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Thread: intersecting tenons on stretchers

  1. #1

    Lightbulb intersecting tenons on stretchers

    Recently I built a massive stand for an equally massive sandblast cabinet. I constructed it from old recycled pine 4x4's, milled down of course.

    I wanted this to be very strong, and i wanted to practice my skills at constructing large M&T joints. The legs ended up being about 3 1/4 square. The stretchers were about 2" x 3".

    I created stretchers between the legs on all 4 sides. I wanted the stretchers all on the same level so I could put in a low shelf.

    I wanted the tenons to be as long as possible for strength, but the problem is that if they are longer than about 1 1/2", they would hit each other.

    Rather than make them short, I decided to let the tenons intersect. I cut the mortises and tenons for the end legs (the close together ones) about 2 1/2" deep. I used a 3" long 1/2" dia router bit with a template. I assembled the end leg assemblies.

    Then, I cut mortises for the long stretchers to the same depth. These deep mortises intesected the tenons from the other stretches.

    I think this was a good approach. In fact, the tenons on the long stretchers are interlocked into the short stretchers, which shoudl theretically add strength (?).

    Was I gilding the lily by making the tenons that long? I think it is kind of a cool approach, but maybe I shoudl have just made them only 1" deep and been done with it.

    I don't recall ever reading about how people solve the issue of intersecting tenons.

    Ideas, comments?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Tidewater, VA
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    2,123

    Ground Zero

    Lynn -

    If there was a direct nuclear hit in Leesburg, that table will still be standing. The sand in the cabinet will be glass, but the table would still be there.

    Did you think about mitering the end of the tenons? I have done that. Or make haunched tenons? One haunch up and one down.

    What you did gave you lots of practice and locked the side tenons in place.

    Ted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Tidewater, VA
    Posts
    2,123

    Ground Zero!

    Lynn -

    If there was a direct nuclear hit in Leesburg, that table will still be standing. The sand in the cabinet will be glass, but the table would still be there.

    Did you think about mitering the end of the tenons? I have done that. Or make haunched tenons? One haunch up and one down.

    What you did gave you lots of practice and locked the side tenons in place.

    Ted

  4. #4
    Scott in Douglassville, PA Guest
    Tried posting this a few days ago, but gremlins musta got it...

    What you're describing sounds like an Eastern joinery technique called a bird's mouth or some such. Can't remember where I've seen them, but they add tremendous strength. Interlocking tenons - always wondered how to implement that. Your's sounds like an elegant, straightforward technique.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Southeast Houston Area
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    256
    The only thing I've done in such a situation is to miter the tenons. I'didn't glue the miters on purpose but they must have become glued in the process of overall assembly.

    Jim Izat
    The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne.

    Geoffrey Chaucer

  6. #6
    Scott in Douglassville, PA Guest
    Hey, Lynn -

    This <b>was</b> mentioned in a recent <i>Fine Woodworking</i> article. Posted about it on WoodCentral - here's <a href="http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/messages.pl?frames;read=66007">the thread</a>...

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