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Thread: Should I pin these M and T joints?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vincennes, Indiana
    Posts
    608

    Should I pin these M and T joints?

    I'm in the final stages of an eighteenth century Pennsylvania secretary and have just glued up the top case doors. The doors measure 16" wide, 32" tall and 7/8" thick and the raised panels, rails and stiles are all cherry. The tenons are 1 1/4" deep and 1 1/4 wide, by 1/4" thick. I got a good fit on the joints, they need to be gently tapped apart. I used liquid hide glue during glue up and all went well

    Should I pin these joints from the back or will the glued joints hold up over time? The secretary will probably spend most of its time with the doors open.

    Any advice wold be welcome. Bob
    Life's too short to use old sandpaper.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, CO
    Posts
    189
    If it were up to me, I'd trust the glue joint. On the other hand, SWMBO is a firm believer in "If you're going to build it, over build it!". Therefore, in my house, the joints would get pins from the back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    16,248
    After the fact is not the best time to decide this. Before the glue up it would have been better if it was lain out for draw bore pins.

    If the pins had to show on the front, they could have been decorated with contrasting caps something like Greene & Greene furniture:

    Greene & Greene.jpg

    Instead of hiding a joinery feature make it stand out proud.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    I've always been intrested in 18th century furniture but can't recall if the pegs are always used. Might be that the more urban (less provincial) pieces are not pegged.....or the other way around! I would look at photos for suggestions,not rigid rules. Long term durability will fine either way .

  5. #5
    Most common on 18th century Pennsylvania doors is through tenons and pins. Even for tenons that do not go through the tenons should be as long as possible. You will want to put pins near the shoulder to make up for the short tenons. The pins are tapered and usually four sided or roughly octagonal. Round pins will look odd. The tapered pins suggest that there was a slight offset and the pins were put in right after gluing to draw the joint in.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Mickley View Post
    Most common on 18th century Pennsylvania doors is through tenons and pins. Even for tenons that do not go through the tenons should be as long as possible. You will want to put pins near the shoulder to make up for the short tenons. The pins are tapered and usually four sided or roughly octagonal. Round pins will look odd. The tapered pins suggest that there was a slight offset and the pins were put in right after gluing to draw the joint in.
    Thanks for the background Warren. I appreciate it.
    Fred

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    804
    I always pin M&T joints. That said I’m an arts and crafts fan. Stickley rocks.
    It's wood dust. Saw dust would suggest a problem.

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