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Thread: Tenon vs. Loose Tenon

  1. #1
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    Tenon vs. Loose Tenon

    I have never used loose tenon joinery before.

    Is there any advantage to loose tenon joinery over traditional tenons? I know with the new Domino tool, loose tenons seem to be becoming more popular.


    I hope this doesn't start an arguement
    We create with our hands in wood what our mind sees in thought.
    Disclosure: Formerly was a part-time sales person & instructor at WoodCraft in Buffalo, NY.
    www.tinyurl.com/thewoodshoppe

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Wright View Post
    I have never used loose tenon joinery before.

    Is there any advantage to loose tenon joinery over traditional tenons? I know with the new Domino tool, loose tenons seem to be becoming more popular.


    I hope this doesn't start an arguement
    Hey Sean,
    Here's my two cents.... Loose tenons are not quite as strong as integral tenons, but still very strong, and adequate for most furniture projects. The great thing about loose tenons is that once you get your machinery set up, you can easily run enough tenon stock for many, many projects. Then all you have to do is route the mortises and cut off the amount of stock you need. With an integral tenon, you are creating each tenon individually - I usually make them a little large and 'sneak up' on a tight fit. And that's a lot more work. I use both methods.

    I guess one thing that bugs me a little is that all the work that went into fitting the integral tenon is never (if you did it right) visible once the project is glued up. So, in my opinion, in most cases an integral tenon doesn't add any perceived value, unlike say handcut dovetails the customer will see and appreciate.

    And if you started an argument, thats fine. We enjoy a heated discussion about wood, just leave the politics out of it.
    Don't believe everything you think!

  3. #3
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    I use both. I made a slot mortiser out of an old PC router table some ball bearing drawer slides and a press screw. It works great. I do prefer to say floating tenon as loose sounds more like an ill fitting joint to me. My homemade slot mortiser has stops built in so I can batch cut my repetitive work quickly and every piece matches. I cannot do that on my hollow chisel mortiser. I don’t think there is going to be much difference in strength if fitted properly because one side is going to be a long grain to long grain joint. With the integral tenon if you make the shoulder cut too deep you have weakened the joint anyway. So proper fit and sizing is the key to strength in both joints. The other speed advantage is no cleaning up shoulders or cheeks, and you cut pieces to there final length no forgetting to leave extra for the tenon. All that being said I do like to use through mortises when I can and I cut an integral tenon when I do that. It is difficult to make mortises in large pieces on my slot mortiser, I have done it but it is awkward. I don’t have the Domino or the money for one but that is an advantage that system may have. I just use a plunge router and a guide fence, if the piece is too big for the mortiser. That my $.02 and I am in no way trying to argue with anyone. I will now go back to keeping quiet.
    Joe
    Last edited by Joe Meazle; 04-12-2007 at 06:37 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Meazle View Post
    I made a slot mortiser out of an old PC router table some ball bearing drawer slides and a press screw. It works great.Joe
    Joe - I've been wanting to build a slot mortiser - would you post some pictures of yours? I can easily build an x-y table but have not figured out a good, solid way to raise and lower the table or the router (the z axis).

    But to the question asked, I've used both regular mortise and tenon and loose tenons. Both work fine and are quite strong enough to do the job. A friend who builds entry doors for a living only uses loose tenons and claims he's never had a problem from the loose tenons.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
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    Hey Sean check out the thread under Design - My latest project.

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ead.php?t=1817

    If I were to do it again I would for sure build it with a router. In fact soon I will replace the motor with a router.

  6. #6
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    I forgot to add another benifit of the floating tennon is that I can add them to a coped rail and style joint pretty easily if extra strength is needed. I saw Frank Klausz do this with a tradional tennon but he is an exception.

    Mike,
    I don't have any pics yet but will try to pm you some later. I don't want to hyjak the thread. BTW the press screw in combination with the router table fence hardware (modified) gives me the Z axis adjustment.
    Last edited by Joe Meazle; 04-12-2007 at 05:50 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Meazle View Post
    Mike,
    I don't have any pics yet but will try to pm you some later. I don't want to hyjak the thread. BTW the press screw in combination with the router table fence hardware (modified) gives me the Z axis adjustment.
    Seems to me that a new thread might be in order so that others of us could benefit from it if you do not mind.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Bookout View Post
    Seems to me that a new thread might be in order so that others of us could benefit from it if you do not mind.
    I second that. I'd like to profit from the comments and suggestions that other people might have. Hope you'll post.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  9. #9
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    I am going to put someting in the jigs and fixtures section.
    thanks for asking guys I can be a little shy on the web.
    joe

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...5545#post35545
    Last edited by Joe Meazle; 04-12-2007 at 04:19 AM.

  10. #10
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    Joe & Hubert,

    Thanks for the links to your multi routers. Those are incredable!

    When I can, I try to catch "Woodworks" with David Marks on the DIY channel. He has a multi router. It was the first one that I ever saw. After seeing that, I though.... I 've gotta see how much one of those costs! Much to my dismay it was in the $2000 to $3000 range. I pretty much gave up on the idea at that point.

    Now seeing what you guys built, I have new hopes to have a multi router in my shop some day!
    We create with our hands in wood what our mind sees in thought.
    Disclosure: Formerly was a part-time sales person & instructor at WoodCraft in Buffalo, NY.
    www.tinyurl.com/thewoodshoppe

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