Greene and Greene inspired raised dog tray #6: Pinned Tenons, Routing the holes for the bowls, and routing/gluing end caps for the tongues

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Blog entry by Eric_S posted 03-04-2012 04:22 AM 7731 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Top and breadboard ends Part 6 of Greene and Greene inspired raised dog tray series Part 7: Attaching the breadboard ends and plugging all the pinned mortises/breadboard screws »

Today was a short but busy day. I glued the base together earlier this week and finally had time to finish that with the pinned tenons today.

Pinned Tenons

I started by making a quick jig with some scrap for aligning the pins in all the glued tenons. Each tenon was going to have two pins in it at slightly different positions. To make the jig, I took a scrap piece of wood, and screwed a scrap to each side so that it was almost flush with opposite sides. I then glued a piece on the top and bottom flush with opposite sides as well so that I could use one jig for both left and right legs just by flipping the jig over. I drilled two holes in each side to help guide the drill holes as well.

I then used a very sharp brad point I use for drilling pen blanks and set a stop collar on it for the dowel depths. The dowels and drill bit I used was 5/16”.

Using the jig was a breeze, just match the leg side to the leg and clamp. The top rests on the top of the base and the side rests on the leg side so each leg was spaced correctly.

The dowels I had were standard length dowels, but I didn’t want to use the full length so I taped all of them together(and a few extra just in case), and sent them through the bandsaw.

I then glued them in tapered side down to make it easier to get them in place. I used a mallet and a full dowel as a guide to help hammer them in.

Bowl Holes
For the bowl holes, I debated using a jigsaw and carefully cutting the circles but decided against it. This would be the perfect use for a router with a circle jig and was super easy to do. First, I took a 1/4” piece of plywood and cut it to size to accept the router and some extra length for different sized circles to allow for future use.

The bowls under the rim measured 6”, so I plunged my bit through the new jig and measured from the edge of there to 3” and drilled a tiny hole for a nail.

All I had to do now was find the centers of the bowls and drill another tiny hole, rest the jig and place a nail through both holes. Then I took two passes on each one with just half depth on the first pass.

Now for all you pros out there, is there a good way to do the final pass? I was just very careful to make sure once the circle was fully cut, the router didn’t shoot out and damage the table top. There has to be a better way. Any suggestions? Tape from underside before its fully cut out?

Table top Tongue End caps
To hide the open joint of the tongue and groove used in the breadboard ends on table tops, Greene and Greene were genius in using a decoration to hide the expansion and open joint. I always thought these were just for decoration until learning their true purpose when I became interested in G&G style. They just used end caps glued to the table top side so that it could move freely in the breadboard ends. If the wood contracts in the breadboard ends, instead of having a recessed tongue visible, the end caps still covered that recess. Clever guys.

Anyways, I used two straight edges to keep my router flat and routed the tongues 1/4” deep by 1” long to accept the end caps using a router edge guide.

After squaring these off, I cut end caps using maple. The side that glues on to the table top was 3/8” thick, and the cloud lift detail that will rest in the breadboard ends gets to 5/8” thick.

Placing glue ONLY only the table top side, I glued them in place.

One question though I’m hoping someone may have a suggestion for.
Originally, I planned on using buttons to keep the table top flat to the base in grooves on the aprons. I forgot to take those in to account when deciding on the table length and width and the position of the bowl holes. Now that they are cut, there is no where except the center to screw buttons to the aprons. How can I attach the table top now so that it remains flat while still allowing for expansion of it? The last picture hopefully shows what I’m talking about. The bowl holes just take up too much space to allow for buttons anywhere but the center.

Tomorrow I hope to make the elongated screw holes for the breadboard ends, cut the plugs for those and the pinned tenons, and sand everything. Then just apply finish and call it done.

I can almost see the finish line :)

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

7 comments so far

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4301 days

#1 posted 03-04-2012 11:45 AM

very nice supper table for a best friend

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View lew's profile


13547 posts in 5252 days

#2 posted 03-04-2012 03:58 PM


That dog is going to be the talk of the neighborhood!!

As for the routing question, I clamp the piece onto a sacrificial surface- usually a piece of 1/2” plywood- and then set the depth stop to punch through by about 1/8”.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 4167 days

#3 posted 03-04-2012 05:54 PM

Wow! I would eat off of that. Very nice.

-- Bryan

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4692 days

#4 posted 03-04-2012 11:52 PM

Thanks guys.

Lew, thanks that would have helped. Oh well…next time.

Any ideas on securing the top to the base? The buttons that were going to be screwed to the top and fit in the grooves on the aprons can’t now with the holes cut out. Woops…

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5170 days

#5 posted 03-06-2012 04:04 PM

Nice table, Eric!

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 4440 days

#6 posted 04-05-2012 01:54 AM

Hi Eric,
Fabulous work. Thanks for posting this.

I admire you guys who can work with wood and simultaneously make a blog on that. I can afford doing two things at the same time.

Look fwd to see the project posted

-- Back home. Fernando

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4692 days

#7 posted 04-05-2012 11:35 AM

Thank you Fernando. I hope to have the final blog and project posted in a few weeks. Stuff has come up that has been keeping me busy and out of the shop :( but life will hopefully slow down again soon. Thanks again.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

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