what tenon diameter for stool legs?

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what tenon diameter for stool legs?

Postby gavin » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:28 pm

I just bought a 2 inch elm plank which I will convert into stools for an upcoming show.
The stools will have no stretchers and will be cleft and not turned, except for Veritas tenon cutter :D
    What diameter tenons is best for 12" legs ?
    What diameter tenons is best for 15" legs?
    What diameter tenons is best for for 19" legs?

Mike Abbot's Greenwoodwork p146 suggests 7/8" or 1" diameter for a stool with stretchers. I wonder how much fatter the legs must be if they have no stretchers?
Gavin Phillips


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Re: what tenon diameter for stool legs?

Postby Donald Todd » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:35 pm

7/8" should be adequate for all those sizes. The crucial dimension is how deep the mortise is. Generally you want the mortise depth at least 50% more than the diameter, but more than 100% (that is X2) is overkill. 19" without stretchers is impractical. It all comes down to leverage.
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Re: what tenon diameter for stool legs?

Postby Windsorman » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:17 am

I like drilling completely through the stool top. Seat the top on the tennon shoulder. Then split the tennon from the top perpendicular to the seat grain and insert a wedge. 7/8" should be plenty of tennon.
Just my 2 cents.
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Re: what tenon diameter for stool legs?

Postby emjay » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:19 pm

I've just put 20 inch legs into a 2" oak seat. Drilling thro' at 1"dia' then reaming to 9 degree included angle with a home made reamer. The legs are cleft and shaved to about 1 5/8" dia' and the 9 degree tenon turned on the lathe. This gives a nice transition from tenon to leg. Also wedged and glued.
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