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Newbie question about tenons

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civvywood

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Hi

My first post here. I'm 50 years old now and fondly remember making a desk at school with four drawers in it. I was 14/15 years old and really enjoyed it but haven't done any woodworking since. I used to love spending hours in the woodworking shop.

I have space in my garage for a workbench and am considering building the Paul Sellers bench. I don't have many tools yet and will be using hand tools, probably second hand from ebay or car boots. I like the older vintage tools (probably nostalgia from my childhood).

Looking at the Paul Sellers bench, I notice that protruding tenons are used. What is the advantage of protruding tenons over flush tenons? Is it a cosmetic thing, or is there some function?

Thanks for any insights.
 

Jameshow

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I'd use a protruding tenon to give the bench more strength against racking when planning, I'd even consider putting some wedges in to give it a really strong joint and also look nice.

Experts will be along shortly.

Cheers James
 

jcassidy

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I think he just likes them. IIRC he uses flush tenons for the top rail?

You can just ask him, he replied quite frequently on Fbook or on his blog.
 

Argus

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James is right about the tenons.

But it's also a bit cosmetic in Paul Sellers case. His tenon-fit is knocked together as a tight fit and combined with glue he probably doesn't need wedges, however, when just beginning some of us produce tenons that may be a little, how may I politely put it.... a little slack. We've all done it!
In this case use some wedges.

There are many designs of bench.....If you are happy following Paul Sellers, don't deviate from his method - it will work and you'll have a good bench. Also, don't compromise on material thickness. You need something beefy that doesn't sway about when you deliver some welly to an obstinate bit of wood.

Moving on.....On the longer sections, if you don't have clamps that length (few of us have) have a look at the technique called "draw-bore-tenons"; you enforce the joint with through-dowels (instead of, or as well-as) wedges. It means that you drill dowel holes that are deliberately misaligned and use the pulling power of the offset dowel-holes to draw the joint extra-tight. It sounds complex, but isn't.
Go to You-Tube and insert that in the search. Paul Sellers has a video that explains it very well.

Here's a link:


Good luck
 

Adam W.

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My slack tenons will make your hair stand on end.

I had a visit from the members of the Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers, who support me through my BA, and they nearly had a collective coronary on the spot when they saw them.

I had a hard time convincing them that it was OK and meant to be like that. I'm hoping they are a bit more relaxed when they see the finished chest.
 
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