Just wrapping up my first piece of Mission furniture: coffee table.
For fun, I used 3/8" walnut dowels through the legs to pin the lower
stretchers, instead of concealed MT, or through MT. Looks fine, but
I've since discovered square pegs, which look better . . .
I'm tempted to drill out the 3/8" dowels, and re-do it with square
pegs. However, according to the archives, square peg technique
apparently has me rounding the peg, leaving the visible end square.
If this is true, I'm tempted to simply make a square inlay at the
surface, and leave the round dowel in place. I'd like to retain the
Mission A&C ethic, so I need someone to tell me this is an ethical way
to achieve my goal! Or not.
You are correct, square ended pegs are traditional, but I wouldn't obsess
You are also correct in that the pegs are actually square to begin with,
whittled or sanded round, leaving the last 1/4" or so square, and driving
into a round hole, the end of which has been squared with a square ended
punch of the correct size.
The same technique, but just drilling over the existing peg to a depth of
1/4" in or so, ought to allow you to glue in a square "peg head".
... and, if you really want to obsess, make the "peg head" so that it
sticks out above the surface about 1/4" and bevel it . ;>)
I have two ealy walnut chairs, circa 1730 all tennons have square pegs and
to the best of my knowledge no glue. The heads of the pegs are proud of the
surface, as the wood shrinks the pegs get squeezed . that is one way of
authenicating that the pegs are real.When refinishing such pieces the last
thing you need to do is to sand them flat to the surface .
Square pegs were used so that the corners would bite into the hole and stay
put through the years. The hole was initially drilled without the tennon
inserted. Then the tennon was then fitted and the drill inserted so that it
would just mark the tennon .The tennon was removed and the hole drilled
perhaps 1/32" inboard of the mark so when the peg was inserted the slight
hole missalignment drew the tennon in, making the joint tight....mjh
"Scott" < email@example.com> wrote in message
Yeah, good advise. Below is a pic of the dowels in the present
I was thinking that square pegs would look better because the piece
itself is entirely rectangular in design. I'll consider square pegs,
and maybe through-tenons on the next project: nightstands for the
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