First time M&T questions. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-22-2015, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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First time M&T questions.

I'm building a dining table out of reclaimed barn wood. The legs are going to be 4x6 red oak and on each end of the table there will be 2 4x4 cross members mortised and tenoned into the legs. The tenon will be approximately 2" thick and 2 1/2' deep. I plan on pinning the joints together with the ends of the pins remaining exposed. The table top is 84x40" all red oak so the entire thing will be extremely heavy. I have 2 questions.

1. I have a bench top mortiser capable of making 1/2" mortises and thought about using square pins as opposed to round. However since its only capable of creating 1/2" squares will that size pin be strong enough to support the forces due to the weight of the table. Also the pin will be going into the 6" side of the leg so would a 1/2 square pin look too small for that size of leg (I know thats simply a matter of opinion but I'm curious what yours is).

2. Is there a specific species of wood I should use for the pins? (hard vs soft?) I didn't know if something soft like pine would work better since it will be more forgiving and able to move through the hole easier or if a hard wood would be better for strength and less chance of splitting while I'm driving it in place. I thought a dark wood like mahogany would look really nice with the oak but didn't know if that's the best choice for a pin.

Any advice for those questions (or any tips for M&T's for that matter) would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks again in advance.
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-22-2015, 01:05 PM
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If it were me I would make the tenons an inch instead of two inches. An inch is enough the tenon won't break off.

The glue is suppose to do the majority of the work in the joint. A 1/2" peg would work fine. There are a lot of different woods you could make the pin out of. It would probably look better with your barn wood to use maple. Oak strangely enough is really too brittle for that function. Mahogany is just too soft.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-22-2015, 01:10 PM
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I would use a round peg, and I would use oak. If the mortise and tenon is tight fitting the peg would have to cleanly shear off to break, which is going to require far more force than a table leg is ever going to produce

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-03-2015, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. Since the table is made out of red oak I went with the maple for the pegs just to add some contrast. It turned out great.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-05-2015, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric2726 View Post
Thanks for the advice. Since the table is made out of red oak I went with the maple for the pegs just to add some contrast. It turned out great.
Thank you for coming back and letting us know how the project worked out for you.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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