The mortise and tenon joint is a must have in your techniques
arsenal - if you're going to make solid wood furniture. It's
not that difficult a joint to make - IF you pay attention and
use a decent technique/method. And if you understand what
does what, why and how, well all the better.
So here's the url to a bunch of stuff I put together on M&T.
Hopefully it'll save someone some grief, or get someone to
try this great joint.
As usual, comments, suggestions, constructive criticism
will be appreciated. I'll revise things if needed.
Actually a good read... the pictures are helpful in
the process of understanding.
Far too much stuff gets put to print, but with no pictures
the story remains "cloudy".
How do you do your graphics ???
charlie b wrote:
Some people are text oriented - read it / under stand it.
Some folks are visual - show me a good illustration and I get it.
Some need to hear it to get it.
Then there are folks like me - let me read it, look at the
illustrations and try it a few times.
I hate it when magazines, etc. don't put the text near
the accompanying picture or illustration. I particularly
hate the wood magazine that puts the pictures, each
numbered, side by side and down three or four rows then
bury the refence number in the descriptive text, sometimes
on the previous page - or two.
Hence A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words.
See It - Do It makes a lot more sense than Read It,
Read It Again, Try It, Go Back And Read It Again, ...
The line drawings are done in an old Aldus Corporation
program called SuperPaint v 3.5, last update in '93.
Adobe bought Aldus and shelved their products which
competed with Adobe products - in this case Illustrator.
Oddly enough - Adobe Illustrator will read the SuperPaint
For an object oriented graphics program that cost
maybe $70 in '93, it's pretty powerful. Not a true
CAD program but it does let you do scaled drawings.
The "3-D" stuff is actually all drawn ala drafting - with
shading, cross hatching etc. done by creating polygons
of up to a hundred or so vertices.
By the time I've drawn an idea and two or three variations,
I have a much better understand what I'm trying to illustrate.
Sort of like trying to program a computer to do a specific
task. By the time you get the computer to "understand"
you're pretty close to being an expert on the subject.
Thanks. If it helps someone succeed at making a mortise
and tenon joint sooner, or gets someone to try it - I'll
be a happy camper.
Again - if something isn't clear, or missing, or could be
illustrated better - please e-mail your comments,
suggestions, etc.. and I'll work on improving the
nowback to using the Akeda DT jig to make a DT box
to hold all the pin guides, tail guides, half pin guides,
router guide bushings, a few bits, etc.
Looks good - lots of info about a very important joint. One thing that
might be a typo (or maybe I'm not understanding it) - from the "How
Tight Is Too Tight?" page, 2nd paragraph:
"After you fit the tenon into the mortise you should be able to turn
the piece so the mortise can fall out. "
Do you mean that if you turn over the dry-fit pieces, the tenon should
remain in the mortise? You do say this in the next paragraph, but I
still don't see exactly what you're trying to say. If this isn't a
typo, I don't understand how a mortise could fall out in the first
place. On the same page, another thing I've done on a tenon that's
too tight is to mark the cheek with a pencil, and see where it rubs off
inside the mortise, and pare those areas.
Thanks for taking the time to compile and share all this info!
Good - just the type of thing I was hoping for - blind spot on the
author's part. Check the revised page and see if The Gravity
Test illustration gets the idea I was shooting for better. And
I hope you don't mind that I added your pencil the tenon, slip it
in the mortise and look for black marks in the mortise sides.
That was quick! Much better - looks great. Let me know if you're
doing another book sometime and want a proofreader.
One possible exception to the gravity test I just thought of, though -
I would think the test is good for most picture frames, smallish
cabinet face frames, most chairs, etc., and I guess that covers most
projects that most woodworkers do. However, it might not apply to much
larger pieces. (I completed a bed last year, and each leg and rail
weighed probably 10-15 lbs, so if the tenons stuck in the mortises when
held up in the air, they probably would have been way too tight. If
they were cut with a smooth friction fit, and held in the air, I think
they would have pulled right out). I'd be curious to figure out what
the weight ranges are that would be appropriate for that test, and
whether it would vary by type of wood, smoothness of tenons, size of
tenons, etc... I'm sure it doesn't really matter, and I agree that
it's a good rule of thumb regardless.
Not at all! Hope it's helpful to someone.
I've actually been looking for the new URL for your website recently -
I'm thinking about attempting my first hand-cut dovetails sometime
soon, and ran across some outdated links to your pages in the archives
here. Glad to see your site's still up and running, and I'm looking
forward to looking through your dovetail page. I'll let you know if I
see anything that isn't clear.
Great job, as usual, Charlie.
Of particular value is the page on reference faces and edges--should
probably be duplicated in a discussion of ANY joinery.
Following are some suggestions, edits, nit-picks:
The perspective drawings don't appear to correspond accurately to the
plan drawings. In particular, all of the tenons on the "other end" of
the pieces in the perspective drawings appear to have four shoulders.
I think the text description in the last paragraph has the two cases
reversed. The drawing is what I would expect, and maybe my problem
with the text is based on my lack of knowledge of a tite-mark. But it
looks like the two flat sides are facing OUT when marking the mortise
and IN when marking the tenon.
First and second paragraphs: While it makes sense that the faces of
the mortise be paired, I think you mean "pared" here.<g>
caption of fourth picture, typo on "horizontal"
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
Thanks for taking the time to give this stuff a good going over.
I look at it and see what I want to see rather than what's actually
there - hence the desirability of more sets of eyes looking for
holes, ambiguities, flat out wrong information, etc.. Guess that's
why publshers have editors.
Went over the pages you identified and I think I corrected everything
and redid the page 10c
Do the revision makes more sense now?
Any one else see any problems or have questions this stuff should
probably try and answer?
Your website is amazing.
You should publish a book, or at maybe a PDF of your website for people
to download and have in their shop for refrence.
I would be more than happy to give you a hand doing that if you were
charlie b wrote:
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