Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Building the 2x Side Table: Joinery Part 4

If cutting big dovetails out of  a few cleaned up 2x12s was not enough joinery for you then maybe this dado, thru-tenon joint will satisfy your hunger.

Its easy to rush a thru tenon joint and end up with a sloppy fit.  I have often approached the method of work with too much confidence, after all its just a square block going in to a square hole right?

We left off having finished the layout and scoring of the mortises.  Personally I would rather fit the tenon to the mortise. I find it easier to sneak up on the fit by filing or paring the tenon.  I find it difficult to keep the walls of the mortise square with the face if I start having to adjust the mortise.  This is my preference, so I start by cutting the mortises.

I use a shopmade slot mortiser to cut them, but a plunge router and template is more than adequate. Dry fit your shelf into the dado and use a marking knife to mark the outline of the mortise.
 Now we transfer the knife lines to the face and layout our tenons.  I prefer to mark the waste portions with pencil to help myself remember what SIDE of the line to cut on.  

I use two techniques to get cut the tenons out.  A Ryoba saw for the outside cuts and for the two interior the familiar coping saw and chisel routine.