First build -- plant shelf -- help on joinery - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-13-2013, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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First build -- plant shelf -- help on joinery

Hi all,

I'm in the planning process of my first 'real' build -- a plant shelf for the wife. I've done a few things, the most extensive being a router cabinet build much like Norm Abram's, so I have a bit of experience (I know how to turn on my tools anyway.) I'm excited to start as I will be touching on quite a few new techniques.
  • Working from rough wood
  • Re-sawing on the band saw
  • Some joinery methods
  • Finishing wood
  • SketchUp
It will be a simple design. The shelf will fit along the entire side of the entrance way and and extend a bit further out into a gap between the house and a column. It will have two shelves covering the entire area and then a third smaller one at the top between the column and the house. The shelves will be a simple face frame with a rabbit cut along to accept the ends of 3/8" or 1/4" thick slats. The shelves will be supported by corner posts. Since it will be outside, the wood will either be white or red cedar.

My question is how should I do the joinery on the corner posts. I've included a rough (not to scale) SketchUp model to illustrate. The brown band would be the edge/face frame of the shelf that need to join to the support posts.

  1. For the red posts, I thought either mortise and tenon joinery or cut wide dados along the outside edges to accept the frame -- cutting the ends of the frame pieces at 45 degrees.
  2. For the white post, I thought either mortise or tenon or a dado.
  3. I am most lost on the blue posts. The post cannot be on the outside of that face frame so that leaves with the post accepting boards on the same inside corner as you can see in the illustration. It doesn't leave much room for a mortise and tenon.
Thoughts? Any joinery methods that would be better that I didn't even think of? Thanks!

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post #2 of 3 Old 07-14-2013, 09:50 AM
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There's no requirement that a reveal must be created when using a M&T joint. In other words, the joint can leave flush surfaces. If you're worried about the mortise being too close to the edge, then use an offset tenon. A tenon that sits on one side without a cheek or shoulder on that side, leaving a large shoulder on the other (in your case; front side) side of the tenon.

That being said: I'd pocket hole those since they'll not be seen.
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-14-2013, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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I like the idea of the offset tenon, thanks!

I would pocket screw them but you might be able to see them through the gap in the slats, especially the second shelf.
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