How to tell exactly what part of the joint wont close? (M&T/groove on breadboard end)

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Forum topic by CarlTuesday posted 11-13-2013 06:23 AM 1433 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 1901 days

11-13-2013 06:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: breadboard mortise tenon mt groove table tabletop mahogany hickory walnut chisel plane joining

I’ve got a M&T/grooved breadboard end (5 tenons all with a haunch or groove between them). It’s a bit snug up to the last 1/4” or so then it wont go anymore…

Except, it feels like I can get either of the two ends almost closed – meaning that the problem is probably in either the groove or the 3 center tenons… Having accidentally taken too much off of tenons trying to fix this on another project, does anyone have tips on figuring out exactly which part of the joint is the offending section?

I don’t want to uniformly shave down my tenons and end up loosening one of the M&T’s unnecessarily.

The offending (yet attractive) breadboard end:

2 replies so far

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10477 posts in 3885 days

#1 posted 11-13-2013 06:30 AM

Hard to tell exactly. Chalk can help.

Tenons (or dovetails for that matter) can be shaved
hollow with a chisel so they fit tight at the corners
but are slightly relived in the center to ease the
closing of the joint.

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14 posts in 1901 days

#2 posted 11-13-2013 06:54 AM

Dur – chalk. that makes sense. I was thinking of what to “color” the tenon’s in with, but all i kept thinking of was sharpie, which didn’t seem like it would help much.

I know the worst case is that I just take a touch off of the center 3 that are the likely offenders, and odds are that I probably won’t get things too loose, but I’d like to reduce the chance…


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