Making A Haunched Mortise

Chisel the sloped section of the mortise by hand.

This area, called the haunch, helps prevent twisting. When chiseling, leave the table legs long to keep them from splitting near the top.

Use a plunge router with a fence. The plunge router will allow you to creep up on the full depth of the mortise by taking light passes. The fence will ensure accurate alignment of the mortise with each pass. For efficiency, size the mortise to a straight bit in your collection.

Check the results using a small shopmade template. The template, cut to the angle of the haunch, makes it easy to check your progress as you chisel the top of the mortise.

Chisel the sloped section of the mortise by hand.

This area, called the haunch, helps prevent twisting. When chiseling, leave the table legs long to keep them from splitting near the top.

Use a plunge router with a fence. The plunge router will allow you to creep up on the full depth of the mortise by taking light passes. The fence will ensure accurate alignment of the mortise with each pass. For efficiency, size the mortise to a straight bit in your collection.

Check the results using a small shopmade template. The template, cut to the angle of the haunch, makes it easy to check your progress as you chisel the top of the mortise.

The best defense against these stresses is a well-designed, tight-fitting mortise-and-tenon joint that locks apron to leg. The mortise and tenon is not only a good joint for tables, but it's also widely used in the construction of all types of furniture, including cabinet doors and chairs.

Make tenons as thick and as long as possible

When deciding on the sizes of joinery components, the key is to attain a workable balance. Too large a mortise, and you risk weakening the leg; too skimpy a tenon, and you lose glue and mechanical strength. Ideally, you want the tenon to be as big as possible, with the joint located to maximize the mechanical connection. That means the shoulders on both sides of the tenon (which butt against the leg) must be substantial enough to resist bending and twisting forces.

When laying out the size and placement of tenons, a full-scale, top-view drawing will help you understand the orientation and relationship of all the parts and will help as you cut the joints.

Thicker tenons are better—You want the tenon to be as thick as possible. A good rule of thumb is to size the tenon thickness a little more than one-third the thickness of the apron. While the one-third rule is a good general guide to follow, sometimes it's better to make exceptions. If I'm building a table out of a softwood, such as butternut, with aprons only 3A in. thick, I make the tenons at least 5/i6 in., maybe even 3/s in. thick. Any smaller, and a sharp bump to the leg might snap the tenon right off. Because you rarely see the thickness of an apron, one good design strategy is to make it thicker—% in. or 1 in. will provide larger, stronger shoulders.

Long tenons provide more glue surface—When it comes to tenon length, you want to create as much strong long-grain glue surface as you can. Naturally, a longer tenon has more glue surface along its cheeks (the wide faces of the tenon) and provides more mechanical strength to the joint. As a general mle, the longer the tenon, the better, assuming the leg it mates with can accommodate it without risk of damage. A tenon that's three to four times longer than its thickness is quite adequate.

Shoulders resist bending forces—When designing a mortise-and-tenon joint, look to create shoulders that are as large as possible and to have a shoulder on each side of the tenon (rather than one side only). Such a design is better suited to resisting bending stresses from either direction. The shoulders have the

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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Responses

  • kenneth ingraham
    How to make haunch mortises for table legs?
    8 years ago
  • William Hughes
    How to make a haunch tenon?
    3 years ago

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