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For maximum strength, try the double mortise-and-tenon joint

On long-legged projects, any twisting force applied to the tabletop amplifies stress on the connections between the stretchers and legs. Although the simple notch-and-screw joints used for the table provide ample strength, a double mortise-and-tenon would be an even stronger choice.

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On long-legged projects, any twisting force applied to the tabletop amplifies stress on the connections between the stretchers and legs. Although the simple notch-and-screw joints used for the table provide ample strength, a double mortise-and-tenon would be an even stronger choice. It provides more physical resistance to twisting, and twice the glue surface of a single mortise-and-tenon. To cut it, you need only a spiral upcut bit for your plunge router, a tablesaw saddle jig, a couple of hand chisels -- and these easy-to-follow instructions.

Sizing the joint
When you choose to use a double mortise-and-tenon, keep in mind the minimum dimensions shown right. These dimensions create tenons at least 1/4" thick with 1/4" between them, at least 1/16" tenon shoulders, and allow for a 1/4"-thick outside wall on each mortise.

Make 3/4" and deeper mortises at least 5/16" wide, as a 1/4" router bit may break when routing that deep.


Continued on page 2:  Cut the mortises first

 

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