Table stretcher

I'm going to try a different design of the sofa tables I've been making that will be a bit long and wider than the ones I'm making now. I've never needed nor attempted stretchers before and was wondering what determines if I need to use them? I have some poplar that I'm going to be using for this table if that makes a difference. It's going to be 52"W x 20"D x 30"H. The legs are going to be 2" x 2" with slight taper. I've tried mortise and tennons before and discovered that I really suck at it so I try to avoid them by using pocket holes. But if I definately need stretchers and can't avoid them I will practice more.
Thanks for any help, Darrin
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You should try using a router to make mortices. It's not as difficult to get good results. You can even make mortices in both parts and use floating tenons to join them. This isn't nearly as difficult to do as the chisel method and it produces good mortices easily. A few fixtures and an upcut router bit is about all you need to get started.
Have you seen the Beadlock system? It's a fixture that let's you make mortices with an electric drill (almost like making pocket holes). Then you buy special ribbed tenon stock from them to make the floating tenons, or they sell a special router bit so you can make your own tenon stock. All you have to do is clamp their fixture where you want the mortice and then drill 3 holes through the fixture into your part. Then the fixture is indexed to a second position where 2 more holes are drilled, and the mortice is complete. Do the same thing to the mating part and then cut a piece of tenon stock to fit between them, add glue and clamp the parts together "until the glue dries". You can't make good mortices any easier than this. It's almost as easy as making pocket holes.
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Charley


"Darrin" < snipped-for-privacy@nospam-bellsouth.com> wrote in message
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