1. Hi,

      I passed you question on to Paul and below is his answer:

      The tenons are not offset, they’re centred in the rails. It’s the mortise holes that are not centred, or as you say, offset. The reason we do this is to move the tenon to the outside of the leg so that we can use a longer tenon. Without the two tenons or mortise holes connecting in any way. And, just as a point of interest, it’s more likely on tables and chairs that the mortise hole will never be centred so that maximum length can be given to the tenon which increases the strength of the joint.

      Kind Regards,

      1. I think you answered the question for the wrong parts. I believe the question was in regards to the shelf support rails.
        My answer would be that it leaves more material below the mortise holes to support the shelf and any weight that is put on it.
        Cheers, Allan
        (P.s. sorry if it’s me that read the question wrong)

      2. Hi Izzy,
        I think Paul’s answer related to the upper rails whereas the question was about the lower rails where the tenons are definitely offset. I imagine the offset came about more as a matter of speed and convenience in using the existing mortise jig rather than any structural reason.
        Barry Sutton

  1. Hey Izzy,

    Does Paul normally purchase his larger stock (i.e. the legs and rails for this project) already cut to width and thickness or does he use his band saw to rip larger pieces to the size he needs? Most of his projects start with the wood already prepped to length and thickness. I was just curious.


  2. One stated purpose of the lower rails (supporting the shelf) is to constrain the bottom of the legs when the table is moved about – (e.g. to keep the legs from spreading apart). For a working table, I wonder why the mortises are not put through, and the tenons wedged. The short tenons help with compression but the 1 1/4″ length of the tenon doesn’t leave a lot of glue surface to resist tension – keeping the legs form spreading further apart. Maybe overkill, but the 2″ thick top suggests the table is going to get some hard use.

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