A few days ago I showed how I made the drawer fronts and the front apron for a stand-up desk I am building:
Now it is time to make the mortise & tenon (M&T) joinery that will hold the front apron on the legs.
I did something to my left shoulder while lifting a replacement riding mower engine; as a result, pain is keeping me from lifting my left arm above chest height at this time – but it has improved quite a bit. I was thus unable to use the Leigh FMT to make mortise & tenon joints – I hate not being able to use my favorite joinery machine. This meant Plan B had to be implemented.
Plan B: Mortises on the Delta mortising machine (easy decision). Then I had to decide how to make the tenons; I had two three options:
1) The table saw, using a) the tenoning jig, or b) a stacked dado; or, as an alternative,
2) The band saw. Even with a wide blade, making a 6-inch long tenon on the band saw is probably not the best option for critical joinery like M&T. I discarded this option.
Edit to add (after a suggestion by Kari, aka The Village Carpenter, on Facebook):
3) A hand saw. I discarded this option right away, as I truly am not that good with a hand saw…yet. Plus, I don’t have a good tenon saw – maybe it will make a good Christmas gift, don’t you think?
I selected the table saw, using the Delta Deluxe tenoning jig. But first I had to make sure the 67-inch long apron would not hit the ceiling – it fit, with plenty to spare:
The drawer openings in the apron are obvious in the photo above. To provide adequate bracing while in the tenoning jig, the apron had to be supported with another piece on the clamp side – in the photo below I am making a test cut on a waste piece, sizing the tenon thickness, and including the outboard support:
I used a sacrificial board on the back side of the tenoning jig, to minimize the risk of blowout on one of the edges of the apron – the tenoning jig includes the black plate just for this purpose:
Finally, to reveal the tenons, I cut the shoulders using the cross-cut sled:
The full tenon is now done: In the photo belowI have just used a chisel to slightly undercut the base of the tenon. This will ensure I can completely drive and seat the tenons in the mortises – a neat trick to remember:
Next I will split each tenon into two. After that, all that remains will be a little clean-up of the tenon cheeks, to custom-fit each tenon to their corresponding mortise. Oh, how I miss using my beloved FMT!