Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Eastern Kentucky
How to glue mortise and tenon
My first project with mortise and tenon went less than as well as I wanted it to. It is a headboard for a bed. My dry fit was nice and I was satisfied with the way it looked. It was snug, maybe more than it should have been considering how glue up went.
I coated the tenons with glue. I just drizzled it on and spread it with my finger. Then proceeded to put the parts together. They barely fit then, and left a slight gap where the tenon shoulders met the mortised wood. Did I use too much glue, or have them slightly too tight when dry fitted?
Before I did the final assembly, I had it all dry fitted and left that way for several days. Then knocked it apart to glue it up yesterday. In doing so, one of my really long tenons (more like a long tongue in groove joint really) split coming out of its mortise (slot). So, I glued it up as a repair and clamped it, left it overnight, and didn't reassemble everything until today. That's when things barely fit. I don't know if it was too tight a fit, too much glue, or 24 hours left sitting apart. Moisture content in my shop has not changed and the wood is dry to less than 6%, and was so when milled. These are 4" wide by 1/2" thick tenons on pine 2x6 wood going into mortised Doug fir 4x4's. I had to put the parts together using a rubber mallet, even during dry fit.
I hope I gave enough info for someone to help me understand how it might have went better (and yes, I know using construction grade lumber wasn't the best, for the future).
Last edited by Duane Bledsoe; 01-23-2013 at 02:50 PM.