Mortise and Tenon Joints

Without a doubt, the mortise-and-tenon joint is used more than any other for woodwork and furniture. There are literally hundreds of variations on the basic joint, but they all work in the same way. The Basics: • By hand or machine: Chisels and handsaws
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  • Build Lighter, Stronger FurnitureBuild Lighter, Stronger Furniture

    by Garrett Hack

    Strong furniture does not have to be beefy in appearance. In fact, you can build very strong pieces that are delicate in appearance by designing furniture that ...

  • File Joints for a Perfect FitFile Joints for a Perfect Fit

    by Chris Gochnour

    Files are great for removing wood when a joint is almost together—but not quite. A file will delicately trim a joint until it slides home with hand pressure and ...

  • How to Make a Double Bridle JointHow to Make a Double Bridle Joint

    by Ian Godfrey

    Strong and handsome, the double bridle joint is well-suited to a structural role in furniture. The double mortises and interlocking tenons provide a lot of glue ...

  • Juice Up Your JoineryJuice Up Your Joinery

    by Hank Gilpin

    Hank Gilpin fell in love with the mortise-and-tenon more than 40 years ago, and he's been playing with the joint ever since, finding ways to add strength and ramp ...

  • 4 Planes for Joinery4 Planes for Joinery

    by Vic Tesolin

    Specialty planes make it easier to build furniture by hand. By adding a shoulder plane, a router plane, a rabbet plane, and a plow plane to his collection, Vic ...

  • Perfect Tenons by MachinePerfect Tenons by Machine

    by Tim Coleman

    When you need to cut a lot of mortise-and-tenon joints, it can pay to take a page from Timothy Coleman's book and treat the whole process as a production challenge. ...

  • Lock Mortises Made EasyLock Mortises Made Easy

    by Michael Pekovich

    Installing a half-mortise lock by hand is a tedious and time-consuming process. So Michael Pekovich designed a routing jig for the shallow mortises, a second routing ...

  • Turn Accurate Tenons with a Modified WrenchTurn Accurate Tenons with a Modified Wrench

    byIan Welford

  • Powerful New Joint: Housed Double TenonsPowerful New Joint: Housed Double Tenons

    by Brian Boggs

    This strong, weather-tight joint takes care of the problem of moisture wicking into the end grain of tenon shoulders on a traditional mortise-and-tenon joint. The ...

  • How To Build Frame-and-Panel Doors by HandHow To Build Frame-and-Panel Doors by Hand

    by Andrew Hunter

    The doors on Andrew Hunter's country hutch are rock solid. The rails and stiles are joined with haunched through-tenons, which are suited to hand-tool woodworking ...

  • Drawbored TenonsDrawbored Tenons

    by Steve Latta

    Drawboring a mortise-and-tenon joint means offsetting the hole in the tenon so that the pin pulls the parts together tightly—and permanently. If your tenon shoulders ...

  • Three tenons are better than oneQ & A: Three tenons are better than one

    by Garrett Hack

  • Clear Chips as You RoutQ & A: Clear Chips as You Rout

    by Gregory Paolini

  • How to Avoid Crooked Tenon ShouldersQ & A: How to Avoid Crooked Tenon Shoulders

    by Michael Pekovich

  • Low-Tech MortisingLow-Tech Mortising

    by Tom Begnal

    The drill-and-chisel method is an approachable, accurate way for beginning woodworkers (or even experienced woodworkers) to cut mortises. It is nearly foolproof ...

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