Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dining Room Table 6

4:58 PM Comments 0

After getting the approval from the clients regarding the final design of the legs I was able to proceed to the final steps, which meant it was time to route the mortises for the loose tenon.

The idea is much the same as the full length spline we used in the table top.

I began by tracing the outline of the mortise on each of the four vertical legs and horizontal stringers.

The mortise is routed out using a plunge router, a spiral up-cut bit, and a homemade jig. The leg is clamped securely in place and the jig is lined up even with the outside line of the mortise.

The depth of the bit was set, the guides on the jig were tightened, and the routing fun began!

The stringer required a bit more ingenuity to clamp securely!

The final result!

The mortise and tenon system is one of the strongest and most widely used joining methods in woodworking. I love this method, but I hate having to integrate the tenon into one piece, so the majority of the time I employ a loose mortise and tenon application.

Let me digress and explain the differences between an integrated mortise-and-tenon joint and a loose mortise-and-tenon joint.

Integrated Mortise-and-Tenon = One piece has a mortise (female) routed out and the other piece has a tenon (male) cut out. The tenon is part of the larger piece, hence the term integrated. The final assembly is therefore made up of just two pieces.

Loose Mortise-and-Tenon = Each piece has a mortise routed into it and they are joined together with a third piece, the loose tenon. The picture below illustrates this method.

The legs and stringer awaiting the gluing and clamping process.

There you have it!  Two sets of legs, all glued up!