Is it considered in acceptable taste to use machine-cut round-ended
tenons for through tenons on furniture? Does it depend on the style?
This isn't for anything I'm working on now; just for information. I know
it's my work and I can use anything I feel like, but what will it look
like to knowledgeable viewers? I don't want my tenons to look like brown
shoes with a tux.
Thanks, PDX David
Probably most guys who make mortises by hand just like the feel of
chopping good hardwood. You can't feel that with a router.
IMHO, if you are trying to make furniture to earn a living, round
tenons won't help you. And if you are trying to emulate the art of a
by-gone era, same thing, round tenons won't help you.
The tools are cheap. It's the effort that costs.
Jane & David wrote:
What I would say is, what's important to you? I admire the people who hand
cut dovetails and engage in the "traditional" aspect of woodworking. That
being said, I think everyone finds a level that suits how they want to work
and a level they can feel proud of. Is a hand made joint cooler than a
machined one? Sure, because the maker put a learned skill to use; but if you
walk into a kitchen that has just been remodeled by the average woodworker
with all new cabinetry and all the drawers are dovetailed, does anyone
really believe they did those all by hand? Probably not.
So if I walked into your living room and saw a piece of furniture that had a
round ended tenon showing I'd probably think, hmmm, good idea.
Besides, how many people who look at something like that even know what they
are looking at unless they are a woodworker? My wife doesn't care if I make
something with a finger joint or a dovetail, to her they are equally
I guess my point is, build to suit your self.
It's a bad idea to mix the discussion of mortise and tenon execution
with Windsor chair construction.
What would a Windsor chair look like with square mortise and tenons?
Or, how many furniture guys can make mortise and tenon joints with
compound angles? Humm...
Make what you enjoy.
Check how Windsor chairs are done. And see the article on Welsh stick
chairs in the current PopWood. It works for some styles, some people.
If you make something Stickley style, with round through tenons, you better
It was somewhere outside Barstow when Jane & David
I'd say yes. I've seen some '60s generic Scandiwegian lounge furniture
done this way that didn't look out of place. Things like tapered chair
arms and extensive use of a roundover bit on the edges helped too.
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