tenon broke off in mortise of chair leg..

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Forum topic by laskas posted 03-02-2014 01:11 AM 1807 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2608 days

03-02-2014 01:11 AM

hi, i am restoring 6 dining chairs.. all were in good condition but one.. this one,,the chair crest rail attaching to the back legs had a tenon that broke off inside of the mortise.. i have chiseled the old tenon out of the mortise and cleaned out all the glue. and cut off the crest rail tenon at the shoulder so it will attach smoothly to the back leg.. because of the way the crest rail attaches to the side of the back leg rather than into the front of the leg..i can no cut into the crest rail arm to add another tenon.. so i’ve filled the old mortise with a block of wood and am hoping for help in how to proceed.. i have been told various things.. can i use two screws? now that the wood in the leg that i would ber screwing into is solid,, i was hoping this would work.. however, i’ve read several places that screws dont work.. what about doing through dowels.?? i have posted pictures..the first two are of a completed chair,, then a close up of the joint in question,,then a picture of the back legs assembly mortise filled in,,then a picture of the front leg and rail assembly that i need to attach,, then a close up of one of the rails with the tenon cut off at the shoulder…

4 replies so far

View TheGermanJoiner's profile


847 posts in 2699 days

#1 posted 03-02-2014 05:24 AM

Would a floating tenon work? Maybe mortise out the rail and mask tenon to fit into both pieces. I couldn’t quite make out the pics but just my 2cents

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

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4 posts in 2608 days

#2 posted 03-02-2014 05:28 AM

hi vertigo.. nope a floating tenon won’t work,,there is not enough meat or depth in the rail where it attaches to the chair leg to cut anything out..

View mikeevens45's profile


68 posts in 2637 days

#3 posted 03-02-2014 02:30 PM

2… 3/8 diagonally drilled dowels and titebond 3 glue….I would consider a small reinforcement under the rail for piece of mind. possibly an L bracket due to less strength than the tenon joint that’s a tough looking of luck


-- as technology progresses, wood workers seem to regress...all my power tools and my favorite is a chisel and a hand plane

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4 posts in 2608 days

#4 posted 03-02-2014 03:44 PM

thanks mike that’s what i’m going to do…. I was thinking I could maybe sister a new smaller rail on the inside underneath,, which would then allow me to make a tenon that goes directly into the back leg straight on….. aesthetics is important with these chairs..i can’t use any metal L brackets.. ugg…

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