Moving Workshop Table: Episode 3

Moving Workshop Table 3 Keyframe

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Paul now moves on to the shelf and shelf supports. Returning to his shelf pieces having dimensioned them some time earlier, Paul found that the shelf boards had twisted somewhat. Here he runs through how to deal with that. Paul also shows how to layout and cut the mortise and tenons for the shelf supports.


  1. wdelliott on 6 June 2019 at 7:21 am

    I’m not understanding why the tenons were offset on the long rails.
    W.D. Elliott

    • Izzy Berger on 7 June 2019 at 2:58 pm


      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,

      • allaninoz on 8 June 2019 at 12:57 am

        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)

        • Izzy Berger on 10 June 2019 at 12:58 pm


          Thank you for pointing this out. I passed this on to Paul and he said:

          Ah! Got it. It was to do with having more strength underneath to support the rail.

          Kind Regards,

      • barrysutton on 8 June 2019 at 7:06 am

        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

  2. youngdougie on 19 June 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Hello, May I ask, What material is used for the table/bench top? Thanks

    • Izzy Berger on 20 June 2019 at 9:10 am


      The Moving Workshop Table has a laminated plywood worktop.

      Kind Regards,

  3. Joey Goodwin on 6 August 2020 at 2:03 pm

    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.


    • Izzy Berger on 26 August 2020 at 5:02 pm

      Hi Joey,

      Paul says:
      Either way but often I usually start with over sized stock and then rip or plane it to the size I want.

      Kind Regards,

  4. sodbuster on 30 January 2021 at 3:28 am

    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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