Re: Is this a suitable alternative to regular M/T joints?

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Group: rec.woodworking Date: Wed, Sep 17, 2003, 2:43am (EDT+5) From: snipped-for-privacy@btconnect.com (gandalf) Hi, I've ordered one of these: (a loose tenon contraption) http://www.trendmachinery.co.uk/beadlock/ My query is: Is it really an adequate alternative to real M/T joints or am I just kidding myself? Is there a downside to this simple approach? It looks like a great idea and worth a go. I'm sure that anybody whose nick name is Gandalf can work magick with this, quote, "contraption". Cheers ~ Sir Edgar
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We have a review of this product online at http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com/reviews/beadlock.htm
if you wanted to have a read before making a purchasing decision :)
-- Regards,
Dean Bielanowski Editor, Online Tool Reviews http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com ------------------------------------------------------------ Latest 5 Reviews: - Woodworking Techniques & Projects - Kreg Right Angle Clamp - Bosch 3912 (GCM12) 12" Compound Miter Saw - Dowelmax Doweling System - Ryobi CDL1802D Pro Series 18v Cordless Drill ------------------------------------------------------------
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Hi Dave
Actually no one can say it is better then the methods you mention, it is just a matter of perspective. It's just "another tool in the box"as they say.
Glue joint strength depends on, besides correct milling, glue area and grain orientation. Consider the loose tenon in the order of strength of a regular M & T joint. In many cases, face frame construction for instance, a M $ T joint is overkill and dowels or biscuits would be more then adequate.
However, on beefier construction one may want the strength of a mortise and tenon type joint. In these cases, and don't ask which ones, that's a judgment call on the part of the guy building the piece, the loose tenon kit will give, for all practical purposes, the strength and racking resistance of a regular M & T joint and, because of the jigs, it's easier to make.Another point for the loose tenon joint is it cuts down on the amount of, usually more expensive, primary wood since the pieces can be cut to exact size and a less expensive wood is used for the loose tenon.
So, the loose tennon and/or M & T joint isn't necessarily better, just, in some cases, more appropriate.
If it helps, and for an example, I am currently building a set of Dutch Doors. Since I know that the full weight of the doors will be hanging off only the hinge side stiles for the next, hopefully, couple of decades. and that this makes the doors prime candidates for racking over time. Would a double biscuit joint hold up and resist racking for those decades?
Frankly I don't know and I don't want to find out the hard way. Consequently I chose conventional stub tenon joints. With that joint I know it won't rack on me.
I should also add that the wife had me out looking at a lot of doors. I noticed that every one of those doors I looked at still used M &T joints in the construction even though biscuit joints are less labor and time intensive as well as what it saves on primary stock. If a company that turns out thousands of doors passes on savings in labor and materials I figure they must have a good reason. .
Hope it helps
--
Mike G.
Heirloom Woods
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(1) Yes (2) No

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First disclaimer: I'm not associated with Beadlock in any way. Second disclaimer: I've used it and also done traditional M/T joints.
The only downside is when you want to place the mortise in the middle of think stock (and you can get around this by building a thick shim). Other than that, it's well made and easy to use. The floating tenon joint has been around for a long time and given modern glues, it should never come apart.
Jo
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reviews of different types of joinery, the loose tendon is almost as strong as MT joinery, and stronger than biscuit Joinery. Scott www.vmtw.com
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"?Well built unit. In

to be loose, and tended to hurt badly when they are (not to mention not holding things right)?
--randy
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Thanks folks for your responses.
I went and picked up the beastie this morning and I'll give it a go later this afternoon. It seems well made, albeit simple in design, I'm sure many here could simply make one.
One negative point however is the cost of the tenons. They're sold in packs of three, each piece being about 1 foot long, for 4.95 UK sterling a pack (about 8 US dollars)
I sneaked this latest toy in under the wife's radar but now I think with some subtle praise mixed with whinging I might just be able to motivate a router table and the router bits to make my own tenons. (my wife has noticed that lots of toys go into the garage but not a lot has come out....yet. So far she is not giving me any grief, but it can't last)
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Two of the major considerations for a glue joint is grain orientation and glue area (and contact of the pieces).
Since you will be giving yourself a large glue area and the loose tenon will provide long grain to long grain orientation in both pieces it should give you a very strong joint.
--
Mike G.
Heirloom Woods
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I bought the Beadlock kit which contains materials for both sizes. I've used it to join the headboard of a bed, for example, to the vertical posts. I got a remarkably precise fit, and I see no reason why this should not remain a very strong joint. Nothing elegant about it, but no visible fasteners, should be much stronger than biscuits.
One tip: use a corded drill to drill out the mortices. The higher rpms seems to make the work go easier and produces better mortices. They make router bits now so you can mill your own tennon stock. I haven't tried that yet.
Overall this was a very worthwhile tool.
Brad

