Layout for Using Dominos to Attach Tops with Tenons


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I would like to make some speaker stands like those below. I would like the column to be hollow to run speaker wire down to the base and out to the receiver. My plan is to just domino the column together to create what's basically a long box. I know I could just screw the base and top on, but that would be too easy, so I want to attach them with dominos. Aside from measuring very carefully, are there any tricks for laying out mortises for attaching bases and tops with dominos? Mortising the column is easy enough, but it is less clear how to best transfer the mortise locations to the top/base to properly align them. It seems like the issue is similar to using tenons to attach a chair seat to the legs, but I've never made a chair, so that isn't much help. 

 

 

 

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Mark the center point for the domino on the ends of the box, the tap a small finish nail int the mark. Snip it off about 1/8" above the surface, and it becomes the 'dowel center' to mark the overhanging top & bottom pieces.

Drill and appropriate pilot hole to make the cut off nail easy to extract.

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I use @gee-dub method as well. As you can see, all of his dominos are not aligned with the outer edge of the bottom piece. Here’s a simple video to demonstrate. There are others out there as well.

Well, I just thought I could copy and paste the intended video. Don’t know if it’s me or the fact that it is a YouTube video. Search case work using the Domino on you tube. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the feedback on this. For some reason I didn't get the normal email notifications about new posts. 

For either the domino or dowel approach, should I be concerned about glue joints constraining the wood movement of the top and base? When I attach table tops, I use z-clips, figure 8s, or buttons to allow for movement. If you look at the picture, there appears to be a lot of cross-grain orientation. Is it ok to use a glue joint here because the dimensions are smaller (maybe 9 inches wide) than what you would have for a table top?

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Rule of thumb I learned was 1/8" of movement across the grain per foot (yes, this is a gross simplification) and not to worry about anything less than a foot.

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Thanks. That's a nice piece. Regarding the dowel connection, do you only apply glue to the dowels? Or do you run glue along all of the contact points between the top and the base? I'm assuming just the dowels to allow for movement, but I wanted to be sure. 

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On 5/17/2024 at 7:07 AM, TomInNC said:

Thanks. That's a nice piece. Regarding the dowel connection, do you only apply glue to the dowels? Or do you run glue along all of the contact points between the top and the base? I'm assuming just the dowels to allow for movement, but I wanted to be sure. 

Thanks.  There is a journal here.  The position I want fixed, the front in this case, gets glued for the full dowel length.  I even put an inch or so of glue at that position on the T&G.  The slotted positions do not get any glue on the tongue; they have to be able to allow movement.  I put a spot of glue on the last portion of the dowel to go in just to fix the dowel in place.

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Making speaker stands with hollow columns for wire sounds like a cool project. When it comes to aligning the mortises for the bases and tops, using a jig can really help. You can cut a scrap piece of wood to match the width of the column and use it as a guide to mark the mortise locations. This should give you a more accurate and consistent result. Using a square or marking gauge can also ensure everything lines up nicely. 

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