Clamping Mortise And Tenon Joints

■ The traditional way to join aprons or rails to legs is with a mortise and tenon joint. And that's the joint I used on the Plant Stand on page 18. While the mortise and tenons aren't difficult to make, they can be difficult to clamp up correctly.

The clamps don't always apply pressure in line with the mortise and tenon. This can cause the pieces to rack, leaving a gap at the joint line, see Fig. la.

pressure bars. I solved the problem by making a set of pressure bars from two strips of wood connected by carriage bolts and wing nuts. By tighten-

DRAWER

PIVOT DOWN

MOUNT TURNBUCKLE CATCH ON INSIDE OF DRAWER BACK

DRAWER

PIVOT DOWN

MOUNT TURNBUCKLE TO BOTTOM OF

Joints Chest

DRAWER CANT

CUT NOTCH IN DRAWER BACK

DRAWER CANT

MOUNT TURNBUCKLE TO BOTTOM OF

CLAMP APRONS

AND RAILS BETWEEN LEGS

CARRIAGE BOLTS AND WING NUTS

PRESSURE BAR KEEPS LEGS FROM RACKING

PRESSURE BARS MADE FROM 2x4 RIPPED IN HALF

CLAMPING WITHOUT PRESSURE BARS MIGHT CREATE GAP

ing down the wing nuts, the bars keep the legs aligned and counter the racking caused by the clamps.

To make a set of pressure bars, start with a couple of 16"-long 2x4's. Then, drill holes for the dia. carriage bolts, centered on the thickness of each piece and 1" in from the ends. Now, measure across their width and rip them in half, see Fig. 1.

clamping. 1 use the pressure bars in combination with a conventional clamp for each tenoned member in the project.

After the joint is glued and put together, alternate tightening the pressure bar and the clamp until the joints close tight.

CLAMP APRONS

AND RAILS BETWEEN LEGS

CARRIAGE BOLTS AND WING NUTS

PRESSURE BAR KEEPS LEGS FROM RACKING

PRESSURE BARS MADE FROM 2x4 RIPPED IN HALF

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