What type of joinery for a nightstand with narrow legs


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I'm practicing building a nightstand and I've looked at several pictures to get some ideas. Here's one I kind of like. I'm trying to figure out how to fit the top and bottom aprons and it got me wondering if I should use a mortise and tenon and then I started wondering if you can actually do that from both directions with legs that are only about 1 inch square. Is there a good way to determine what's the minimum needed for strength?

nightstand.jpg

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@Meatwad, you mention legs at 1" square, but the supplied image appears beefier than that. You also mention "practicing" the build.

Are you building the actual piece, or just a scale model? If you are just making a model to visualize, then short-cuts like butt joints should get you by, but as @Mark J suggested, they are a recipe for failure in the actual piece.

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25 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

@Meatwad, you mention legs at 1" square, but the supplied image appears beefier than that. You also mention "practicing" the build.

Are you building the actual piece, or just a scale model? If you are just making a model to visualize, then short-cuts like butt joints should get you by, but as @Mark J suggested, they are a recipe for failure in the actual piece.

I was mainly practicing cutting mortises and tenons. I am not good at tenons yet.

I've got some scrap pine left over I was trying out some ideas for a nightstand. I don't have any plans yet. I just wanted to see what I would need to do. I wasn't talking about butt joints. All the plans I've seen so far use pocket screws and I don't really want to do that.

I've watched several different methods on cutting MTs. I can cut mortises ok but tenons is where I fail. I am trying to saw them by hand but I find it is very easy for me to get my angle off and ruin the thing. Any suggestions?

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3 hours ago, Meatwad said:

I've watched several different methods on cutting MTs. I can cut mortises ok but tenons is where I fail. I am trying to saw them by hand but I find it is very easy for me to get my angle off and ruin the thing. Any suggestions?

Cut them at the table saw with a dado stack. 

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That project depends on how far you want an education in woodworking.

You can make it simple as JohnG suggested or challenge yourself.

If you really just want to get it done and have the table I would just suggest pockets. A pocket is fine with additional bracing in unseem areas...

Dont take on too much of a complicated piece if your not ready. Sometimes it will frustrate you and you won't enjoy the hobby

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5 hours ago, Meatwad said:

I was mainly practicing cutting mortises and tenons. I am not good at tenons yet.

I've got some scrap pine left over I was trying out some ideas for a nightstand. I don't have any plans yet. I just wanted to see what I would need to do. I wasn't talking about butt joints. All the plans I've seen so far use pocket screws and I don't really want to do that.

I've watched several different methods on cutting MTs. I can cut mortises ok but tenons is where I fail. I am trying to saw them by hand but I find it is very easy for me to get my angle off and ruin the thing. Any suggestions?

Do you have a table saw?  A bandsaw? A skill saw? Cutting tenons can be done easy with any one of those tools.  It does take patience though. And always cut them slightly bigger in all directions, and tune them down with either a shoulder plane, a Stanley #78 or a flat wood rasp.

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If you aren't strictly a hand tool guy, you might want to look at the book Marc Spagnollo wrote, "Essential Joinery".  I think that has a lot of useful information.  His earlier book, "Hybrid Woodworking" is good, too.  Marc probably has some videos at "The Woodwhisperer" site.

You can certainly make a tenon with either a table saw or a router, though a trim router might be small for the task.  

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