Need advice re mortise and tenon dimensions

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weelis

New User
weelis
Am building an end table, my first, and would like some input regarding mortise and tenon dimensions. The legs are 1 1/2 square and the aprons are 4 in x 3/4 in. My question is how to size the M&T. Thinking tenon width to be 1/4 inch and tenon length to be 1 inch. Width to be 2 inches. Is that reasonable or not? Appreciate any feedback. Thanx.
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Am building an end table, my first, and would like some input regarding mortise and tenon dimensions. The legs are 1 1/2 square and the aprons are 4 in x 3/4 in. My question is how to size the M&T. Thinking tenon width to be 1/4 inch and tenon length to be 1 inch. Width to be 2 inches. Is that reasonable or not? Appreciate any feedback. Thanx.
1/4" thick tenon would be common, but you can easily go up to 1/2" or even a little more in a 6/4 leg. You only need enough shoulder to bear against the leg..even 1/16" of shoulder is plenty.

The length is limited by how much reveal (offset) you have where on the leg where the apron meets it. If zero reveal, then you will have clearance for 1" long tenons. If the aprons are set back a bit, then you'll have to go a little shorter, or bevel the ends of the tenons where they meet...or both.

I'd agree with Mike on the width - 3" would not be overkill.
 

walnutjerry

Jerry
Senior User
There is " a rule of the thumb"--------The tenon should be 1/3 the thickness of the material, the depth of the mortise no more than 2/3 the thickness of the material being mortised (unless you want through mortises). As far as width I have not seen a ROT on that.-----I like a shoulder each side of the tenon, 1/4 to 1/2 inch pending width of the material you are putting the tenon on.

Jerry
 

TBradley190

New User
Tim
One quick way I like to make my tenons on 3/4 stock is to use my stacked dado blade and set the height so I have a 1/4 wide tenon then turn the board on its side to make the end shoulder cut so I end up with approx 1/4 shoulder all the way around regardless of the size of my apron. But I make the depth of the tenon as much as I can stand for strength. It just keeps my sets to a minimum. Good luck with it!

Tim
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
There is " a rule of the thumb"--------The tenon should be 1/3 the thickness of the material, the depth of the mortise no more than 2/3 the thickness of the material being mortised (unless you want through mortises). As far as width I have not seen a ROT on that.-----I like a shoulder each side of the tenon, 1/4 to 1/2 inch pending width of the material you are putting the tenon on.

Jerry
Good advice! Question: will the outside face of the aprons be flush w/ the outside face of the legs? Or will they be "set back" slightly? If flush, I would make my tenons 1/2 thick x 1 long x 3 wide.

No matter what size you decide to make the tenons, MAKE THE MORTISES FIRST! Then make your tenons just slightly oversize. It's easier to fine tune a tenon to fit the mortise, than vise-versa.

Bill
 

walnutjerry

Jerry
Senior User
Good advice! Question: will the outside face of the aprons be flush w/ the outside face of the legs? Or will they be "set back" slightly?Bill[/QUOTE

If the tenon is centered in the apron stock thickness, then the placement of the mortise on the leg stock will determine if the apron is flush or set back.

Personally, I prefer the aprons to leave a reveal where it meets the leg, usually 1/4". If my legs are 1 3/4 square and the apron thickness is 3/4 then the back of my apron will be 1" back from the face of the leg. Meaning in this case, the back of the mortise would be 3/4" back from the face of the leg.

I have also made tenons that were flush with the back side of the apron with a thickness equal to 1/2 the thickness of the apron and leaving a shoulder on 3 sides of the tenon. This method gives you a heavier tenon and a deeper shoulder which may give a little stronger joint. In this case, the back of the mortise would be 1" back from the face of the leg.

More than one way to skin a cat.:gar-Bi

Jerry
 
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