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  1. #1
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    Default 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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  3. #2
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    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.

  4. #3
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    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.
    I may be weird, but I'm saving up to become eccentric.

    - Andy Mc (AKA "Ghost who posts." )

  5. #4
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    Thanks for those responses. Both points make perfect sense now you point them out.

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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
    Cheers
    Michael
    Last edited by mic-d; 6th Jun 2009 at 09:55 AM. Reason: corrected page of link

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