Author Topic: Mortise and tenon  (Read 4050 times)

Jeff L Headley

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 1129
  • Running a fifth generation cabinetmaking business
    • Mack S Headley & Sons
Mortise and tenon
« on: August 23, 2012, 08:37:20 PM »
How and why?

Jeff L Headley

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 1129
  • Running a fifth generation cabinetmaking business
    • Mack S Headley & Sons
Re: Mortise and tenon
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 08:55:09 PM »
How and why would you use a mortised and tenoned joint? All periods should be considered. Always bevel the ends of each tenon.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 09:22:57 PM by Jeff L Headley »

Jeff L Headley

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 1129
  • Running a fifth generation cabinetmaking business
    • Mack S Headley & Sons
Re: Mortise and tenon
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 09:35:44 PM »
Always use a cutting gauge, not a marking gauge and cut right to the line.

Jeff L Headley

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 1129
  • Running a fifth generation cabinetmaking business
    • Mack S Headley & Sons
Re: Mortise and tenon
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 04:55:11 PM »
Many, if not most, period mortises are 5/16" with about 3/8" of meat on the outside edge. 

Jeff L Headley

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 1129
  • Running a fifth generation cabinetmaking business
    • Mack S Headley & Sons
Re: Mortise and tenon
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 08:37:25 PM »
If you don't  bevel the ends of your tenons then it would be like sticking this dog in a two inch hole. I would never do that. You shouldn't either.

Jeff L Headley

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 1129
  • Running a fifth generation cabinetmaking business
    • Mack S Headley & Sons
Re: Mortise and tenon
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2012, 05:48:56 PM »
My 5/16" tenon thickness comment with there being 3/8"of meat from the outside edge is only meant as a general rule in period furniture.

Jeff L Headley

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 1129
  • Running a fifth generation cabinetmaking business
    • Mack S Headley & Sons
Re: Mortise and tenon
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2012, 10:28:17 PM »
Poor Mortise and Tenon joint every bit as important as the dovetail but always overlooked!

pampine

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
Re: Mortise and tenon
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2012, 01:02:40 AM »
I've always considered dovetails special case M&T's.

Pam

MichaelP

  • Forum Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Mortise and tenon
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 12:36:35 PM »
Have you found many split tenons on wider rails in your observations of period furniture? If so, what determines when such a tenon is split?

Michael

Jeff L Headley

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 1129
  • Running a fifth generation cabinetmaking business
    • Mack S Headley & Sons
Re: Mortise and tenon
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2014, 06:02:24 PM »
Split tennons are used more for internal construction. Wedging a tenon is an act of dovetailing by definition. 

CBWW

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 121
Re: Mortise and tenon
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2014, 07:53:11 PM »
I have seen plenty of period tenons that do not have bevel ends.  ANy thru tenon might as well be wedged.  Why not?  It just makes it that much stronger.  I have mainly seen them on the top of pedestal tables where the columnb joins the block.  And thru side rail tenons....Make sure the tenon fits very snug into the mortise on the width prior to wedgeing to avoid splits below the tenon...

Jeff L Headley

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 1129
  • Running a fifth generation cabinetmaking business
    • Mack S Headley & Sons
Re: Mortise and tenon
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2014, 09:59:56 PM »
Were the through tennons ends beveled first and then the bevel trimmed flat afterwards?

Jack Plane

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 223
  • UK antiques dealer, now residing in Australia.
    • Pegs and 'Tails
Re: Mortise and tenon
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2014, 11:03:41 PM »
Were the through tennons ends beveled first and then the bevel trimmed flat afterwards?

Quite probably. Those I have seen were trimmed level with the block, so why not bevel the tenons first if it eases them through initially?

I have seen very few North American side- and dining chairs, but those I have seen had seat rails which were through-tenoned and wedged (at the back only).

Also, many bookcase/linencupboard doors frames were through-tenoned and wedged.
Regards, Jack.