tenon lenght

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Forum topic by Pabs posted 01-08-2009 01:54 AM 1052 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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236 posts in 3417 days

01-08-2009 01:54 AM

hey all

simple question

how long can or should you make a tenon.? the piece it’s going into is 2 inches wide. 3/4” stock
is there a rule of thumb for tenon length?


-- Pabs

11 replies so far

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3655 days

#1 posted 01-08-2009 02:04 AM

simple do you want to see the tenon if so make it the thickness of your stock and if you dont want to see the tenon i normally go to half thickness of my stock but it really is up to you so good luck


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3729 days

#2 posted 01-08-2009 02:30 AM

Pabs, if you’ll PM me your email address, I’ll send you a chart. If you don’t want the chart, what I see is max width of mortise = 3/8”, ideal tennon length = 1”....... That’s if I’m understanding you right.

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3554 days

#3 posted 01-08-2009 04:29 AM

juniorjock, I want the chart. Don’t be stingy with that thing. LOL

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View TimberMan's profile


113 posts in 3428 days

#4 posted 01-08-2009 06:23 AM

I would like to see it as well. Can you just attach it as an image to the post?

View Rob 's profile


216 posts in 3631 days

#5 posted 01-08-2009 06:35 AM

I would think the longer the tenon the better joint you would have due to the increased glueing surface. Some tenons go right through the stock and I would imagine they are the strongest. That said, I don’t think it is necessary to make one as long as possible. Just long enough to get a good glue up for whatever the need is; and I’m sure the chart mentioned above will fill in those details. If I’m remembering correctly the rule of thumb is to make the tenon 4-5 times it’s thickness in length.

View Pabs's profile


236 posts in 3417 days

#6 posted 01-08-2009 06:45 AM

hey JJ..

sent you an email for that chart…

I think you’re right ROb…can’t really make it too long…too short on the other hand..that’s when you would run into problems. I’ll go a good inch into the stock…maybe even an 1.5”

thinking about making a haunch tenon as well, from what I read it makes a stronger joint…never tried one before..

oh…by the way…these tenons are for a cabinet door frame… making 4 doors…2 of them will have plywood panels with 2 inch stock going all around and the other 2 will have a frosted glass panels (it’s for a bathroom cabinet I built)

-- Pabs

View JuniorJoiner's profile


485 posts in 3404 days

#7 posted 01-08-2009 08:44 AM

i think there are too many variables for any one rule, what is the wood type, is the joint in tension or shear, will it be glued, pinned or wedged?
when it comes to panel doors. i usually do 1/3 of the thickness of the stock, 3/4 of it’s width, and the complete length of the rail the stile is attaching to.(so a through tenon,1/4 inch thick, 1 1/2inches wide, and 2 inches long)
when the pressure on the joint is in shear. longer and wider are always better.tension stress is different because the joint and the wood are usually stronger than the pressure the mortise piece could take.

but really, unless you have a toddler that is going to be swinging on these doors regularly, the choice is really convenience, or aesthetic.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3729 days

#8 posted 01-08-2009 01:43 PM

I agree with JuniorJoiner that there are too many variables for one rule when using mortise and tenon. But I use this joint as a starting point and then make my own decisions. I’m going to try to load the file here. If it doesn’t work, anyone who wants it can PM me their email address, and I’ll send it to you.
-JJmortise & tenon chart

Update: Looks like the image turns out too small to read. It may be where Zoomer decreases the file size. Not sure. Just PM me if you want the chart and I’ll try my best to get it to you in a PDF format.

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3729 days

#9 posted 01-08-2009 01:54 PM

I’ll keep trying. This one is a little better.

M & T chart

View Pabs's profile


236 posts in 3417 days

#10 posted 01-09-2009 07:35 PM

awesome….thanks for the chart JJ

-- Pabs

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3729 days

#11 posted 01-09-2009 07:46 PM

You are welcome, Pabs.

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