Mortise and Tenon
Choosing and making this basic joint
Synopsis: There are a great many variations of the mortise-and-tenon joint, writes Tage Frid, and the task of the cabinetmaker is to know which variation to use for a particular application and why, and then how to make it quickly and well. In this extensive article, he explains the history of the joint and basic differences between mortise-and-tenon types — lap joints, slip joints, haunched mortises, mitered haunched mortises, and more. He examines dozens of mortise-and-tenon joints and their associated strengths and weaknesses, and then explains how to make them with hand tools. Photos illustrate the steps involved.
Furniture construction is broken down into two categories — frame and casegood. Casegood construction uses joints such as dovetails, finger joints, spline miters, rabbets and the like. Frame construction depends on the mortise and tenon joint and is usually used in tables, chairs, paneled doors, windows, etc. There are a great many variations…