Create a standard hidden (blind) mortise and tenon joint with just a few tools. A mortise and tenon joint is one of the strongest joints you can make to join two pieces of wood together. So, this has been used in tables, chairs, you name it. Rob Johnstone: Glue is designed to hold tight and not let go, so this is a serious problem. Additionally, participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links. The mortise hole which will be created for this tutorial is about 2” x ½ x 4” and it’s not too hard as to put pressure on the wrist and arms. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just lines marking the mortise ends and centerline. You can also make the tenon a bit less wide and leave a gap on either end which won't significantly effect the strength of the glued joint. As you fit the joint inside the mortise, notice the part of the tenon where a sizeable amount of wood has to be removed. Continue driving the chisel until you are about less than an inch close to the other side of the mortise hole. How to Make Louvered Doors and Window Shutters, 7 Wood Joinery Methods That Use No Metal Fasteners, Joining Wood Together With Half Lap Joints. Turn the wood upside down and chop off the remaining wood for the mortise hole, 12. Your workbench should be clean and free from debris before you begin with this project. Synopsis: Learn how to build a versatile jig to cut mortises in three … Wood has to be in a vertical position so you can work on the tenon joint easily. The mortise and tenon joint is also one of the best ways to show how great a woodworker you have become. That would be a good sized joint if one was using 2 x 4 lumber to build a traditional workbench. Mortise-and-tenon joints are typically used when one piece of stock is joined to the other at a 90-degree angle, but they may be used at a slightly lesser angle in certain circumstances. The tenon from one piece of wood slots perfectly into the mortise of the other piece and when glued, you can usually avoid having to use nails altogether it’s so strong! Usually, in the shape of a square or rectangular, the two members’ ends are connected by glue or a locking mechanism. When the saw has eaten a huge chunk of the waste wood, tip the saw on the other edge. Here is what you get: You will find that the beveled edge of a chisel is kind of handy to easily remove waste as you drive the tip of the chisel vertically and push waste wood off the hole. The joints are rounded when using a router, but they are just as strong as squared-off mortises and tenons. Aside from simple joining the two pieces together, a mortise hole and the tenon joint might need some help in securing the joint perfectly in place. Several different types of mortise and tenon joints can be constructed. To cut a mortise using a mortiser, simply mark the position of the area to be cut, and then sink the bit into the material, taking small bites at a time. Step 2: Set the Marking Gauge. He shows you the best way to expertly lay out the dimensions and make the proper cuts. It is easy to identify where the mortise hole will be oriented and where the tenon joint will be placed however how do you really cut the wood precisely to make sure that each piece aligns with the other? You might need to push the mortise in since the tenon was really created to be a bit larger than the mortise. His YouTube channel is and his videos teach basic woodworking along with using the right tools and how to care for these tools. Next put the timber back upright in the vice and mark around 5 millimetres in from each end although it can be slightly more with larger tenons. A step-by-step look at the process will give you a good, basic understanding. Use a marking tool with points to scrape the wood to mark the tenon joint, 7. Traditionally, mortises were cut into the receiving piece of stock using a chisel and mallet. Make the marks with an edge guide or use a jig to hold the sides of the 2 x 4. All you need to do is to drive the chisel hard into the mortise and after about four to five blows you might already be finished with the mortise hole. The mortise and tenon joint is one of the most popular types of woodworking joints and there are literally hundreds of variations. Now begin working on the mortise first; this is the rule of making mortise holes and tenon joints. Explaining the Mortise & Tenon. To begin, the mortise and the tenon are made as usual. In creating this kind of joint, a woodworker has to use the most efficient tools and use timeless techniques to create a mortise and tenon. Mortise and tenon joints are great for doors, chairs and tables. A step-by-step look at the process will give you a good, basic understanding. Place the tenon inside the vice in a vertical manner so it can receive the mortise. Pinning a mortise and tenon joint is pretty straightforward. This is so because you rarely make adjustments on the mortise while the tenon adjusts to precisely fit the mortise hole. Then square the mortise walls with chisels. Many drill press manufacturers offer optional mortising attachments, making the drill press a much more versatile