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Suitable woods for through tenons.

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Andy Kev.

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I've just read this in The Essential Woodworker by Robert Wearing:

Through tenons are particularly suited to the coarser grained woods, oak, ash, elm and chestnut but not to the finer mahoganies and similar woods. (p. 148.)

Has anybody got any thoughts/views/experience on this? I had an unsatisfactory go at through tenoning pine but thought that it would be fine for any hardwoods.
 

Trevanion

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I don't see and reason why you can't do through tenons with mahoganies and similar exotics. Perhaps Wearing was talking about the fact that open grained timbers such as Ash and Oak have more prominent endgrain and can add to the look of a piece, whilst the endgrain of mahoganies and such is usually not very prominent and therefore not particularly attractive?

I've never had any mechanical strength issues with Sapele which is a sort-of-kind-of but not a true mahogany, so perhaps he's just on about the aesthetic rather than anything else. I'm not a fine furniture maker though so not the best to ask about it! :)
 

custard

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Unfortunately we can't ask Mr Wearing what he meant by that, however I guess it was an aesthetic rather than a structural comment.

There's absolutely no reason why you can't complete a through tenon in a close grained hardwood, but through tenons are such an integral part of the Arts & Crafts lexicon, that you expect to see them executed in open grained timbers like Elm or Oak or Sweet Chestnut.
 

MikeG.

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I can't see why a through tenon would be exclusive to any particular category of timber. I bet you could do a decent joint in balsa. And through tenons in pine are fine, so long as you remember that pine isn't the easiest wood to work neatly with.
 

Ttrees

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How much is in these publications of old?
Maybe it's the Hayward book that's the most vague, causing arguments over the knowledge of the cap iron, and the I knew this allready, tis in the book?
From reading that snippet, you would need be some kind of genius.

Of all of the, all too brief statements, made by the daddy's of woodworking literature...
This one confuses me the most.
It alludes to have some very valid point, possibly the editor or bean counters, snipped a bit off.

Is there actual evidence of these "daddy's" being old skool skilled craftsmen?
One could suspect these folks being pencil pushers rather than woodworkers?
Never looked at these publications much, so will gladly be shot down in flames on this
with some pudding.

Edit: Didn't realise Mr Wearing is from within this century.
Surely someone has questioned him on this, like Chris Schwarz or the likes?

Thanks
Tom
 

Andy Kev.

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Thanks for the replies. He perhaps was writing from an aesthetic point of view. Maybe he just thought it was self-evident e.g. if you are going to have through tenons, you'd better have dramatic end grain.
 

thetyreman

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I've done it in pine with no problems, oak looks nice though because of the ray fleck so it can be an attractive feature.
 

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