Dowel or mortice and tenon

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Terry - Somerset

Established Member
Joined
22 Dec 2012
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
685
Location
Taunton
I am working on a chair project. The sides are splayed (front wider than back) - thus the joints to the legs are not 90 degrees (actually 85 & 95).

The plan I am using shows M&T joints which require mortices to be cut at an angle to fit. Being of somewhat limited talent I have only just about mastered getting a simple 90 degree joint to fit adequately accurately.

One option is to substitute dowels for M&T. Holes can be drilled in the legs with the pillar drill using a simple jig to ensure 85/95 degrees.

Question - are dowels of adequate strength. I would be substituting a M&T of 19x10x30mm with 2 dowels of 40x10mm. Wood is oak.

With thanks for some intelligence to add to my ignorance!
 

Doug B

Shy Tot
Joined
6 Aug 2008
Messages
4,730
Reaction score
4,716
Location
@dougsworkshop
Commercially available chairs use dowel construction so yes they are strong enough, folks will split hairs over the minutiae of which joint is better but at the end of the day both types of joint you mention will work fine.

I’d consider making Oak dowels so they could be any size you like.
 
Last edited:

Spectric

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
19 Feb 2015
Messages
4,214
Reaction score
2,293
Location
North Cumbria
Hi there

I have used dowels for many years, the Dowelmax is really good. Same issues as yourself, not quiet got that level of skill or finess to cut tenons easily although have done some ok joints on my woodrat. To get the strength go deep and use multiples where possible, as an idea on a 3 by 2 I use at least five, sometimes six and go 50mm deep. Now with furniture a joint is more than just a joint, it adds style and contributes to the final product, like dovetails on drawer fronts so would dowels make a difference or the tenon just add that little extra.?
 
Top