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I have a design idea for a tabletop that will require me to join end-to-end end grains (yes three ends in that sentence) of my boards. What would be the best way to do this? Could I cut mortises for each end, and join with floating tenons... glue up and clamp? Or something different altogether?

Thanks...
 

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In History is the Future
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debellpepper said:
I have a design idea for a tabletop that will require me to join end-to-end end grains (yes three ends in that sentence) of my boards. What would be the best way to do this? Could I cut mortises for each end, and join with floating tenons... glue up and clamp? Or something different altogether?

Thanks...
End grain grain lacks any strength for a glue up. Will there be more than one pice across where the end grain but joints could be staggered? If so, yes a tennon will work... More for stabilizing it in terms of flatness... The strength would come from the long grain joints. Otherwise it would be much wiser to joint the end grain into a long grain board (adjacent to) at each end with a deep tennon.., that should give you enough long grain surface to maintain stability...


~tom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Tom for your reply. I understand what you're saying about staggering. I'm a newbie at all this, but why is it better to place a deep tenon into a butt-like joint for a tabletop than to place a deep tenon into the two ends (not butt joint)? Both tenons will have friction with long grain in glue up (in either butt joint or end-to-end).
 

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debellpepper said:
Thanks Tom for your reply. I understand what you're saying about staggering. I'm a newbie at all this, but why is it better to place a deep tenon into a butt-like joint for a tabletop than to place a deep tenon into the two ends (not butt joint)? Both tenons will have friction with long grain in glue up (in either butt joint or end-to-end).
You could do a deep and long (I know... That's what she said) blind M&T joint if you just really need the look...

I honestly can't answer the physics of WHY... Only speak from past experience and I had issue with cupping and wharpage... Then again I was very green when I tried it... and may have had too shallow a tennon and bad fit.

I guess short of someone else jumping in you'll just have to try and see...

So are you staggering the joints? And is this butt joint a design or material constraint?

~tom
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So are you staggering the joints? And is this butt joint a design or material constraint?

~tom
For the design and "look" I'm trying to achieve, I don't think I'm going to stagger the boards (though structurally that's probably the best thing to do). A lap joint is a good idea definitely, but the only thing is that this is going to be a tabletop, and when one would look at the profile of the top, they could see the lap joint (not a clean edge). So maybe I could do a combination... let the interior boards be lapped, and the end boards be mortise/tenon?

I was thinking giving this a try for loose tenons. Staggering the mortises to strengthen against torquing/breaking along the end joints, and also to lessen curling. It wouldn't be the strongest, but perhaps it could work enough for a mounted tabletop?



Thanks again for your suggestions and experience
 

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In History is the Future
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debellpepper said:
For the design and "look" I'm trying to achieve, I don't think I'm going to stagger the boards (though structurally that's probably the best thing to do). A lap joint is a good idea definitely, but the only thing is that this is going to be a tabletop, and when one would look at the profile of the top, they could see the lap joint (not a clean edge). So maybe I could do a combination... let the interior boards be lapped, and the end boards be mortise/tenon?

I was thinking giving this a try for loose tenons. Staggering the mortises to strengthen against torquing/breaking along the end joints, and also to lessen curling. It wouldn't be the strongest, but perhaps it could work enough for a mounted tabletop?

Thanks again for your suggestions and experience
If you don't want the look of laps no need to do em at all, they're no stronger than a good tennon or deep T&G and it's only making more work for ya with the multiple set-ups. i think you'll be happier with the T&G but if that's going to ruin your look, nm...

What is the pic you attached? I'm not seeing it... Maybe it's just my phone though...

What kind of lumber are you building this with?

~tom
 

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Do this

You can do end to end joinery with a half lap.
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I would half lap all the individual boards, 3 pieces each, into longer ones. Then assemble the longer lengths as if they were one board, ignoring the joints. Just stagger the laps so that they don't go across. It should look like flooring when you get finished, no joints lining up across. The lap joints will virtually eliminate the end grain to end grain issue. ;) bill
 

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if it wsn't going to show, i'd use the finger glue joint bit on router table. otherwise a half lap or biscuits. spline if it was going to show big time.
 
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