I'm building a gate for a new fence I'm finishing off. I want to make
mortise and tenon joints for the door. I'm using cedar. Should I use the old
standard M&T or are floating tenons acceptable? What's the best glue to use
considering this is an outside door. Thx.
Titebond III (Not I or II) should work if you really want to use glue
on an outside project. Floating tenons are no worse than conventional.
The main problem here is that water gets into the joint, freezes and
expands, and loosens it. The wood expansion and contraction with the
wide outdoor temperature and humidity swings make it very difficult to
seal water out. In general using glue for outdoor strength joints
should be avoided. If you don't want to use metal (SS or gavanized)
fasteners, cross pin or wedge joinery with your tenons will produce a
nice old time look and allow you to retighten the joints if they get
I've been browsing the Charles Prowell Woodworks site looking at his fences,
and I'm wondering how he does his gates. The only way I can figure is that
he must be using M & T joints on everything. Lots of work, but, if that's
what it takes. Thanks for the tip on the glue. I figured it'd have to be
something water tight. The gate is for a neighbour so I don't want failure
to be an option. Thx.
Door or gate? For a door, I would use a pinned tennon and polyurethane glue
or epoxy. For a door a floating tennon would be fine but I would still use
polyurethane glue or epoxy. Personally, I use a steel tube frame with wood
screwed (SS) to the frame. Gate hinges are welded to the steel posts. Look
like wood from the outside.
Made one for my son, now he can tell the kids - "Get out of the house and go
play on the gate!"
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