Mission style slats advice

I'm into my first venture at building a Mission style end table and it's time to decide how to handle the mortises that house them.
1) Is it best to cut individual mortises (I've been plunge routing using homemade jigs and squaring by hand) or machine a groove and install spacers between the tenons? There will be only three or four per side.
2) Should I try the fire drill of gluing them in or just leave them loose?
Thanks,
Wes
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It's much better to cut individual mortises. I made a crib that called for the groove and spacers and it was a bit disappointing. Probably 95% of the spacers fit snugly and show no gaps, but the few that did are very annoying. Since you have only a few to do, it makes no sense to try to avoid the actual mortising. I also believe the finished product will be stronger, although with today's glues it might not be a big deal in terms of strength. Avoiding glue lines or mismatched grain IS important, though.
I'm not sure why you would want to leave them loose at all. It's not that hard to glue them in. I had 15 slats on the front/back of the crib, and it WAS a bit tricky to align them all top/bottom, but it wasn't something to make me not want to do it. Either way you have to align everything to put it together, so you might as well do it with glue. If you're that worried about time, use a glue like Titebond II extend and you shouldn't have to rush.
Mike

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On Wed, 14 Jan 2004 18:52:51 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"
|It's much better to cut individual mortises. I made a crib that called for |the groove and spacers and it was a bit disappointing. Probably 95% of the |spacers fit snugly and show no gaps, but the few that did are very annoying. |Since you have only a few to do, it makes no sense to try to avoid the |actual mortising. I also believe the finished product will be stronger, |although with today's glues it might not be a big deal in terms of strength. |Avoiding glue lines or mismatched grain IS important, though.
Fair enough. | |I'm not sure why you would want to leave them loose at all. It's not that |hard to glue them in. I had 15 slats on the front/back of the crib, and it |WAS a bit tricky to align them all top/bottom, but it wasn't something to |make me not want to do it. Either way you have to align everything to put |it together, so you might as well do it with glue. If you're that worried |about time, use a glue like Titebond II extend and you shouldn't have to |rush.
Okay. I certainly don't need any strength from the slats so that's why I thought about not gluing. The rail and apron are very short (it's a small piece) and the slats sure aren't going anywhere. I might save myself some work and round the end of the tenons though.
Thanks.
| |Mike |
| |> I'm into my first venture at building a Mission style end table and |> it's time to decide how to handle the mortises that house them.|> |> 1) Is it best to cut individual mortises (I've been plunge routing |> using homemade jigs and squaring by hand) or machine a groove and |> install spacers between the tenons? There will be only three or four |> per side.|> |> 2) Should I try the fire drill of gluing them in or just leave them |> loose?|> |> Thanks,|> |> Wes|
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"Wes Stewart" wrote in message

By all means, use mortise and tenons ... if you're setup to do them, it actually takes less time and is much less of a hassle, IME.
Just a matter of preference, but I never use glue on the slats/spindles. Actually, if you do a good job fitting them, they will not be loose and they won't need glue. Clamping the Apron and stretcher, with the slats/spindles mounted before you glue-up your end assemblies will insure that the slats/spindles stay tight.
... and should you ever have to replace one, you will be glad it is not glued in.
Also, plan the mortise width and length so that you can use a single setup to cut the tenons on slats/spindles. IOW if your spindles are 1/2" thick and 1" wide, make your mortises 1/4" by 3/4", You can then use the same setup on either a table saw or router to cut all four shoulders at 1/8" on deep each end, with the fence set back the for appropriate depth of the tenon.
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|"Wes Stewart" wrote in message |> I'm into my first venture at building a Mission style end table and |> it's time to decide how to handle the mortises that house them.|> |> 1) Is it best to cut individual mortises (I've been plunge routing |> using homemade jigs and squaring by hand) or machine a groove and |> install spacers between the tenons? There will be only three or four |> per side.|> |> 2) Should I try the fire drill of gluing them in or just leave them |> loose?| |By all means, use mortise and tenons ... if you're setup to do them, it |actually takes less time and is much less of a hassle, IME.
My thinking too, just figured it didn't hurt to ask :)
| |Just a matter of preference, but I never use glue on the slats/spindles. |Actually, if you do a good job fitting them, they will not be loose and they |won't need glue. Clamping the Apron and stretcher, with the slats/spindles |mounted before you glue-up your end assemblies will insure that the |slats/spindles stay tight.
That's also what I was thinking but again, I wondered what others would do. I now have two different opinions. Great huh? <g>
| |... and should you ever have to replace one, you will be glad it is not |glued in.
Good point, I hadn't thought of that.
| |Also, plan the mortise width and length so that you can use a single setup |to cut the tenons on slats/spindles. IOW if your spindles are 1/2" thick and |1" wide, make your mortises 1/4" by 3/4", You can then use the same setup on |either a table saw or router to cut all four shoulders at 1/8" on deep each |end, with the fence set back the for appropriate depth of the tenon.
Okay. I did that on the stretchers but the aprons were too wide in my estimation so I haunched them. PITA
Thanks,
Wes
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"Wes Stewart" wrote in message

Well, let's back up a minute and examine/reason through the situation. I certainly believe in performing an operation if it is necessary. However, with mission style slats/spindles there is generally no structural reason to glue them in; they will certainly be tight if you do them correctly, and even should they be a slight bit loose there would be no harm; and, by virtue of the design, they are certainly not coming out, whether they are glued in or not. So my point is, if the operation serves little or no purpose, then why perform it?
Avoiding glue cleanup is also a big plus. :)
That is not to say that doing it any other way is wrong, so I would take your pick/preference and go with it.
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1) Definately cut individual mortises if you have the tools to do so. I think when plans say to do it the other way, they are assuming you don't have the tools to do it right.
2) If your slats fit perfectly, you should be safe without glue. I did a king size mission bed with 17 slats each on the headboard/footboard using Titebond II and I was able to pull off the fire drill routine, so you'd probably be ok as long as you know everything fits before you start. I only glued the bottom end of the slat to help prevent drips and it turned out well. Only 2 of the 34 have wiggle room, which I could prpbably stop with a dot of glue, but it's all set up in the bedroom now, and it's not worth the effort.
Be sure you sand the slats before you put them in. Finishing them before you put them in could make things easier, too. I was sure glad I did both. Have fun, Jeremy
Wes Stewart wrote:

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Make individual mortises, I made a custom chest for a customer and made an easy jig for the router to do it. I do admit what I did may not be considered traditional as I made the slats 3/8" thick, cut the mortises with a 3/8" router bit and rounded over the slats at 3/8". Not squared but still worked well and the customer liked it. A little trail and error with the jig and you create 2 properly spaced "guide bush" slots and a third properly spaced slot that fits the slat. Then just clamp your rail into the jig route 2 mortises slide the rail into the jig and then start "keying" the router positions in the 3 slot with a scrap slat. Perfect spacing every time and with a little practice the slats fit the mortises beautifully. I did put a spot of glue in each mortise but in the end product it wasn't necessary. I spent about 3 1/2 hours in setup and 1/2 an hour routing the rails and have a jig hanging on the wall that I know it isn't it's last use.
EJ
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