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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 05:55 PM
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I do my mortises and tenons with my Leigh FMT Pro, but you could make rounded edge tenon stock using your table saw, a planer to get exactly the right thickness, and a bull nose router bit in a router table to make a perfectly rounded edge of your tenon stock. Then just cut pieces of it to length as you need it for floating tenons to fit your mortises. If made for a snug fit a floating tenon and matching mortises will be just as strong as those made with the FMT, although it will likely take a bit longer to do.

If you study how an FMT Pro is made by downloading the manual from the website and then watching the Youtube videos on it's use, you likely can duplicate most of the function of an FMT using good quality plywood, like Baltic Birch. It might be prudent to buy their templates to get the needed jig accuracy though.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 02:43 AM
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I was talking about using the chisel where you won't see and can't get the router bit into which is close to the shoulders.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 03:02 AM
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"...and I want the grains to match.."

Why would the grains match? One's face grain and the only visible part of the tenon is the end grain. I think I lost something in translation.
How does having the tenon carved out of the rail piece differ from a loose tenon inserted into it?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 03:30 AM
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cut the tenon...
3/16''R half round the edges on the RT...
use a 3/8'' dia forstner bit to cut the edges of the mortise to match the tenon edges..
hand shape what needs to be which will necer be seen,,,
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 12:02 PM
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You could do a standard MT joint or loose MT joint for construction, then do a raised inlay piece to get the look you want.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2019, 12:59 PM
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Cut the mortise with a Forstner bit so it is as long (or even slightly shorter) than the tennon. Make a pattern that mathes the mortise, lay it on the square tennon. Mark the curve on the tennon, and pare fairly close to that line with a sharp chisel. Sand to an exact fit.

Or, make the tennon slightly short so it's maybe 1/8th short of protruding. Then cut out a shape you want to showWITH the grain from a piece of your stock and shape the edge of this piece with your roundover or other bit. Shave away a small bit of the edge to fit in the leftover mortise depth. This will give what looks like a through mortise, but it will be with the grain on the end of this cap. Glue this small cap in place, it will probably last 200 years and look better than the end of your tennon will ever look.

The width of this cap will determine what it looks like on the finished piece. The slight tennon on the back of this cap can be cut to exact width on your router. Remove the shoulder on a long piece so it's uniform. Chop the tennon to length with a Japanese saw and a chisel. It's all hand work, but I don't see any way to avoid the hand work. This cap will also hide any wedges you might wish to put in to make a perfect tight fit.

However, NO ONE will ever check the length of these caps for uniformity and fit. The glue is the hero in this tale.

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Last edited by DesertRatTom; 03-04-2019 at 01:10 PM.
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