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Table apron tenon length

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Forum topic by JerryLH posted 03-01-2019 10:54 PM 373 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JerryLH

147 posts in 1639 days


03-01-2019 10:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question mahogany joining

I have a question good folk concerning tenon length and thickness. I’m making a dinging table of mahogany – The legs are glued up 3.75” x 3.75” – The apron material is 15/16” x 4-5/8”. I’ll be cutting the mortise with a mortising machine. My thought is 3/8 or 1/2” thick tenon & I’m not sure at all about the tenon length. Is there a rule of thumb as to how far the tenon should extend into the leg? Thanks

-- Develop your character -- for it becomes your destiny. Jerry - Mannford, Ok


11 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5323 posts in 2679 days


#1 posted 03-01-2019 11:34 PM

I’ll be interested to find out what dinging table is used for. To answer your question I would make the mortise 3/8” wide and as long a possible into the leg. It is ok for the mortises to intersect and you can 45° the ends of the tenons where they meet. That gives you the strongest possible configuration.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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JerryLH

147 posts in 1639 days


#2 posted 03-02-2019 02:31 AM

As to what a dinGing table is used for – important stuff. Thanks Mr Bondo – I appreciate your help. Good Day Sir.

-- Develop your character -- for it becomes your destiny. Jerry - Mannford, Ok

View SMP's profile

SMP

598 posts in 233 days


#3 posted 03-02-2019 02:56 AM


I ll be interested to find out what dinging table is used for.

- bondogaposis

Sounds like my first table i made out of sugar pine. How are you chopping mortises? Drill? Router? When routing i am usually limited by router bit length.

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

355 posts in 507 days


#4 posted 03-02-2019 03:13 AM


It is ok for the mortises to intersect and you can 45° the ends of the tenons where they meet. That gives you the strongest possible configuration.

- bondogaposis

I’d be interested if anyone has tested this.

In theory, at some point, a longer tenon doesn’t gain anymore strength while removing more material from leg(again in theory) would weaken leg.

If the leg is hit hard enough, the leg will break, not the tenon. Regardless of length(within reason).

I liken it to using a bigger screw in joining particle board. Doesn’t matter cause the screw isn’t the weakest link.

View JerryLH's profile

JerryLH

147 posts in 1639 days


#5 posted 03-02-2019 02:42 PM

Thanks Mr CW & SMP – I’ll be cutting the mortises with a mortising machine. As to Length of tenon I would tend to agree that at some point the length of the tenon doesn’t increase leg to apron strength. The tenons will also receive draw bored dowels. Thanks to all.

-- Develop your character -- for it becomes your destiny. Jerry - Mannford, Ok

View fly2low's profile

fly2low

62 posts in 425 days


#6 posted 03-25-2019 02:57 AM

The rule of thirds can be violated when joining a thin board to a thicker one – apron to leg in a table is a perfect example. I would go with 1/2 thick

-- Rich Gig Harbor, WA

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

537 posts in 239 days


#7 posted 03-25-2019 07:54 AM

I would do 1/2” mortises, since your using a mortise machine on 15/16” rails. 3/8” mortises will work. I also would set the mortises deep as bondo says. If your still questioning structure, then also install a couple pins into each, plugging the holes with buttons.

View Robert's profile

Robert

3343 posts in 1809 days


#8 posted 03-25-2019 01:58 PM

1/2” thick mortises.
3/4” shoulder top and bottom.
2 1/2” is long enough with pins.

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

View JerryLH's profile

JerryLH

147 posts in 1639 days


#9 posted 03-25-2019 10:52 PM

Thanks Robert – feelun pretty good – about ready to glue up legs and apron along with corner braces.

-- Develop your character -- for it becomes your destiny. Jerry - Mannford, Ok

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5191 posts in 2637 days


#10 posted 03-26-2019 03:15 PM

To confuse you ever more this is what Chris Schwarz has to say. Personally I’d do it like bondogaposis says or even a tad shorter to avoiding messing with the 45°. Either isn’t going to make or break you project. Many of tables have been made as pictured below and survived just fine.

https://www.popularwoodworking.com/chris-schwarz-blog/tenons-rule-so-here-are-the-rules-on-tenons/

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View JerryLH's profile

JerryLH

147 posts in 1639 days


#11 posted 03-27-2019 03:19 PM

Alaskaguy – I prefer your example. With the glues as good as they are – that tenon will never have a glue failure and leaves the upper leg a stronger piece of wood. IMO.

-- Develop your character -- for it becomes your destiny. Jerry - Mannford, Ok

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