Are toothpicks strong?
I wanted to try drawboring for the small project I am working on. Since I am using mortise and tenon joinery for this small piece, I did not want to have to rive 0.080″-thick “toothpicks” to use as the pegs. The more I thought about riving “toothpicks”, the more I liked the idea of using real toothpicks. Why not?
Toothpicks are great for drawboring in small projects!
Before you say to yourself “…Al has gone bonkers…”, take a look at the photo on the right. I drawbored the 5/16″ x 5/8″ tenon into the mortise, using common white birch toothpicks I use in the shop. I damaged the tenon while pulling and pulling; the offset for the drawboring was 1/32″, as I wanted the toothpick to go all the way through the tenon, and almost to the back of the leg.
This joint did not have any glue. I used only one 0.078″- thick toothpick, driven through a 0.073″ hole I drilled using an eggbeater drill. Then I used muscle power to pull the tenon out of the mortise.
I feel better.
In addition to glue, I will also incorporate drawboring into the mortise and tenon joints. I call it extra insurance; I believe it is worth the extra time it takes to drill the holes in the legs, and the offset hole in the tenons.
What do you do?
Do you go the extra step when a small project will be used by little hands?