After clearing a few little projects around the home, I turned back to the ash sitting bench I’ve been [slowly] making. The design includes a 10° rake on the back legs and that means one thing: angled mortise and tenon joints. One of my favorites. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’d like to talk about mistakes.
The cross rails pictured above are a different thickness than the legs. This means that while the mortises are centered in the legs, the tenons are not centered on the rails. So keeping track of the reference face for the mortise gauge on the rails is SUPER important. And, of course, I messed it up on the very last tenon. Nothing would be square without a fix, and I’d prefer not to make another rail unless I really have to.
In the past, when I’ve pared tenons too thin, I glue on veneer of a similar hardness wood to build it back up. Like the leg tenons on the Stent Panel workbench. So why not use the same trick to build back up one of the tenon cheeks, then widen the mortise on the rail to accept the fatter tenon? I grabbed an offcut from one of the tenon cheeks and glued it back onto the tenon.
After the glue set, I pared the patch down to the correct depth. Then I reset my mortise gauge and widened the mortise to match the fatter tenon. Net net, the joint is tight and the reveal is even (as shown in the first picture above). And because I didn’t lose any of the original tenon’s thickness, the joint is still as strong as it would be had I not messed it up in the first place. Once glued and drawbored, the joint will last forever.
Of course, none of this was necessary to share. But I don’t keep anything from you guys.