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Thread: Anyone tried this: Peening your tenons

  1. #31
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    While the technique may seem crude at first it is actually sophisticated! It uses the properties of wood to add a new technique that metal and plastic won't accommodate. Well you can supercool metal to get a tight fit, or heat it as in wagon wheel rims but plastic won't work!
    Once the joint is together and tight who is to know? Good to have in your arsenal for those odd occasions.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Parks View Post
    The idea is NOT to remove material and allow the wood to slowly come back to its original dimension. Planishing hammers can also be had with a square head like the one sitting in my tool box. This would allow working closer to the shoulder of the tenon.
    If I took the title of the tip as a guide, the idea -- whether about compressing or not -- is about ease of assembly and a locked joint.

    Both are easily achieved in the usual mortise and tenon techniques by cutting a snug fit joint. In a snug fit joint (whether achieved through fine tuning using a shoulder plane, or a chisel, etc.), you only need hand force to insert the tenon into the mortise, achieving the first stated goal of easier assembly. If one needs to use a hammer to pound a tenoned piece into a mortised piece, that is not a snug fit in my book.

    When glue is applied to the mortise and (only) the front part of the tenon (I don't put glue all over the tenon for better squeeze out control), the tenon will swell when it is completely inserted, resulting in a locked joint.

    Tell me what I am missing when I don't think the tip offers anything extra (other than a different approach). The majority of mortise and tenon failures are not because of assembly difficulty or wood not swelling, but because of a poor fit, the gappy kind.

    The tip says "make the fit a bit snug" and then proceed with the peening and vise clamping, etc. If a snug fit is there, the joint will be strong. Why take the extra steps of using a hammer and a vise?

    While I won't go as far as to say that it is a solution created to solve a non-existent problem, I would say this: it is a tip, fine. But as the Best Tip (yes of the month; don't think there is a Best Tip of the Year or anything like that), no. To me, it is a clumsy, crude way of doing any mortise & tenon joint with no added benefits than what is already out there, other than novelty. If you are good at doing mortise and tenon joints by hand as I but want to try it, go ahead, there is no harm -- even if you found out it is really not something you would do, unless your goal is to slow down your work.

    The technique may have its use elsewhere as some suggested. No one is arguing otherwise, as far as I have read the posts. The tip may be unusual, but this subscriber of the magazine is not convinced that it deserves the recognition it has been awarded. You are free to agree with the editor's choice, whether or not you are one of its readers. I foot my subscription and as a competent woodworker, I know I am more than good enough to challenge anything published that I disagree with, like this tip award.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 08-11-2017 at 9:32 AM.

  3. #33
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    History provides insight, and items such as windsor chairs suggest that glue alone is not enough to secure the joint in many cases. Windsor chairs are made with a green wood seat and kiln dried spindles to ensure that the spindles grow and the seat shrinks. They have very few failures. By comparison many glued chairs are coming apart within 50 years.

    Ultimate strength is not usually the most important factor in joint failures (though sometimes it is!) more often a joint is simply worked apart over time and method such as this work to prevent such failure. This is the reason that often things like draw-boring are preferred to glue in many cases, even though glue likely makes a stronger joint in terms of ultimate strength.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post

    Ultimate strength is not usually the most important factor in joint failures (though sometimes it is!) more often a joint is simply worked apart over time and method such as this work to prevent such failure. This is the reason that often things like draw-boring are preferred to glue in many cases, even though glue likely makes a stronger joint in terms of ultimate strength.
    I agree with that and I am also aware of the skilled work you do, Brian. But the peening and clamping technique under discussion is subject to the same constraints with regard to glue failure. If a joint fails because of glue, peening the joint will have no effect whatsoever.

    I want people -- skilled ones and beginners as well -- to understand that not everything published in a magazine, even the FWW, is untouchable. FWW has a great pool of woodworkers and contributors, but i have spotted errors (not referring to typos) that have missed the editors' eyes. We have seen all the time corrections published by the editors, proving we are all human. If I sat on the tips review panel, this tip would be challenged to the end and would still be published but not as the Best Tip under my watch.