machine. A shouldered tenon has all four sides of the stock reduced to conceal the mortise. Measuring the wood alone is important as well as making precise markings on the wood and therefore following these steps closely is essential. A: Of course, the specific mortise-and-tenon size will vary by application, Michael. Chop off wood to make the mortise hole, 10. To begin, the mortise and the tenon are made as usual. You still need to make sure that it fits well inside the mortise and the best way to do it is to fit the two pieces together. This will be where the mortise is cut. Next mark out the tenon on the surface of the second board. The glue will harden and fix the two pieces permanently. Consider that there are different kinds of wood with each one having their own qualities and good points. Use a hand saw to cut excess wood. There are also mortising attachments that can be used with a plunge router. A mortise and tenon joint seems to look a bit complicated however this is easy when you have the right tools and a good knowledge of how to proceed with the project. You can find examples of this ancient joint even in Egyptian furniture thousands of years old. This free tutorial is an excerpt of the 2-disc DVD “Building the Portable Moravian Workbench with Will Myers” ( buy it here ). The trick is to drill the holes in 2 steps: Step one: Start by drilling a hole through the mortised piece. Step1: The first thing you must do is mark out the mortise or tenons and you can start with the tenons. After carefully evaluating what needs to be done with the tenon so it can fit inside the mortise, join the two pieces together. 1. You need a mallet or a standard hammer to work with a chisel to remove waste wood from the mortise hole. You may also use the ½ -inch chisel to completely remove larger pieces. Apply firm strokes on the chisel with the use of a heavy mallet or hammer. Make a drawbored mortise and tenon joint. This is the piece of wood that you will be working on. This is because you’ll find it much easier to shape the tenon to fit into the mortise than to cut the tenon first and try to cut the mortise to accommodate the tenon. Today, many woodworkers use a dedicated mortiser, which employs a drill bit encased inside a four-sided chisel. Use the ½ - inch chisel to finish the job. Dado Blades are a set of blades that you stack up in to make a very thick cutting blade that removes a lot of material at once, and it makes the table saw capable of doing all kinds of different joinery, including, making tenons very easily. Other woodworkers support the already steady mortise hole and tenon joint with nails or screws especially for furniture pieces that carry heavier weights. Instead, you need to decide whether you're okay with the existing tenon or want something larger. You need a basic handsaw to cut the tenon joint. A tenon needs to be a snug fit into the mortise, too tight and it may split the timber around the mortise, too loose and the joint will be weak. Try This Versatile Mortising Jig. Tools required To make this joint, you’ll need a tablesaw, drill press, plunge router, chisel and a bandsaw. Your tenon will basically have almost the same with as the mortise but should be a few millimeters larger for a strong and durable fit. Tenons on a Corner. Then brush glue into the saw kerfs and the mortise’s tapered spaces. The mortise is usually a square hole cut into end of one of the two material or woods that are to be joined. Transfer the marks to the top surface of the board. 2. Mark the wood in close approximation where the mortise hole is going to be placed and where the tenon joint will be.. 3. Mark the wood in close approximation where the mortise hole is going to be placed and where the tenon joint will be. Remember that these two components fit each other so precision is the key. It would be nice to also catalog the various ways of making mortise and tenon joints using power tools. When finished, use a sharp chisel to clean up any rough spots that remain on the walls of the mortise. This will become the shoulder where the tenon … The mortise hole is half done; turn the wood upside down to reveal the other edge of the mortise hole. 4. A square is a handy tool to have around since it makes sure that all the lines needed to guide you as you make the mortise hole and tenon joint line up. Typically, the tenon is little more than a rectangular pin cut from the end of the stock. This marking tool will follow the width of the chisel and has two points to create the marks. Time to cut excess wood on the tenon joint. Traditionally, mortises were cut into the receiving piece of stock using a chisel … Mortise and Tenon Joint Step 1: Tools. Take note: before you start working on the mortise, clear everything from the working table. The router table works well for mortises up to 1⁄4 " wide. Creating a mortise and tenon joint requires close attention to precision and details. Set the depth stop to drill deep enough to encompass the entire length of the tenon, but no deeper than necessary (unless you are creating a through-tenon). The tenon length is usually about 2/3rds … To make a mortise and tenon joint, always cut the mortise first because it’s much easier to cut the tenon to fit an existing mortise than the other way around. So the unmodified joint would look like this. 3. 