Round Mortise and Tenon Gaps

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Forum topic by samuelfrostryan posted 02-18-2018 01:13 AM 1874 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 905 days

02-18-2018 01:13 AM

Hi Everyone,

I’m working on a coffee table that will have wedged mortise and tenons for the legs. I’m test fitting everything and am concerned the gap around the tenons won’t fill out after gluing and wedging. I drilled the holes at 10 degrees using a plywood jig on the drill press. I think the jig flexed a bit and left a slight lip around the top of two of the holes.

I’m wondering if there is anything I can do to increase my chances so I won’t end up with noticeable gaps after I cut them flush with the table top.

Here is the bottom of a paper towel holder I made to test the joint since I haven’t used it before. This had slightly less of a gap but I’m happy with how it turned out after wedging and gluing.

Thanks for your help!

4 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4455 days

#1 posted 02-18-2018 01:24 AM

I’ve found wedged tenons cut off flush are
kind of forgiving. You might want to use
a darker glue though in this situation because
cured PVA glue will not take any color from
your finish. It’s possible dark sawdust in white
or yellow glue will dry to an acceptably dark
color. I would test that and if it doesn’t look
promising consider other options.

View HerbC's profile


1805 posts in 3666 days

#2 posted 02-18-2018 01:42 AM

Use hot hide glue.

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View samuelfrostryan's profile


2 posts in 905 days

#3 posted 02-18-2018 04:01 AM

Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll look into different glues. Titebond III is what I have at the moment.

Would it be worth trying to sand down the lip on the inside or leave it as is and hope the glue will fill it?


View Firewood's profile


1249 posts in 2441 days

#4 posted 02-18-2018 04:25 AM

I would not try to sand it. As Loren suggested, try a dark glue. Either hot hide glue as HerC stated or liquid hide glue. If there is still a gap, you may be able to fill with a little colored epoxy.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

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