Fox Wedging Tenons on a Front Door
Wedging a mortise and tenon tightens the joint up. Not just for now but into the future, even as the timber expands and contracts.
A normal wedge is easy to understand.
A wedge is driven in at either side of the tenon, exerting pressure and holding the joint tight. The timber of the wedge and the tenon is compressed. Any slight shrinking of the timber due to a drop in moisture content is taken up as the compressed timber springs back. So this wedging works well and is commonly used.
However regular wedging of mortise and tenon does require an extra bit of accurate manual cutting.
The ends of the mortise need to be cut back at an angle, usually around 8 degrees.
With fox wedging I don't need the extra process. Thin wedges are driven in to saw cut slots in the tenon. This has a similar effect as regular wedging, i.e. tightening the joint and compressing tenon.
I'm all for saving a bit of effort so Fox Wedging is the right for me. (Let me know your thoughts)
Advanced fox wedging
Dovetailing Fox Wedge. This expands the end of the tenon to fill a angled mortise. Very slick but OTT for door joinery.
Blind Fox wedge. The bottom of the blind mortise pushes the wedges in. I'll have to try this some time so I confuddle folks “How does it stay in with no glue?”
Both of these are over the top for a softwood door but good to know about.
Note: Some say "It's not a Fox Wedge unless it's blind" I stand to be corrected if the consensus goes that way, have your say.
Dimensions For FOX WEDGING a Door
I did some trial to work the dimensions out. The following works well on my redwood door.
Cutting Accurate Wedges
Not easy, so I spent some time thinking of a simple jig.
This jig works well on my table saw and would work equally well on a band saw. It uses a wedge to provide fine adjustment of the angle. The stop at other side of the slot gives consistency to the thin end of the wedge. Have a look at the video to see it in action.
Gluing up a TIMBER DOOR
For an amateur like me, gluing something this size is bit daunting. Its all got to go together, its all got to fit tight and its got to be square. Once the glue is on there's no chance for last minute adjustments. As I'm using polyurethane adhesive that start setting quickly the pressure is really on.
The trick I use, is to sit and think through all the steps of process. After playing the procedure through in my mind a few times I'm ready to start.
VIDEO - FOX WEDGING a TIMBER DOOR
It might also be useful to have an assistant to hand. If like me there's no one available, console yourself, there's no one to witness the minor panics. You might spot my “moments”even after the careful edits.
As always your comments are more than welcome
How to Make a Timber Door