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Fixing a Loose Tenon

fixing a tenon cheekWoodworkers have thousands of little tips and shortcuts bottled up inside their heads. One of the great things about the online explosion of woodworking content is some of this stuff is seeing the light of day for the first time. The bad thing is many of us never share these little tricks because we figure it is common knowledge. Over the last 6 years of publishing woodworking videos online I have been often surprised by the things people take away from my videos as helpful. This has taught me time and again that their is no such thing as a common knowledge tip. Maybe it is a great sign of an influx of new woodworkers or just indicative of our somewhat solitary hobby. Regardless, I am constantly reminding myself to get these tips out of my own shop. So through the magic of print and video, I bring you:

The “Common Sense” Tenon Fix

A few days ago while paring a tenon cheek, the wood split instead of shaved and I ended up with a tenon that had just a bit too much play in the mortise. Sure I could drawbore that joint and fix it but is that the best I could do? No, I should slow down and fix it. Remember my post about tenon cheek offcuts? Well here they come to save the day.

Aug 27, 2013 | Quick fix for a loose tenon by RenaissanceWW on

A few swipes with a block plane, some glue, and time to dry and I was back with saw in hand for take two on creating this tenon.

Aug 28, 2013 | Final trimming of patched tenon cheek. by RenaissanceWW on

I’m a firm believer that the best joinery comes right from the saw. Paring and finessing with planes leads to too much opportunity for a loose joint. It is much better to hit the reset button and saw the tenon again. Who says you can’t put wood back on?

Aug 28, 2013 | Voila perfect fitting tenon by RenaissanceWW on

patched tenonIn the end you can see just how little wood I needed to put back on to make a loose fit go to a perfect fit. If you look closely at the glue line you will see my patch only ended up about 1/32 to 1/16 thick.

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