Thread: Mortise & tenon vs half lap
5th Jun 2009, 10:49 PM #1
Mortise & tenon vs half lap
This may be enough of a newbie question to make some people shake their heads, but I figure I'll never know if I don't ask.
The simple question is this - is there a strength or longevity difference between a mortise & tenon and a half lap joint, or is the choice purely cosmetic?
I'm interested in general terms, but also in terms of something big, like a workbench.
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6th Jun 2009, 12:26 AM #2
Mortice & tenon doubles the glued surface of a half lap joint and if well matched should be a stronger joint. Bang in a couple of glue smeared through dowels & it should last forever. Having said that, it seems like a lot of work for a simple bench.
6th Jun 2009, 12:36 AM #3
M&T also stand up to racking & lateral forces better; they can stay together even if the glue fails, whereas a half-lap...
For a workbench I'll happily use half-laps, but using 'em for something like a dining chair would be... silly.
- Andy Mc (AKA "Ghost who posts." )
6th Jun 2009, 01:09 AM #4
Thanks for those responses. Both points make perfect sense now you point them out.
6th Jun 2009, 10:50 AM #5.
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And just to throw the cat amongst the pidgeons, here's a report that suggests something else, when modern glues are used
Not that it's going to convert me to a half lap where a M&T is historically de rigeur. But it's good to revisit such things as glue technology changes.
Report starts one page prior to the link
Last edited by mic-d; 6th Jun 2009 at 10:55 AM. Reason: corrected page of link
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