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Thread: Moving Mortise and Tenon Table

  1. #1

    Moving Mortise and Tenon Table

    I am building a shaker style dining table using mortise and tenon joinery. However, when I move, how will I get the table apart? Is there an approach to building this style table while also being able to disassemble it to move it? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Eastern Iowa
    Not if you glue the joints.
    Qualifiers: there are glues that soften under heat.

    Better solution may be to peg the tenons. When it is time to move you can drill a pilot hole in the center of the dowel, drive a screw and pull them out. To that end you should make a quantity of extra pegs, finish them and store them under the table so the wood, grain, and finish match later.
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Rochester, MN
    You could leave the tenons loose in the legs and only for alignment. Use corner brackets to attach the legs. Like these from Rockler. These brackets have been used for tables for many years and they work. I'd be inclined to exchange the nut that comes with the bracket for a nylon insert lock nut.
    Last edited by Dave Richards; 06-13-2018 at 8:34 AM.

  4. #4
    As stated, furniture designed to be broken down for easy transport follows different rules than fixed pieces. There are brackets, braces and mechanical hardware available to meet that need. the corner braces Dave R shows are a good example. Building a piece to meet the purpose is one of the enjoyments of the craft. Just because it strays from "traditional" joinery doesn't make it any less of a piece.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Princeton, NJ
    Blog Entries
    Engineer it to be made with demountable joinery. Such as tapered pegs which can lock the joinery together.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Lawrenceburg, Tenn.
    Pegs or even lag screws to hold the tenons in from the underside would be easily concealed. Exposed tenons with wedges or pegs if that is a design element. Otherwise, most tables are able to be move fully assembled in a truck.

    As Cort would say: Fools are the only folk on the earth who can absolutely count on getting what they deserve.

  7. #7
    Do you really have to make all the joints knockdown? I haven't been in a situation yet where doing more than separating the top from the base (which wouldn't be glued anyway) would have made moving significantly easier. The size of your vehicle is dictated by the size of the top, rarely the base.

    Without the top, the base can usually be manipulated through and around corners and is quite light.

    If you just have to take it apart, then maybe just focus on the long aprons/stretcher joint.

  8. #8
    Festool Domino has hardware for M&T that you can take apart. Be prepared it is $$$$$$
    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning, the devil says, "oh crap she's up!"

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    "What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts are gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts will happen to man. All things are connected. " Chief Seattle Duwamish Tribe

  9. #9
    +1 on the Domino connectors. I recently used them on a bed I built. Rock solid so far. I used the 700 ones but they have them now for the Domino 500. And yes they are spendy, but would be ideal for your purpose, assuming you have a Domino.


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