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I have been playing with joinery as part of a pair of work stands I am building. I decided to have some fun to see what I could come up with. I am calling a Saber Tooth Tenon (however itís common name is forked tusk Tenon) but Saber Tooth sounds cooler.
The problem with a standard tusk Tenon is that it wants to split the Tenon. The other problem is cutting a beautiful clean ~8mm wide tapered wedge mortice in such small stock is difficult. So I came up with the idea of putting the wedge around the Tenon. While it is possible for the Tenon to expand and split the wedge, I have allowed a 0.25mm gap to the inside legs of the wedge so if we have some expansion we should have made sufficient accomodations.
The other factor is that the wedge recess actually sits about 0.5mm inside the leg (photo 4). This should ensure, that as the leg undertakes seasonal movement the back of the wedge will continue to ride against the leg and the front will remain in contact with the leading edge of the Tenon wedge recess.
The added benefit of this design is that the wedge behaves as if it was two wedges in terms of surface area in compression. The whole structure is rock solid.
Otherwise what do you think? It is not a common joint as I have never seen it in a book and have only found two references online to it.
My next task is to improve the process undertaken via this prototype. 75% of the joint was cut by Japanese hand tools only the wedge was cut on the tablesaw. Then cleaned up by hand.
Their are some tricky steps that I need to make less fiddle.
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It looks quite neat. Can't say I have seen a joint like it before. Would add a bit of style to some projects.
The only "flaw" I can see in the design is the wedge. Or more accurately, the small cross section of long-grain holding the two halves of it together.
If someone were a tad overzealous in tapping it into place - or even mis-hit a corner instead of square on the top - it could easily separate into two halves.
I certainly like the look of it though! In appearance it reminds me a lot of a pegged wedge; a similar joint, except there's no rebate in the tenon for the wedge to seat into & the mortise in the wedge stops short of both ends. It slips over the tenon (like a washer), a couple of through pegs are placed in the tenon and the wedge is tapped to hold against those.
- Andy Mc (AKA "Ghost who posts." )
A good curly grained wood for the wedge would be the go and the thick end could also be wider. Laminated even. There would be plenty ways to get a good wedge. Engineering wise its not going to be better than a regular tusk tenon but it does have a nice look to it.
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