Long Stretchers with Through Wedged Tusk Tenons2009.12.05
I started today by chamfering the long stretchers with the block plane. Then I laid out the mortises for the wedge keys that will go through the stretchers and hold them in place. This type of wedged mortise and tenon is often called a "tusk tenon” joint, as the wedges resemble animal tusks.
I used a brace and auger bit to remove most of the waste of the mortise. I made a scrap wood guide to get the angles right. Then I used a mortise chisel and a couple files and rasps to finish up.
I made the tusk wedges from 1/2” red oak.
I wasn’t happy with how far the wedges came through once I had assembled the legs and stretchers. So I decided I needed to enlarge the mortises. Now one of them goes too far through, so I’ll have to make a wider wedge. It’s the circle of life.