Loose tenon materials


Hi: I just finished building a slide assembly for my Shopsmith that allows me to easily make "loose" mortises. One question remains...
Should the "loose" tenons be the same material, or would a more stable material such as tempered fiberboard be the prudent choice. The fiberboard is precisely 1/4", does not swell and is very strong. Not to mention, easy to "store" in the shop.
Does anyone have first hand knowledge with loose mortise and tenon construction.
John Eppley
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No experience with loose tenons, but I'm thinking the tempered fiberboard wouldn't take glue very well.
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RayV wrote:

Even if it did take glue well, with no grain to span the joint, I doubt you'd ever gain much strength. If I were going to use anything but wood for the tenons. it'd probably be scuffed-up lexan or sandblasted aluminum, though I don't ever see myself trying that. Actually, I have a Beadlock unit for just such situations and it performs very well.
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I am sure it takes glue very well. I built a shelving unit that spent many years in unheated cellars, garages and storage sheds. Did I mention I built the unit in 1961 ??
John
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John Eppley wrote:

Try a strength test between the fiberboard and some other candidates...sugar maple, ash, white oak, etc.
Chris
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John,
I'm no expert, but can relate my experience using loose tenons on a large rolling wood rack. It was made of milled 2x4 and 2x6 rails with 28 loose tenon joints. I did the traditional approach of making them close to right, then used a hand plane to fine tune the thickness of each tenon so that each had an ever-so-slight drag in a piston fit that could be moved with hand pressure. After applying glue, I had to assemble quickly because the wood swelled and "locked" in place. My impression was that I had some tolerance in fit because the swelling wood "self adjusted" to a tight fit. the precise thickness, no swell character of the fiber board may work against you because it requires such a precise fit to be effective in the joint - too tight and there's no room for glue - too loose and the glue won't fill the gap.
Bob
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