My Roubo Bench Journey #22: Sloppy, very Sloppy Joinery :0(

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I finished tuning the short stretcher tenon and mating mortise today. The joints suck, they are loose fitting and sloppy workmanship. I am not happy with the results. I was trying to do too much yesterday. I should have slowed down and taken my time. Here is the results:

I did a terrible job on cutting the tenon shoulders, they are very uneven. No fixing that unless I replace the stretcher-not going to do that. I plan on repairing the sloppy fit by gluing shims onto the face of the tenons, then re-fit them to the mortises. I am also going to use the drill press to bore the mortises in the other two legs, that should help alleviate the problem with the mortises not being square. The knots in the wood really gave me fits during the tenon sawing and excavating the mortises. I am going to slow down while working the next two legs.

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Thanks guys, I do intend to draw bore the leg tenon joints, so that and reworking the tenons should tighten things up a bit. I am currently out of town, so I don’t expect any work to resume for at least another week.
Happy Turkey Day to you all.

An other option is to use a thickened epoxy mix, enough in each mortice to get some squeeze-out.
just make sure everting is square. There will be no going back after the epoxy is cured, but it will be strong.

-- Tor and Odin are the greatest of gods.

Hand chiseling those thick pieces isn’t easy to get really good results. Luckily there is no shame in gluing shims onto the tenons. The joints will be just as good and strong with them.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

Yeah looks like a good fit in the photo. Shims are good. I messed up the tenons on my first door build pretty badly and I used some shims like you proposed. It’s been through 3 season changes and hasn’t racked or fallen apart so it seems like a good idea to me. Maybe not perfection but really it’s only the end result that matters and it’s easy to see in your photo that the stretcher LOOKS like a good fit. So you’re on your way.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

I don’t see anything sloppy and no need to replace. Like you say shim a little should do it.

I admire you for using hand tools to do all that.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

I had trouble with my stretchers as well. Mine was due to one of the legs not being quite square. I used the drill press for depth but only had a 1 inch bit and needed a 1 3/4". In the end it worked out for me, as I am sure yours will for you, I just hated creating extra work for myself as I’m sure you do as well. I still can’t get over how massive your bench top is compared to mine. I think the weight is about the same tho, yours just looks more impressive.

-- CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

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