cut into is 3/4” or thicker, I see no problem at all. Especially since the most likely direction of failure will be forward and back rather than side to side, and you have that covered with brackets. I say go for it. Just make your mortise tight. (If you can use the wedge idea I showed above it would be a real plus.)

Post a photo when it’s done. And if it blows apart and catches on fire and falls off the edge of the world, blame a1Jim.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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a1Jim

112089 posts in 2232 days


#7 posted 12-10-2012 10:22 PM

Assuming your drawing is a view with the top facing up. I would attached the curved piece of wood shown with the side view with screws through the top that are oversize and I would attach the leg shaped item with a saddle joint to the curved piece.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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a1Jim

112089 posts in 2232 days


#8 posted 12-10-2012 10:26 PM

Blame a Jim alright the one AKA Stumpy :))

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1455 days


#9 posted 12-10-2012 10:27 PM

I didn’t think it was a top view. I thought it was a front view of a base, with a spindle sticking up in the air which would combine with a second spindle to support a pivoting mirror. But a saddle joint sounds good too.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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siouxdawgs0409

107 posts in 1748 days


#10 posted 12-10-2012 10:30 PM

It is a just as stumpy says… Front view and side view. It is missing the other side spindle and the mirror that will hang inbetween. The top is 1.25 thick.

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1455 days


#11 posted 12-10-2012 10:35 PM

What?? Stumpy was right? Could you say that again a little louder because it felt sooooo good!

If it’s an inch and a quarter thick I would definitely go with the mortise and tenon. It’ll be the easiest way and that’s PLENTY of thickness to support it. I could hang off it in place of the mirror and it’ll still not break. I can come over on Friday and prove it if you like?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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a1Jim

112089 posts in 2232 days


#12 posted 12-10-2012 10:37 PM

Time will tell what’s right ? as far as the joinery is concerned .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1455 days


#13 posted 12-10-2012 10:41 PM

All right, bearded man… if he uses a tenon and the mirror falls off, busting into a million pieces and he has to hang his head in shame forever as a poor craftsman… you and I can laugh together and I’ll buy the cold ones.

Of course that would really suck for descout… I’d hate to be him…

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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a1Jim

112089 posts in 2232 days


#14 posted 12-10-2012 11:28 PM

Mr. Jim (the unbearded one):))
You know how old guys always say things like ” I have shoe’s older than You” I do :)) what does that mean ? who knows I’m to old to figure it out? I’ve had a a couple repair jobs where tenons were used to hold mirrors and in time they loosen up and who knows if you drop the piece after it’s made a saddle joint might break, descout can use what every joinery suites him and so can you ,just my take on the situation.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1455 days


#15 posted 12-10-2012 11:33 PM

I suppose this all depends on how good, or bad looking descout is (or whomever is going to be looking into the mirror). I’ve seen some pretty horrible mishaps involving ugly people and mirrors. And since descout doesn’t have a photo posted, it may be that he suffers from an unfortunate facial condition. But he could always do what I do and cover it with glasses. (You thought I was going to say cover it with a beard, didn’t you, Jim? Shame on you…)

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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