The Haunched Mortise and Tenon
How to strengthen the corner joint
Synopsis: Ian J. Kirby continues his series on the mortise-and-tenon joint. In this article, he talks about designing mortise-and-tenon joints and how to stop the joint below the top surface of a table or chair. Using these sloping or square haunched mortises and tenons improves strength, he adds. Illustrations show the form of the joints and suitable proportions. He explains the steps necessary to cut the mortise and tenon and how to avoid common errors.
The most basic of woodworking problems is joining two pieces of wood together at right angles to form a corner. The most common joint for doing this is the mortise and tenon. We are usually in one of two situations: first, where two pieces of similar thickness are being joined, as in the corner of a door frame (fig. 1); and second, where a third piece of wood of dissimilar thickness is involved, as in…