mortise & tenon… is it too loose?

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  • #19242
    Jason
    Participant

    I’m building a shaker trestle table, that was featured in popular woodworking. One of the mortise/tenon joints connecting the leg to the foot is a little loose. It fails the friction test, but just barely. How loose can it be before I should consider shimming the tenon?

    Thanks!
    Jason

    #19244
    Greg Merritt
    Participant

    What kind of wood? Remember that most glue is water based and will swell the wood slightly when the joint is glued together, soft woods more so. If you have a slight friction fit I’ll bet it will be just fine when glued. You also could add wedges so that when the joint is seated the wedges lock the joint.

    http://hillbillydaiku.com

    #19245
    Ken
    Participant

    Hi Jason,

    Remember the tenon will swell a little with the glue. If you were going to draw boar the joint it would be fine. Just speaking for my self, I like a nice friction fit, so I would probably still shim it anyway.

    #19249
    Jason
    Participant

    Ken and Greg,

    I’m using yellow pine for the base. Also, I will be drawboring the joint.That said, I may shim it. Not sure my OCD will be happy knowing that an unnoticeable joint was originally a bit loose. 😉

    Thanks,
    Jason

    #19320
    Scott
    Participant

    Jason-

    I recently shimmed a couple of tenons for my first frame and panel. I glued on a thin piece of wood on each side, trimmed with a chisel then used the router plane on both sides to get back down to the correct depth. Not ideal, but it worked very well and will not be seen. For my next frame, you can sure bet that I will cut those tenons fatter. 😉

    -Scott Los Angeles

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