    Simon

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Simon MacGowen View Post
    I want people -- skilled ones and beginners as well -- to understand that not everything published in a magazine, even the FWW, is untouchable.
    Hi Simon.
    Yup, I definitely get your point there. I've seen flawed tips too. I posted this mainly because I'd never seen this done and didn't know what to make of it. I think this has all been a good well-rounded discussion and I've learned alot from all of it.

    IMO, the tip was probably the most significant that FWW had this month, so that's the reason it got (current) top honors. As others have said, one would use it when/where it makes sennse - another tool in the toolbox of techniques, so to speak. More than one way to do most jobs.....

    Fred

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    Hi Simon.
    Yup, I definitely get your point there. I've seen flawed tips too. I posted this mainly because I'd never seen this done and didn't know what to make of it. I think this has all been a good well-rounded discussion and I've learned alot from all of it.

    IMO, the tip was probably the most significant that FWW had this month, so that's the reason it got (current) top honors. As others have said, one would use it when/where it makes sennse - another tool in the toolbox of techniques, so to speak. More than one way to do most jobs.....

    Fred
    Thanks, Fred, for making this interesting discussion possible to start with! I would not have written to FWW about my viewpoint, because I have had no intention to make their iife (difficult enough) more difficult. As someone who has its magazine from issue #1, I hold them to a higher standard than the rest.

    As I said, I would not have had the same strong opinion about this tip if it were chosen as the best one in, say, Wood or Woodsmith. With people like Christian Becksvoort, Garrett Hack and the iike they can easily consult, the editors, if in doubt, could have checked with any one of them to see if that was the kind of fine woodworking practice they would like to promote. A new woodworker would think that one of the best ways to cut a mortise and tenon joint is to use a hammer and a vise, because it is one of the best tips in FWW.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 08-11-2017 at 10:17 AM.

  7. #37
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    I dumped the water out of that tray this morning and attempted to pull it apart by hand. Now mind you, it's a 1/4" deep rabbet joint in softwood that has been peened and then moisture applied. I could not get the joint apart by hand.....a rabbet joint!

    I have some complaints about how the tip was conveyed, especially the mention of the incorrect side of the hammer as far as I'm aware. But the technique does work when employed properly and so it should be conveyed to interested people.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  8. #38
    Funny but I read the same tip and came away with an entirely different concept. To me the tip was not about how to achieve a better fit or lock the joint but as a way to insure that a joint is not glue starved due to a tight fit displacing it when assembled. I understood that the process is: fit the tenon snugly, then shrink it temporarily by peeing and/or vise, add glue to mortise & tenon, assemble and the nice even coat of glue will swell tenon back to origional fit.


    I got the tip as - here is how to get good glue coverage in a tight fitting tenon.

  9. #39
    About that "best tip" thing: it's a lot like saying that Josh McCown is the New York Jest best quarterback. That's damning with non-existent praise.

    Let it go, man.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Jim Waldron

  10. #40
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    I'm very intrigued by this technique, and for me it was a useful tip (as I would never think to do this myself). Theoretically it makes sense, and looks like others use it with a lot of success...I'm looking forward to trying it out myself.

  11. #41
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    If I remember my history studies correctly. This technique is used in boat building. Wet environment. It was also used for window sashes, thru mortises no glue sometimes wedged. Wet environment again. I wouldn't guess it would be necessary for furniture that is in a controlled environment. Could be used for outdoor furniture and similar things if it weren't for modern "waterproof" glues.
    Jim

    PS If you have spent time around wood plank boats you probably know that a lot of them leak like a sieve until the spring soaking is completed.

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by James Pallas View Post
    [snip]
    Jim

    PS If you have spent time around wood plank boats you probably know that a lot of them leak like a sieve until the spring soaking is completed.
    That's why (in part) there ain't a lot of 'em being built these days!

