How much room would you allow for expansion? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 05-16-2019, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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How much room would you allow for expansion?

I'm making a flagpole of sorts (it's really going to hold a hanging plant) that will fit into a socket. The socket is 1" in diameter, so I'll be turning a tenon to suit. The pole is white oak and will be varnished with spar varnish.
How much smaller than 1" would you make the tenon to ensure that the pole doesn't expand and get stuck in the socket? Would you taper it a bit as well? (the socket is not tapered)
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post #2 of 3 Old 05-16-2019, 05:28 PM
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I think if you dip the end that goes into the socket with varnish a number of times you could get away with making the end a little thicker than 7/8". Maybe get it to 15/16" with the varnish on it. Varnished well it shouldn't swell very much.
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-17-2019, 08:15 PM
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If it is going to stay permanently in the socket, I would make it just a hair under 1". White oak shouldn't expand and contract all that much in only 1" diameter. That is of course assuming it will be indoors.
Look at some of the old chairs that have round legs that go directly into the seat. If anything, over time, they get looser, probably from wear also, but the seat rarely ever splits at that joint.

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Denison, Tx
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