Discovering the faults of production type chairs

My wife and I were browsing Half Price Books tonight when a wooden chair caught my eye. What I saw was a screw on the top of the chair where the side was mortised into the top.  So I grabbed my phone and took a couple of pics.

I turned the chair around and I saw the tenon and how small it was in relation to the size of the mortise.

The amount of slop on the tenon was astonishing. Seemed like there was a 3/16″ play all around the tenon. I couldn’t tell how much difference there was between the thickness of the tenon and the width of the mortise but there wasn’t any glue residue on the tenon. You would think with all of the stress put on a chair that the manufacturer would be more attentitive to the proper size of the mortise and tenon joints in their furniture. Just another reason why it’s better to buy furniture from craftsmen who care about their work.

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