    Cold molded and strip planked wooden hulls are still being built in fair numbers, usually with a fiberglass outer layer. Plank built (clinker or lapstrake) is mostly relegated to historic and nostalgic building by focused and dedicated enthusiasts. The vast majority of modern boats are formed of "frozen snot" as specified by L. Francis Herreshoff some years ago.

    (That's fiber reinforced polymers to you and me, aka polyester or polyepoxy fiberglass.)
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Jim Waldron

  13. #43

    Working with wood

    Mr. Herreshoff was a woodworker, among other passtimes. His designs are some of the best works in wood ever. My personal favorite is sv Araminta:

    Araminta.jpg
    Click This

    His father, Nathaniel Herreshoff, was pretty good too. Try google images under "Herreshoff boats" when you want to have your breath taken away.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Jim Waldron

  14. #44
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    Peening wood like this is called "kigoroshi" in Japanese (木殺し)which directly translated means "killing wood."

    It works very well with softer woods (vs softwoods) like pine, spruce, larch, and cedar, the cells of which rebound quickly and to nearly their original dimensions over time and the application of moisture. It does not work well so well with harder woods like oak, maple, or beech because the cells do not rebound as completely. Perhaps it is because the cell walls are stronger but less elastic. Idduno. You can easily confirm this phenomenon at home.

    I don't know where the technique was developed, or how came to be used in Japan.

    I think a lot of people see Japanese craftsmen as working slowly and precisely. Precision is important, but speed is important too, so "slow" is not tolerated. If a carpenter cutting and fitting a timber frame in the field can make a housed dovetail tenon, for example, fit tighter faster using kigoroshi, and appearance will not be sacrificed, he is justified in doing so. But make no mistake, in the case of carpentry work, kigoroshi is not superior to carefully fitting the tenon using plane and chisel. In carpentry, at least in my experience on jobsites in Japan, kigoroshi is more often than not seen as a quick fix for a joint that was cut too tight in the shop. It's easy to get carried away with kigoroshi.

    I can't recall seeing a carpenter do kigoroshi on a tenon. That would be seen as a sign of careless work since he has complete control over the dimensions of both tenon and mortise. But doing kigoroshi on the sides and bottoms of beams fitted into housed joints, where the sides and/or bottom surface of the beam must fit into a tight mortise, is more common, I suspect. The fit of such joints is dependent on the beam's dimensions, which are not so easy to control, and frequently require fine adjustments in the field.

    In fine joinery, such as doors, windows, furniture and casework, kigoroshi is seen as crude. The craftsman has precise control of all dimensions. Kigoroshi has the potential to mess up the dimensions of the finished work when it swells, and can even cause joints to crack.

    Where kigoroshi becomes extremely useful is in wood connections that are exposed to water. Cooperage. Wooden bathtubs. Boats. Exposed timber frames. All softwood construction BTW.

    I have seen Hinoko bath tub makers cut the dados in the sides of the tub that fit into the rabbets in the tub's bottom, and other sides, intentionally oversized. The dados will not fit into the rabbets. He then uses a hammer to kigoroshi the dado, whereupon it fits tightly into the rabbet tightly. No glue is used, but when the tub is filled with water, the dado swells, locking it into the rabbet, and creating a watertight joint.

    This URL is to a youtube video of a guy making a bathtub for a TV program. The bathtube was commissioned by a customer in Los Angeles, the story goes. Sorry it is in Japanese, but the video is informative. What is different from the craftsman I saw in person is that the bottom and sides are not joined by a rabbet/dado, and that he uses Hinoki bark caulking to prevent leaking at he bottom joints. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDesC_Bk4iA

    Boats use the same technique. They also kigoroshi the lapped portion of hull planks. When the planks gets wet, the joint swells watertight, and stays that way even when the boat dries out.

    Stan
    Last edited by Stanley Covington; 08-18-2017 at 6:15 AM.

  15. #45
    Thanks Stan. I always enjoy your posts. As usual, that one gave me a lot of insight.

    The video was good too. I didn't even need to speak Japanese to follow it - it was very well done.

    Best regards,
    Fred

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