Project: End Table – Update 1

I’ve been playing with Sketchup and learning some new skills thanks to Sketchup For Woodworkers I’ve been learning how to put round overs and bevels on edges. This small change in my understanding has made a huge difference to what I can achieve on Sketchup.

Having discussed the design with some friends at Woodtalk Online I’ve made a few design modifications and I’ve come up with this:

EndTable.Final.Design.1 EndTable.Final.Design.2

A mortise is a (usually) a square slot, although with modern routers it’s more common to see round ends to the hole. A tenon fits snugly into the slot. This is a very strong joint for two main reasons:

  1. When you use glue, you’re gluing long grain to long grain, which is the strongest way for glue to work. When glue is applied to end grain it tends to suck the glue out of the joint.
  2. The tenon has a ‘shoulder’ which should butt up against the mortise, so when pressure is applied to the edge

I’m going to be using mortise and tenon (M&T) joinery for most of the project. So the next question: To drawbored M&T or not?

Drawboreding is a method for strengthening mortise and tenon joinery, by putting a dowel through the mortise and tenon at 90 degrees to the tenon. Not only that, but the hole in the tenon is off center to the mortise by 1/8″, so the dowel is bent inside the M&T in such a way as to pull the tenon into the joint.

There are several advantages to this:

  • I’ll learn a new technique which shouldn’t take too long to master thanks to Marc’s (and others) videos.
  • It will improve the strength of my mortise and tenon joinery, when I’m in no doubt the joints will be a little sloppy due to my inexperience
  • It’ll add a little detail as the end of the dowel is typically exposed.

I don’t have to make the decision until I’m ready to glue the whole thing together.

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