Is a 1/2" Tenon length too small?

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Forum topic by lateralus819 posted 06-11-2013 01:10 AM 1018 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2239 posts in 1466 days

06-11-2013 01:10 AM

I’m making a hall table, legs are 1-7/8” square. The plans call for a apron 5-1/2” wide. 1/4” thick tenon, 1/2” long. Does this seem adequate? I already have the front made, so i guess if it is I’d have to re-make it.

4 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


2670 posts in 1834 days

#1 posted 06-11-2013 01:48 AM

If I were making a similar piece, I would make the tenons 3/8” thick and as long as possible with a 45 degree on the ends of them to get the maximum glue surface and probably about 3” wide. Rather than remaking the apron, could you increase the length of the tenons by shortening the length between the tenons on the existing piece. This would bring the legs a little closer together (maybe 2”), but you could keep the top the same length so you would get the size you want. I apologize if I haven’t explained this clearly.

-- Art

View a1Jim's profile


115619 posts in 3154 days

#2 posted 06-11-2013 01:54 AM

In many operations short tenons are common refereed to as stub tenons. Depending on the tables length and size they may be fine. If unsure you can always make the table a little narrower and shorter as Art suggested by cutting the tenons a little longer.

-- Custom furniture

View CharlieM1958's profile


16258 posts in 3795 days

#3 posted 06-11-2013 02:12 AM

Considering that we are talking about a hall table and not a heavy weight bearing piece such as an entertainment center, I think the 1/2” tenon length is fine.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2074 days

#4 posted 06-11-2013 02:20 AM

1/2” x 1/4” is a little light but then again it depends on how good the fit is. If perfectly fit and perfectly glued then in the end there’s not a whole lot of stress here and it will probably outlast your burial by quite some many years.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

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