Intersecting Tenons

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by BlueRidgeDog posted 01-18-2022 12:21 AM 428 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BlueRidgeDog's profile


918 posts in 1238 days

01-18-2022 12:21 AM

If a side rail and a front rail intersect, I have always simply mitered the two and let them meet. That generally makes you thicken the stile/leg.

I am trying to thin down the structure and am thinking of doing this:

These are not dowels, but round tenons.

The tone of the piece calls for through tenons (in my head).

Alternatively I have thought of doing the front rail a through wedged tenon, and the side rail just a short tenon (leaning that way actually). For looks I want the through tenon on the face, but for structure, the front rail needs it much more.

What other interesting or creative ways have you folks managed intersecting tenons or through tenons where there are 90 degree offset rails in casework?

8 replies so far

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


918 posts in 1238 days

#1 posted 01-18-2022 12:22 AM

I will add that the leg stock envisioned is 1.75” and the resulting through round tenons are .5”

View SMP's profile


5311 posts in 1364 days

#2 posted 01-18-2022 02:04 AM

I’ve seen some crazy japanese joinery used in spots like that, as well as sliding dovetails where the aprons slide down into the legs.

View Rich's profile


8120 posts in 2048 days

#3 posted 01-18-2022 05:21 AM

There’s nothing better than a happy face half-lap.

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

View EarlS's profile


5518 posts in 3807 days

#4 posted 01-18-2022 12:03 PM

Look up Japanese wood joints. There are a lot of amazing variations and plenty of practical ones that are fairly straightforward to make.

I’m not sure if you need 2 dowels on the short rail. If not, put the dowel on the short rail on the top and then dowel for the long rail on the bottom

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


9454 posts in 2279 days

#5 posted 01-18-2022 12:19 PM

I had a similar conundrum when I was building my Gaming TV stand. You can ignore the prattle, and about 1/3 of the way down the project I have some SketchUp screen dumps and pictures about how I tackled the tenons (made by a Leigh FMT), using a Fein multi-tool… or ignore all that crap and use a coping saw to trim the tenons.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


918 posts in 1238 days

#6 posted 01-18-2022 01:29 PM

I had a similar conundrum when I was building my Gaming TV stand>

- LittleBlackDuck

I had thought of the “half and half” approach. I think that is where I will end up if I cling to the “through” look and decide not to miter the tenon ends and just do my normal build method.

I have also played with the design to get the rails to not line up…still thinking on that.

View HarveyM's profile


164 posts in 3481 days

#7 posted 01-18-2022 01:59 PM

Fine woodworking #236 (Nov/Dec 2013) had a piece on this. Tim Coleman used haunched tenons for wide rails set like your drawing. For narrower pieces he did an long tenon offset to outside and double shorter tenons on the other rail.

-- Just a Duffer

View DevinT's profile


3060 posts in 425 days

#8 posted 01-18-2022 06:15 PM

There s nothing better than a happy face half-lap.

- Rich


-- Devin, SF, CA

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics