Here is the joint, ready for assembly. Since there are a total of 24 of these for the entire project I'm happy to have the dedicated hollow chisel mortiser to cut all of them. The stone for these tables are some pretty heavy pieces of Travertine. The apron is a bit over 4" wide and, as you can see, the mortise goes the entire width. This is to control any hint of twisting from the apron. The tenon is haunched at top and bottom. Whenever possible I'll use the measurement of a tool as the basis for the haunched area, in this instance I used width of my combination square to determine how long the haunch would be. I'll show you later on why that's beneficial.
|The Final Joint|
A dado head on the table saw was used to cut the tenons. The length of the aprons makes using a tenoning jig on the tablesaw difficult. The first step was to screw a fence to the miter gauge. And yes, that is a gimlet. Why break out a drill when a simple tool will do the job as well and quicker.
|Attaching Fence to Miter Gauge|
Then, a stop block was attached to that fence and carefully adjusted for the exact tenon length but slightly oversize to allow for final fitting of the cheeks:
|Tenon Stop Block|
Whenever I do machine set-ups my habit has been to use a piece of MDF to adjust the blade height and stop block setting. Much easier to replace a cheap piece of MDF then to go back and machine another piece of Walnut that costs close to $7.50 a board foot.
|Exactly 30", Just What I Needed!|
Once the tenons were cut on both ends of the aprons it was time to decide which piece goes where. This is where the grain and color patterns are arranged in such a way that they will flow and be pleasing to the eye. As you get into the joinery and hand work it's really easy to mix parts up. Just as I did earlier on the legs, machinists stamps are used to identify the mating joint parts.
|End Table Parts Being Identified|
|Left to Right: Apron - Bench Hook & Rabbet Plane- Leg Assembly|
|Easier on the Back!|
Now the hand work can begin. First up is laying out the depth of the haunch, I use a spacer that is as thick as the haunch is deep:
|Width of Tenon|
|Final Sizing to Fit Mortise|
Now that all of the joinery is completed the next step will be to add the piece to the inside of each leg to create that triangular, beefier appearance.