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View DerekJ's profile

Attach table apron using dado?

by DerekJ
posted 08-21-2016 09:33 PM


18 replies so far

View nightguy's profile

nightguy

213 posts in 963 days


#1 posted 08-21-2016 11:32 PM

I never done it, but does not seem much different then a M&T joint. You just dont have the shoulder, and maybe not as deep with a dado.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12649 posts in 2681 days


#2 posted 08-22-2016 12:15 AM

The shoulder is important, it adds a lot of rigidity. The design has been tried and tested over hundreds of years, give it a try before trying to innovate.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Robert's profile

Robert

3316 posts in 1781 days


#3 posted 08-22-2016 12:10 PM

+1 ^. With no shoulder you loose a lot of stabliity and strength.

Many ways to do them: traditional or floating tenons, by hand or machine, Dominoes etc.

If you are routing the dados, you’re 1/2 way there!!

Practice on some scrap you will see how easy it really is. Good luck!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2298 posts in 2670 days


#4 posted 08-22-2016 12:15 PM

+1 to doing the mortise/tenon. By drilling out the waste, and cleaning up with a chisel, it’s fairly straightforward. Do your mortise first, and then sneak up on the tenon size to get the right fit. Leave the mortise depth a little more than the length of the tenon to make sure you can seat it all the way in.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5261 posts in 2652 days


#5 posted 08-22-2016 01:14 PM

A dado joint like you suggest will be very weak compared to mortise and tenon joint, there is just not enough glue surface and without the shoulders of M&T to prevent racking the dado joint will likely fail fairly soon. Don’t be afraid to learn M&T, it is the best joint for almost all furniture construction. Furniture that is constructed with M&T will last hundreds of years.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View DerekJ's profile

DerekJ

100 posts in 1188 days


#6 posted 08-22-2016 01:30 PM

Appreciating all the input, as always. Three more questions for you guys:

1) My aprons are only going to be 3/4” so my instinct would be to use a 1/4” tenon centered in the wood – does that provide enough strength?

2) How deep does the mortise need to be to provide appropriate strength?

3) Glue all surfaces of the tenon? Does glue also need to be on the shoulder?

I will give it some practice and see what happens!

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

View JayT's profile

JayT

6109 posts in 2512 days


#7 posted 08-22-2016 01:31 PM

Totally agree with the others. If you are going to build furniture, you’ll need to learn to do M&T for these kinds of situations. If you absolutely don’t want to do it on this build, then the easiest solution might be the tried and true cylindrical floating tenon, otherwise known as dowels. :-) M&T would be stronger and a better joint and should be part of any furniture builders skill set, but a good dowelled joint is strong enough and a lot easier for a novice to pull off well.

Of the various methods to do that kind of joinery, I would rank them from best to worst as:

M&T
Floating tenon (i.e. Domino)
dowels

big gap

pocket screws

I would never use or recommend pocket screws on fine furniture, but they can be used for that kind of cross grain joint with some degree of success.

Edit: Since we were posting at the same time


Appreciating all the input, as always. Three more questions for you guys:

1) My aprons are only going to be 3/4” so my instinct would be to use a 1/4” tenon centered in the wood – does that provide enough strength?

2) How deep does the mortise need to be to provide appropriate strength?

3) Glue all surfaces of the tenon? Does glue also need to be on the shoulder?

I will give it some practice and see what happens!

- DerekJ

Two schools of thought on the mortise, one says to do thirds, so 1/4in tenon and two 1/4in wide shoulders. The other has the tenon as 1/2 the total width and each shoulder as 1/4 of the width. For 3/4 stock, that would be a 3/8 thick tenon and two 3/16 shoulders. I prefer the second method on 4/4 or thinner stock, but either one works if the joint is fitted well and doing the thirds is many times an easier and quicker way to go, especially if using hand tools to pound out the mortises.

How deep? Five times the tenon thickness is the general rule, so for a 1/4in thick tenon, it should be 1-1/4 long.