1. There are many sizes of mortise and tenon joints but for this tutorial, the width of the mortise is about the width of a ½ -inch chisel. Mortise-and-tenon joints are usually cut on a table saw, but they can be made using a router as well. To mark out the tenon you need to start by drawing a line around the entire piece of wood to create the length of the tenon. I bought a 1/2" (12.7 mm) router bit with a cutting length of 2" (51 mm) for the job. Therefore, this size of beveled chisel will be used to chop off waste wood from the mortise. A Mortise Gauge or Marking Gauge: This is important and used to mark lines on the tenon board and mortise, scribing both of them from shoulder to shoulder and the face of the board so you can see where the tenon will go into the mortise. Have you ever wanted how to create a mortise and tenon joint? Step 3: Marking Out. The resulting joint looks like a butt joint but requires no screws or nails, and has remarkable strength and durability. By Bill Hylton. Be careful in driving the chisel in the tenon to avoid accidentally hitting the joint and ruining the work. A fundamental joint for furniture-making, the mortise-and-tenon joint has been time-tested. It's completely natural to worry especially if you have never constructed a mortise and tenon joint before and may have never used the hand tools for this project. But as with every woodworking technique, a bit of know-how and a few tips can make the job easier and more successful. The jig limits the movement of the router during the cut. The top rail and bottom rail join the upright stiles at the corners of the door. Follow these clear instructions to begin the craft of metalsmithing and forge a useful tool. Make sure that all your tools, especially sharp tools, are in a secure place as you safely work on your project. The knife will further guide the chisel to create the perfect mortise hole. It really works and it’s really easy to do. Here are tips to help you make the best joints. Set the depth of … Mortise and Tenon joints are an extremely old construction technique that has stood the test of time and is still being used today. Leave the tenon a little bit fat for the first test fitting. A good rule of thumb when creating mortise and tenon joints is to cut the mortise first, then the tenon. Cleaning the tenon with sandpaper with a large grain could also help but make sure to fit the two pieces together first before you make any adjustments. Watch this blacksmithing video to forge a tennon and complete a mortise and tennon traditional joint in steel. As with the mortise joint the knife marks on wood will be hardly noticeable as you use a saw to cut the waste wood. Tenon is an old-time name for a square piece of wood that sticks out from the end of a board, and the mortise (or mortice in UK) is the square hole that the tenon fits into. With mortises larger than that, I find I have better control by plunging the bit into the work with a plunge router rather than plunging the work onto the bit. You don’t have to worry about these marks being seen since these are merely guide marks. A square edge will allow you to get precise measurements and let you line up all the important points to create a tenon joint and mortise hole. Prepare all the things you will need for the project. Of course, the specific mortise-and-tenon size will vary by application, Michael. A useful tip is to drive the saw hard onto the knife marks on the wood and once you have driven the saw almost halfway its body inside the wood tilt the saw and continue to work. Use a small knife to create a “knife wall” inside along the edges of the mortise hole. Pinning a mortise and tenon joint is pretty straightforward. Move the larger chisel back and forth to finally ready the mortise to receive the tenon. For the mortise hole, use the square to create markings that will line both ends of the hole of the mortise. Any ideas? 1. Step - by - Step Instructions 1. You will find it easier to understand new strategies when you have built a strong basic foundation of woodworking strategies and concepts. You now have a hole that runs through and now you need to clean the hole completely using a small chisel and the ½ - inch chisel. Basically it’s an offset hole in a mortise and tenon joint. The mortise and tenon joint is one of the most popular types of woodworking joints and there are literally hundreds of variations. Remember that any misaligned marks can affect the outcome of the mortise hole and tenon joint so its best to make precise measurements. When cutting a tenon, be careful not to remove too much material as a thinner tenon means a weaker joint. Bear in mind that the joint is strongest when the two pieces of stock are at right angles to one another. The basic idea behind the joint is that, in addition to chopping a mortise (typically in a leg or similar member) in to accept the tenon, another mortise