Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
An ordered approach to fitting tenons?

CJ in MPLS
Woodworking magazines tend to be rather cyclical in their subject matter. One of the topics that comes up periodically, as well it should, is the order of operations for fitting doors and/or drawer fronts into an opening. However I do not ever recall seeing the same type of article on the trimming of tenons or mortises to ensure a good fit. This topic is generally handled as an aside, i.e. 'take a whisper off of the tenon to achieve a good fit."

I have seen an article on undercutting the bearing surfaces of joints to ensure that the mating pieces pull up tight and I have seen the tip on spotting a joint (usually dovetails) with pencil lead to find high spots. However neither of these appear well aligned with fitting a tenon to a mortise as there are a few problems, the main one being that the surfaces being fit are not easily viewable. I can tell that the tenon does not fit, but I cannot easily discern which surface needs to be trimmed to free it up.

It is a given that a good practice is to first ensure that the joint has been properly marked, mortised, and sawn. In one sense, doing this properly may avoid the problem entirely. In another, it limits the nature of the problem to ones that are addressable in an organized fashion. If one is haphazard in layout or execution, the problems are likely to be much more complex. So to set the stage, I am really only talking about an organized approach to tweaking the joint and not a treatise on fixing the kind of cock up where the mortise is 1/8" too large or the tenon has an unintentional 5 degree complex angle to it.

I presume that one would start as one usually does in that reference surfaces are designated (male and female portions of the joint) and then inspected for any obvious defects. But from there I'm starting to rely on pecking away at the parts until something works, which in the end often results in a sloppier fit than I'm happy with.

To complicate matters, if one is dealing with through tenon (which is why I'm thinking of this), the distal end of the tenon cannot be willy-nilly trimmed until it fits as the distal end may well then be made smaller than the exit opening of the mortise. In this instance, my inclination would be to verify that the tenon tip and the exit of the mortise are indeed the correct dimensions, whereafter i would start to enlarge the mortise from its opening side. Throughout all of this I take long moments to breathe deeply and to banish from my mind the idea of swinging a mallet a bit harder to see if that works.

CJ

Messages In This Thread

An ordered approach to fitting tenons?
Re: An ordered approach to fitting tenons?
Re: An ordered approach to fitting tenons? *PIC*
Recent examples with pictures
question
Re: question
Answer
Tell me more
Re: Tell me more
Re: I'll second the float..
Re: I'll second the float..
Re: I'll second the float.. *PIC*
Re: Tell me more
Photos of mortise and tenons
Re: Photos of mortise and tenons
in oak no less
Re: in oak no less
Ooops
Re: Ooops
So long as . . .
Hand Tool Forum
missing the point
Re: missing the point
Re: missing the point
Re: missing the point
ditto
Re: missing the point
Re: missing the point
Re: missing the point
the point
Works for me *NM*
Estimating the width of a pencil line
Re: Estimating the width of a pencil line
confirmation
Re: confirmation - Mechanicals
Re: confirmation - Mechanicals
Perhaps
Re: Perhaps not
Re: Estimating the width of a pencil line
question
Pencil options
Re: question on pencils.
Re: Conic Sections
Re: Conic Sections
Re: question
maybe not
Re: maybe not
Re: missing the point
Re: Hand Tool Forum
good summary
Re: good summary
example *PIC*
Re: An ordered approach to fitting tenons?
I'm lost in the description
Simple enough
just fit one..... *PIC*
Timely question
Re: Timely question
Example?
Re: Example? Photos
Re: Example? Photos
Re: Example? Photos
Re: Example? Photos
alternative view of the cross vise-negative
Re: Example? Photos
Re: Example? Photos
Re: Example? Photos
questions
Re: questions
Re: Example?
Re: Example?
Re: An ordered approach to fitting tenons?
Re: An ordered approach to fitting tenons?
Re: An ordered approach to fitting tenons?
Re: An ordered approach to fitting tenons?
I like it.....
Re: An ordered approach to fitting tenons?
1/4" chisel
Thanks! *NM*
Re: An ordered approach to fitting tenons?
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