cut my tenons too small. now what?

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Hello,
I need to know if anyone has successfully corrected this problem. I'm thinking of using some gorilla glue, which I'm told expands some. Other than that I could put a layer of masking tape around the tenon before gluing. This is the amount of play in the unglued joint (maybe 1/32 in.) The project is an end table, so it's not going to take alot of heavy stress. Should I just glue and clamp as normal? I could always re-make the stretchers, but if I can solve the problem another way.... Thanks.
Curt Blood
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Make wooden shims to fill the gap between the tenon and mortise. Glue them to each face of the tenon. Gorilla glue will foam and expand, but does not have a lot of strength once it expands to fill gaps.

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You could cut some thin wood shims to fill the space. Set your table saw fence so that when you run the wood through, the piece being cut off on the outside of the blade is your shim. Trim it to fit, glue it to your tenon, then assemble the tenon and mortise. Hope that helps.
Will
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On Sat, 23 Apr 2005 19:19:39 -0700, "NorthIdahoWWer"

Glood idea, but it doesn't have to be an exact size shim. Glue a solid [thicker] piece that can be controlled to fit, then recut the tenon to proper size.
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On Sat, 23 Apr 2005 23:02:19 -0400, Guess who

Hand planes are wonderful for this. <G>
Barry
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Simply glue additional wood to the tenon with the grain oriented to match the tenon. Allow the glue to dry and then saw and/or plane the tenon to the correct dimension. You may need to glue the additional wood to both cheeks so that the stretchers end up with the correct reveal relative to the legs.
John
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dustyone wrote:

If they're through M&Ts, what about a wedge, same or contrasting color, and turn it into a feature. It a Micro$oft thing.
Dave in Fairfax
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wrote:

Depends on the length. A wedged tenon will have some degree of non-parallelism to the outside face. If you're having to expand this by a whole 1/32" in a short tenon, then you're not going to get much grip around the shoulder end of the tenon. It would work for the rails in a small fully-framed table where there's bracing from other joints too, but I wouldn't trust it in a chair.
Shim it. Square the tenon up, glue the shims on, let it dry well and then re-cut them.
This sort of problem is why I always cut my tenons (which are easy) after my mortices (which are hard).
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Two things you can do.
Add a thin piece of wood do the tenon and re-cut them
Add a very thin piece, like plane shavings, to shim them.
If they are all the same undersize I'd probably opt for fix #1. If it is only one tenon, #2 can be done. You won't regret doing a proper fix rather than just trying to fill the void with poly glue. If you don't have one already, get a Veritas shoulder plane so you can easily fit tenons that are a smidgen oversized. Check for fit after every pass of the plane. It is very satisfying to take a pass or two and have it slide in perfectly.
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Ed
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I see you've gotten the wood shim idea, or you could use some veneer, same thing. Consider carefully what faces of the tenons you adhere it to since it will change the geometry of your piece slightly.
OR
You could glue things up with epoxy, epoxy is a good gap filling adhesive. It's also totally irreversable once cured.
The foam of gorilla glue has no structural strength, don't go there.
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George Max wrote:

I like epoxy so would probably go that route.
If you use epoxy, thicken with some microballoons to make a better gap filling material.
As George says, stay from Gorilla glue in this application.
Lew
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Is there a reason why you can't make the mortise slightly larger? I agree easier to use shims though. If its through tenons think about using contrasting wood in shims to add interest. Either way you definitely don't want too the joint too loose. Hope all goes well.

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Derrick wrote:

Does this make sense to anyone else? If the male end (the tenon) is too small, enlarging the female end (the mortise) wont make a small male member tight in the female member?
I mean I think this is self explanatory right?
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You are correct it doesn't make sense. Sorry about that I didn't explain very well.
After making mortise wider, glue in a plug of wood to fill cavity. Now you can make a new mortise that is a little smaller than original allowing for a beefier sidewall. Sorry for the confusion.

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"dustyone" < snipped-for-privacy@aol.com

I fear that shimming the tenon cheeks with veneer is not a very satisfactory solution. The cross sectional area of the tenon is less than intended, so it is weaker than intended.
For a remedy that will stand the test of time, a false tenon would be the best solution. Perhaps you would like to try my web site. Click on 'Blunder Busting'.
Jeff G
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Thank you all for your ideas. I'm going to glue shims and re-cut the tenons.
CB
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Shims are one way of doing it.
Try using yellow glue, painting and dipping the tenon and scattering some sawdust in the mortise to make it tight.
If you want an elegant solution, kerf and wedge.
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I would glue some veneer to both sides of the tenon then adjust with plane if needed.

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How did you cut the mortises? Why not make matching mortises in the stretchers after cutting off the undersize tenons, then use loose tenons cut to the correct size?
Steve

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Take some nice big shavings from some scrap of the same kind of wood with a plane, and glue one to the face of the undersize tennon. When the glue is dry, you can clean up the over hanging bits with a sharp knife.
I've used the technique more than once :-)
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