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But isn't that the case with any joint? Whether it is a loose tennon or a real one at least part of it is reliant on the glue.
When I went to school, many moons ago, we were taught to create what amounted to a dovetail when chiselling out mortises (blind and through) and then use a wedge in the tenon. This was something of a nightmare as it was unforgiving, if you got it right it was wonderful, if you didn't there was no way you could get it out again to 'fix' it. No one seems to do that now. Maybe we are too reliant on the properties of various glues.

Good point. I will try this with contrasting wood and see what it looks like.

This is true.

I was going to buy this toy, still might.: http://www.trendmachinery.co.uk/mtjig /
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gandalf wrote:

If anyone's interested, ShopNotes has plans for a very similar mortising setup...I can lookup the issue if requested.
C
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Chris Merrill
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Chris Merrill wrote:

Requested.
-- Mark
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Mark Jerde wrote:

ShopNotes #64: http://store.yahoo.com/backissuesstore/sn064.html
The pictures shown are not particularly detailed...but I recall that when I read the issue, I was impressed. It's on my (long) list of things to do.
--
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Chris Merrill
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I built this a couple of months ago. It works great.
So well infact I'm selling my hollow chisel mortiser.
On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 17:28:47 GMT, Chris Merrill

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No problem at all with strength. A loose tenon is very very close to strength in a typical M&T joint. In some cases it may even be stronger if the loose tenon has better properties than the joined pieces.
That being said, I guess the bead shape helps in getting or keeping alignment but it seem strange to me. Their are only two situations that I find myself choosing loose tenons.
1. When I Fu%^&* up a normal tenon.
2. When I am worried about alignment. For instance a 4 sided frame with internal members (like mission oak picketed furniture). A loose tenon on the bottom joints makes it very easy to undersize the tenon if I need more adjustment to sinch up the bottom spreader or move it out to accomodate the length of the pickets. You can do this with a normal tenon also but it is a little less flexible and a lot harder (or takes longer) to do.
So the beads assure alignment, which in most cases is great but not always.

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wrote:

Well, the glue area should be the same as a m/t joint. For me, its more than adequate. I'm working on a set of patio chairs each containing 18 m/t joints. I'm on my 5th chair and have not experienced a less than perfect joint or alignment. Much faster than traditional m/t joints also. My only niggle with the product is that one cannot use a drill bit collar stop with the Beadlock. And yes, the tenon stock is pricey so I purchased the 1/2" tenon router bit and find with a minor amount of fiddling I can make tenon stock out of any wood I wish. Ya really shoulda done a Google search on the product as part of your research.
TomL
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Why not just use biscuits or dowels?
Phil
gandalf wrote:

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I've got a Biscuit Jointer, it's great for edge to edge stuff and lining things up but I don't think biscuits have any intrinsic strength and I doubt they would be suitable for joints where 'racking' may be a problem. Right now I'm making a bench for my CMS and I don't want any movement or even the slightest possibility of the whole lot falling apart under stress.
Dowels would work if I used enough of them. This 'Beadlock' jobby is really little more than a few dowels stuck together anyway. But every time I've used dowels (long...long.. time ago), I screw it up and the joints are skew - I do need jigs and contraptions to make up for my lack of skill. But you have given me an idea for reducing the cost of the tenons, I might just be able to get dowel of the right size and plane it down to suit.
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Biscuits are wide, even the 0 size. Although you can replace tenons with them in something big, like a door frame, there are lots of furniture applications where there isn't really enoughh space.
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