what joinery to use? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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what joinery to use?

Im dont know what to use to attatch the legs to the front face of my project. The legs are 2-3/4x2-3/4 and the face is 3/4 inch thick I want the leg to stick out about a half inch from the face like in the picture. The sides will be raised panels an will probably have the same jointery as the front. I was thinking mabe spline that stops before the bottom where the legs taper in?
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 07:48 PM
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Mortise and tenon.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Doh! this may be a stupid question but.. The side of the frame is already cut to length so should i just cut a mortice into both the leg and face and put like a square dowel in so i still get my width?
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
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Im dont know what to use to attatch the legs to the front face of my project. The legs are 2-3/4x2-3/4 and the face is 3/4 inch thick I want the leg to stick out about a half inch from the face like in the picture. The sides will be raised panels an will probably have the same jointery as the front. I was thinking mabe spline that stops before the bottom where the legs taper in?
You have a few choices. I think splines would likely be the easiest to do. Other than that, you could use loose tenons, or dowels.







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post #5 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 08:15 PM
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I am sure there are many ways to do this, but here are a few suggestions. The options depend to some extent on what equipment you have. For starters, the next time you have a similar project you might consider cutting a tenon on the rails and a mortise in the leg, and glue the stile to the leg directly. If the weight of the piece is transferred to the floor through that joint, there will be a moment of force on that area and the joinery there has to be good.

For this one, it appears that the rails (the horizontal piece at the top and bottom) go across the top of the stiles (the side pieces). I will refer to that terminology to make my explanation clear. You can put a floating tenon for the rail to leg joint then and simply glue the legs to the styles. Thatís a long grain to long grain joint and if done correctly it should be stronger than the wood itself. You could even omit the floating tenon in the rails and rely on the long grain to long grain joint, though there might be some wobble where the rail touches the leg if the piece is moved or treated roughly.

If you have one, a biscuit joint could be used to align the rail to leg joint and to align the stiles to the leg, but donít rely on it alone. It may not be strong enough to carry the weight of the piece, but could work depending on what you plan on using the furniture for. Finally, you can use a spline by cutting a matching groove in the legs and the face frame.

Additionally, while there are no correct designs, many traditional frames are made with the styles going from top to bottom, and the rails fitting between them, though there are thousands of exceptions. With that taken into consideration, you could eliminate the face frame assembly, and secure the rails directly to the legs via mortise and tenon, though I think your design looks good as it is. It looks like a nicely executed and designed project. Good luck with it.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help i think i will go with the loose tennon would 3 1/4x 2" joints for each leg be sufficent? I was aslo wondering what the proper way to attatch a top would be? it will be 3/4" think and probably have about an inch overhang. Im fairly new to woodworking and have made a few projects with not much knoledge on proper jointery and would like to lear how to do things the right way. TGANT Thanks for explaining rail n stile i had no clue what that was. I knew there was a certian way you were supposed to make a frame or pannel.

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post #7 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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would it be difficult to cut a mortise in end grain? and with the table top do i need a joint that can handle expansion? the top will be roughly 3/4x22x56
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 08:42 PM
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You are very welcome.
A tenon is usually sufficient when it is roughly 1/3 to 1/2 the thickness of the rail, though a little thicker is good too ( this is not written in stone and there are other correct ways to do this). The length and width sound fine.

How you secure the top is dependant on the whether the top is solid wood or plywood, and which way the grain goes. You need to allow for wood movement for solid wood. If the top is plywood, you can glue it to the top of the rails all around, and use diamond shaped cleats to add additional strength. If itís solid wood, you can affix it in the middle of the piece with glue blocks, then use some sort of block in a groove that allows for wood movent. I can explain it in more detail if you are interested, but Iím signing off now (worked late last night). Iíll draw a picture tomorrow and scan it if you are interested. Regards.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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It is a solid wood top, if you could give me more info tomorrow on securing it that would be great.

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post #10 of 12 Old 03-01-2011, 05:42 PM
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There are a number of ways to do this, so Iíll show the two I generally use. If you refer to the sketches, in A and B you are looking at the table in cross section with the grain running into the sketch. C is top down. As you know, wood moves very little parallel to the long grain, but can move considerably with humidity changes perpendicular to the grain.
Start with A. You glue a cleat to the rail. In that cleat is a slot for a screw that is screwed but not glued into the underside of the top. The slot runs perpendicular to the long grain of the top. As the top expands and contracts with seasonal wood movement, the screw moves back and forth in the slot, but keeps the top attached to the rail. Get the screws as deep as you can without going through. A heftier screw, #10 or so, is good. A washer might help.
In method B, a groove to receive a rabbeted block is cut parallel to the top of the apron. It can go the whole way along the rail or just near the cleats. You make a block with a rabbet in it as shown. This block is glued (you can screw it as well) to the underside of the top. The idea is that as the top expands and contracts, the lip of the block is free to move deeper or less deep into the groove as needed. The block secures the top to the rail but allows it to move perpendicular to the long grain. The trick is to make sure there is enough play in the lip/groove combination to account for seasonal changes. Note that the groove is deeper than the lip, and that the block is not flush with the back of the rail, so movement can occur in both directions. In most of the US, the winter months will have lower relative humidity, so wood is usually at its smallest, but donít count on that.
In both methods the top is secured to the rail about midway between the ends that are parallel to the long grain with a fixed block. Sketch C shows that. The moveable ones refer to the cleats as described above.
Finally, a good finish helps slow wood movement, and always finish the top and bottom of the top with the same finish and same number of coats. This helps prevent warping. Hope this helps. The sketch is a little rough but I think youíll be able to see what I mean.
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post #11 of 12 Old 03-01-2011, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
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There are a number of ways to do this, so Iíll show the two I generally use. If you refer to the sketches, in A and B you are looking at the table in cross section with the grain running into the sketch.

"B" Is the way I have always done it.

Nice write up.

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post #12 of 12 Old 03-01-2011, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much TGRAT. The write up was great and the scetch was fine. Everyone on this site is so helpful its a great place to learn. Im thinking i will try method B but a seems a little easyer.
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