Reply by Travis

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Posted on M&T fit?

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398 posts in 446 days

#1 posted 01-18-2020 10:08 PM


It s certainly possible to get a completely tight M&T joint. Looking at your pics, it looks like the gap is all the way around, so there s just a few things to check.

1. Make sure the mortise is deep enough for the tenon everywhere. It s not uncommon to have a mortise bottom that is not perfectly level and even a couple of mm in a tight mortise could cause this. Check the depth in a bunch of places. Taking a little off the tenon length won t impact the joint strength.

2. The shoulder of your tenon is not really square and level. Use a combination square and double check everthing.

3. Hit it harder. Sometimes in a nice tight mortise, the difference between a beautiful almost invisible seam and a gap is just how much force you use to close it up.

If none of those help, then you have three choices:
1. Forget about it. Anybody who comes in your house, climbs under your table and then mentions the gap is not your friend and should be banned on social media.
2. Use a little filler. The only person who will ever know is you.
3. Cut some very thin strips. Scab glue the strips to the tenon shoulder all the way around and when you close the joint it ll be nearly impossible to tell you did something.


- MikeDS

I like your recommendations for what to do if I can’t fix it. At the end of the day, it’s not a big deal :)

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.

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