Yes, glue all surfaces.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

1064 posts in 3118 days


#8 posted 08-22-2016 01:50 PM

I’d say go for the thickest tenon you can in your situation. The idea of making it a third or a half of the thickness is done to avoid making the mortise walls too thin. But since the legs are thicker than the apron this is not a concern – the joint only gets stronger as the tenon gets thicker. So personally I would do a tenon 1/2 inchthick. Although, like JayT says, even if you do 1/4 inch it will hold the table together.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View DerekJ's profile

DerekJ

100 posts in 1188 days


#9 posted 08-22-2016 01:55 PM

As always, this has been very informative! I’ll give this some practice on Wednesday and be back with questions afterwards!

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

5699 posts in 1013 days


#10 posted 08-22-2016 02:03 PM



Appreciating all the input, as always. Three more questions for you guys:

1) My aprons are only going to be 3/4” so my instinct would be to use a 1/4” tenon centered in the wood – does that provide enough strength?

2) How deep does the mortise need to be to provide appropriate strength?

3) Glue all surfaces of the tenon? Does glue also need to be on the shoulder?

I will give it some practice and see what happens!

- DerekJ

1- YES
2- 1”
3- YES

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12649 posts in 2681 days


#11 posted 08-22-2016 03:47 PM



Appreciating all the input, as always. Three more questions for you guys:

1) My aprons are only going to be 3/4” so my instinct would be to use a 1/4” tenon centered in the wood – does that provide enough strength?

2) How deep does the mortise need to be to provide appropriate strength?

3) Glue all surfaces of the tenon? Does glue also need to be on the shoulder?

I will give it some practice and see what happens!

- DerekJ


1. Yes
2. I always mitered my tenons so they nearly touch.
3. Yes/no

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View DerekJ's profile

DerekJ

100 posts in 1188 days


#12 posted 08-30-2016 03:03 AM

Thanks again everyone. I’ve practiced on some scrap and believe I have it down well enough to put the table together this week!

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1334 posts in 3150 days


#13 posted 08-30-2016 02:45 PM

Derek, good advice from above, but at times a mortise with one end open is a stopped dado. Depending on the load for the table I’ve done aprons by cutting a stopped dado into the leg with the router table and then cut the tenon to fit with my tenon jig. This is how I did my last table project, it was very strong and quick to execute. If you check out HFF.com on YouTube High Falls Furniture in Vermont, he uses a dado blade method and router template trick that is a pretty slick way to do production work, and as I learned long ago there’s many ways to skin a cat. That said if I’ve got the time and it’s a piece I expect my children to fight over one day, I go m&t.—best o luck Chef Derek ( glad you spell it right)

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View MNgary's profile

MNgary

313 posts in 2718 days


#14 posted 09-03-2016 12:01 PM

Derek, the tenon should be snug on all four sides, not just two.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View marshallmosby56's profile

marshallmosby56

18 posts in 980 days


#15 posted 09-03-2016 06:48 PM

Nicely done DerekJ! M&T worked out really well. Glad to hear you’ve learnt something new and shared your experience.

-- :)

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3198 posts in 2558 days


#16 posted 09-03-2016 09:33 PM

Derek, I have made one or two M&T joints and have never purposely applied glue to the shoulders since they are end grain. I also bevel the ends of the tenons and the edges of the mortises to minimize glue squeeze out. HTH

-- Art

View Cooler's profile

Cooler

299 posts in 1144 days


#17 posted 09-07-2016 08:50 PM

I have a beadlock floating tenon jig. The starter kit costs about $30.00 and takes 10 minutes to master. It uses an electric drill instead of a router or chisel.

For an occasional tenon it is really the easiest way to do this.

http://www.rockler.com/3-8-beadlock-basic-starter-kit

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_8_8?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=beadlock+jig&sprefix=beadlock%2Caps%2C131

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View DerekJ's profile

DerekJ

100 posts in 1188 days


#18 posted 09-17-2016 05:36 PM

Thank you all SO much for your tips, tricks and feedback! I’m so glad I asked a simple question because it completely changed the course of the project. I’m really happy with the way that it turned out…. I’ve posted the project to the LJ forum and would love for you to take a look!

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/267970

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

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