Tusk Tenon Shelf

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Project by oldguy2 posted 02-16-2021 09:06 PM 1237 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Tusk Tenon Shelf
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And I tried a new look with the Tusk Tenons. I made a pattern to make matching tenons. Drilled holes and jig sawed the peg holes. Also a pattern and layout for the slots for the tenons. Jig saw work here also. The sides are 48 in by 9 in. the shelves are 30 inch by 9 in. and the two mid shelves sit in 1/4 in dados. I took a few practice cuts on scrap with the table saw and miter gauge to hit my lines and made cuts with the table saw for the dados with a table saw. This was fast and accurate. Later an easy chisel clean out. The tenons took a lot of sanding by hand…what a task. In assembly I used trim screws with predrilled holes in the dados and one in between each tenon to add more strength. I left some unstained spots for glue and prestained the boards and pegs. I also marked the back edge of the shelves with numbers then after assembly went back and stained those spots. The trim screws are so slight I did not fill the holes, and the glue and screw does more than the pegs. The assembly was a bit of jump and juggle even with the tenons holding the parts until I added the screws to grab shelf. This is for my wife’s office and many many books so it should fill the bill. Poplar and Early American stain Varithane.

3 comments so far

View mtnwild's profile


4861 posts in 4988 days

#1 posted 02-17-2021 04:01 AM

Nice, great gift, very useful. Well done, interesting fittings.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Ocelot's profile


3808 posts in 4099 days

#2 posted 02-17-2021 05:52 PM

Nice! I have not done tusked tennons. They look pretty nice. I was wondering why the middle shelves didn’t get the same treatment. I gather that you intended them to be held only by the dados but that didn’t seem secure enough so you added the screws.

I have only made one backless bookshelf and I screwed that one to the walll, so no concern about racking. (It’s one of the few projects I have posted.) I don’t know if that was neccessary. What do you plan to do? I assume this will be free-standing.


-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View ellgee's profile


87 posts in 3388 days

#3 posted 02-21-2021 01:12 AM

I was going to do tusked tenons on a glass-shelves display unit a month or 2 ago,
BUT the prototype took about a week to make
(not that i get in the workshop every day) —as you say, much sanding/fiddling,
and when I showed the prototype to my husband, he said “Ikea”
and that was NOT the idea AT ALL !

I hope you have now brought them to LJs’ attention,
and we will see more.

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