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Thread: Mortise and tenon Q's... Workbench base

  1. #1

    Mortise and tenon Q's... Workbench base

    I will be making my M & T's today and thinking ahead to some of the next steps, some of these joints (leg assemblies) will be made using draw-bore M&T's how much of an offset is good for the holes(3/8")... ~1/16"?

    For the mortises that will accept the stretchers, would ~1/8in oversize in the vertical dimension be enough for a secure lock without putting undue stress on the tenon ends? I will be using wedges, 2 per end of stretcher. 5deg kerfs with a 3/8 hole at the end of the tenon to avoid splitting the stretchers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Forest Grove, Oregon USA
    Hi Brent,

    An offset of 1/16" in really hard woods and one of about 3/32" in softer woods works well.

    A nickel [the money] is about .072" to .075" thick (3/32" is .094") and works as an offset gauge. A penny is .056" or a skosh more and works for using an offset of 1/16" [which is .063"]. At least those two coins are close enough for how accurately I can drill...

    The other joints, are these through tenons or fox-wedged [blind wedged] tenons?

    Take care, Mike
    Wenzloff & Sons Sawmakers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt
    I watched a video on this very subject on the woodworking channel ( the other day. Chris Schwartz recommended an offset between 1/16 and 3/32, the latter being more in the range of timber framing.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the info on the draw bores, I would hate to have to drive a dowel with much more than that in offset. The wood is red oak. A bit much for a base but I have it and it was cheap!!

    The wedge tenons are used with thru mortises and the wedges are going into the endgrain. I still have to decide what I am going to use for the wedges, oak or something with a little contrast. May wind up going with walnut and pick up a dowel for use in the other joints.

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