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Mortise and tenon 3/8" stock.

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Forum topic by Maestro0416 posted 09-25-2020 05:57 AM 459 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Maestro0416

6 posts in 1076 days


09-25-2020 05:57 AM

Topic tags/keywords: mortise and tenon mt baby crib help skill

So I am in need of some advice. My wife and I are adopting and I want to build the baby’s crib. I have seen Jeff’s crib on LJ and that really inspired me to do it. So, on to my need for advice. I have A LOT of 4/4 red oak. To keep the weight down I am resawing them down to 3/8” for the vertical slats, 30 total. Would i be able to mortise and tenon stock that thin without losing strength? Using the 1/3 method is too small. Would making the tenon shoulders 1/16” be enough of a shoulder or should I try an off-set tenon?

-- Anthony, Fayetteville, GA. Exodus 25:10 "They shall make an ark of acacia wood..."


15 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10718 posts in 4531 days


#1 posted 09-25-2020 07:56 AM

slats that thin are often made without a shoulder, just let fitted to a mortise. I think the strength of the crib comes from the corner joinery and the rails, not the slats, so tenoning is sort of making more work, but if you want to do it, go with 1/4” thick. You might find making a narrower mortise inconvenient anyway.

View John Jardin's profile

John Jardin

84 posts in 524 days


#2 posted 09-25-2020 10:03 AM

+1 with Loren…exactly my thoughts

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6507 posts in 3377 days


#3 posted 09-25-2020 10:43 AM

^^^what they said, it does make cutting your mortises precisely a little more necessary but is the best approach. One way around this is to cut the mortises as a groove with a router or dado set, then cut filler pieces to go between the slats. Carefully done it’s look quite nice.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2729 posts in 1046 days


#4 posted 09-25-2020 12:14 PM

congrats on the adoption, Anthony !!
I sincerely hope the next 18 years will be filled with fun, joy and good health.
looking forward to seeing your project.

.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1772 posts in 3733 days


#5 posted 09-25-2020 12:29 PM


One way around this is to cut the mortises as a groove with a router or dado set, then cut filler pieces to go between the slats. Carefully done it s look quite nice.
- Fred Hargis

That was my first thought when I read the OP

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

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2081 posts in 3677 days


#6 posted 09-25-2020 01:27 PM

+1 slot and filler blocks.

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

104 posts in 200 days


#7 posted 09-25-2020 01:59 PM

Happy times ahead with the addition to the family. Congradulations.

-- It's not a mistake it's a design opportunity

View Bstrom's profile

Bstrom

134 posts in 57 days


#8 posted 09-25-2020 02:05 PM



^^^what they said, it does make cutting your mortises precisely a little more necessary but is the best approach. One way around this is to cut the mortises as a groove with a router or dado set, then cut filler pieces to go between the slats. Carefully done it s look quite nice.

- Fred Hargis


I agree – this approach would also allow for a full slat to be inserted into the Mortiser if the rail is a wider piece, of course. no loss of strength with that. Hope you get what you want out of All your Red Oak…

-- Bstrom

View Rich's profile

Rich

5987 posts in 1473 days


#9 posted 09-25-2020 02:56 PM

Tenons have shoulders for reasons. One is that it hides any gap around the tenon itself. You need clearance between the mortise and tenon for a good glue joint. That clearance becomes a gap in the final joint. Another reason is to give the joint something to rest on so that the tenon doesn’t bottom out in the mortise and ensures a perfect distance between the rails along the length of the panel.

To answer your question, yes, 1/16” is fine. You might want to make the tenons more like 1/4” narrower than the slat so that part of the shoulder is wider.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View northwoodsman's profile

northwoodsman

389 posts in 4630 days


#10 posted 09-25-2020 04:20 PM

+2 slot and filler blocks. I have done this many times. The 3/8” slats aren’t going to add much strength, they are there to keep the kid from falling out. Add a dab of glue to the ends to keep them “in place” and so they don’t appear to be loose. For the first time I actually used an M & T joint on a dog gate with small thin slats. Truth be told it was the day that I purchased my Festool Domino and I was just trying it out. I really didn’t even need the dog gate but I was dying to try out the Domino. My slats were 9/16” thick

-- NorthWoodsMan

View Maestro0416's profile

Maestro0416

6 posts in 1076 days


#11 posted 09-25-2020 04:23 PM

Thank you all for the well wishes. I will definitely post pics as the project progresses. *Fred, I think that will be what i will do. Much less of a hassle. Thank you.

-- Anthony, Fayetteville, GA. Exodus 25:10 "They shall make an ark of acacia wood..."

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2081 posts in 3677 days


#12 posted 09-25-2020 07:13 PM

Just be sure you meet the modern safety standards for slat spacing. Don’t copy the spacing on an old crib. Children have gotten their heads stuck between the slats.

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

1092 posts in 1063 days


#13 posted 09-25-2020 08:53 PM

Would do 1/8 tenon. I think slats going in mortise without shoulders looks like crap.

Congrats.

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

140 posts in 269 days


#14 posted 09-26-2020 04:33 AM

Keep it simple, slats, dado, and fillers

View Maestro0416's profile

Maestro0416

6 posts in 1076 days


#15 posted 09-26-2020 02:23 PM

Thanks. Yeah I think slats, dado, and fillers are gonna be the way I go. Thanks for the pictures Jeff.

-- Anthony, Fayetteville, GA. Exodus 25:10 "They shall make an ark of acacia wood..."

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