is formed in the tenon itself. Completing the mortise and tenon joint, How to Transition Between Two Different Wood Floors, How To Apply Water Based Polyurethane To Wood Floors, How to Glue Boards Together For a Table Top, How to Make a Perfect Dovetail Every time, How to Join Two Pieces of Wood At 90 Degrees, How to Resharpen a Japanese Ryoba’s Rip Teeth, How To Join Two Pieces of Wood at Right Angles, How To Join Two Pieces of Wood at a 45 Degree Angle, Saws and chisels have to be sharp while mallets and hammers have to be in good shape. Clamp the joint so the tenon’s shoulders are tight to the mortise. Don’t miss out on all of the big sales in the Gadget Hacks and Null Byte shops. The mortise and tenon align workpieces as well as create a permanent joint between the two pieces of wood. The tenon should be 1/16" shorter than the depth of the mortise also. The easiest mortise-and-tenon joint ever The router table works well for mortises up to 1 ⁄ 4 " wide. Care must be taken to cut the tenon precisely, with smooth, flat sides, since this joint depends on a tight fit for its strength. Mark your board for the cuts. These will be completely removed after you have finished creating the mortise hole. Two or More Bench chisels: These tools come in different sizes, picking one or two depends on the size of the work you’re doing. With new and more powerful cutting, rotating and fastening tools for woodworking, it’s easy to do away with manually making a mortise and tenon joint. In the tutorial video, sandpaper was not used to finish the mortise hole and tenon joint and a chisel was used to clean up debris. Now we're making the tenon, and we're using the table saw, with a set of Dado Blades. The link for “How to make a Mortise and Tenon Joint – The Three Joints” is . Like what you did on the mortise joint wood to prepare it for chiseling, use a knife to create undulations on the wood so it can be easily worked on. Prepare all the things you will need for the project.. Make sure that everything you need is at hand and have been... 2. Start by removing a few bits of wood in succession and then chop hard to drive the chisel inside the mortise hole around ½ inch through. When you drive in a peg, it pulls the joint tightly together. The mortise hole is drilled or sawed into the end of a member, and the tenon tongue is fabricated according to a complimentary size. Make sure that everything you need is at hand and have been carefully maintained. This will make it easier to finish the job and will be less stressful on the wrist. A mortise and tenon joint is one of the strongest joints you can make to join two pieces of wood together. If you are new to woodworking, take time to learn the basic techniques and then adapt these to modern and automated woodworking techniques. Lay out an edge mortise (Photo 1). Assemble the pieces, tapping them together with a wooden mallet, if necessary. While tenons can be cut by hand, modern woodworkers will often employ a band saw or a tenoning jig on a table saw to safely form the tenon. Cut the mortise hole first use a knife to create the nicks and a knife wall for the mortise hole where the chisel will start, 8. Cutting the Mortise. The tenon might just need a little cleaning up or a few millimeters of wood removed on either side to help it fit inside the mortise. Modern woodworkers seeking this vintage look sometimes duplicate this technique. Put the piece of timber in a vice on a slight angle to create a neater and straighter cut and then carefully cut along the lines. You need a sturdy workbench preferably with a large vice to hold your wood together as you work on the mortise hole and tenon joint. This mark aligns with the jig’s registration line. Tap in both wedges and clean up the glue squeeze-out. The fit should be snug but not excessively tight. Always cut the mortise first and cut the tenon second. Marking out the mortise and tenon . A good set of chisels should have a beveled side to be able to scrape off excess wood from a mortise hole. For the tenon joint, measure from all sides of the wood including the top to align everything. 2. After driving the mortise in, use a mallet or a hammer to join the two completely. Wherever a jig is required for safety or quality of fit, please also include a photo or link to the type of jig mentioned. And it's a very strong joint and you just make two pieces. The mortise and tenon joint is basic socket joint used for pick axes and other heavy duty tools. If you haven’t made a mortise and tenon before we recommend you make one before you make the haunched variation. Learning how to fabricate these joints will allow you to expand your skill set. Use the same principles for whatever wood is used in any project; just adjust the size of the router bit. The video “How to make a Mortise and Tenon Joint – The Three Joints” is from Paul Sellers. It won't take much depth, so you can just use a sharp hand chisel at a 45 degree angle on the face running parallel with the long grain. Coming in second place next to the dovetail joint, the mortise and tenon joint is the second strongest joint there is!