Mortise And Tenon Joint

Mortise and tenon is a traditional joint that has been used for centuries and can be seen in medieval houses, usually employing pegs or tusks. The tenons are not usually very long:

4in (102mm) is the maximum length for furniture.

There are many variations of this joint for different applications. Tusked tenons are used when the furniture is knocked down (i.e., can be taken apart for storage) or sometimes for decoration; often they are reinforced with pegs for strength. A 'stub' or 'stopped'

mortise and tenon is a variation in which the tenon does not penetrate right through the part that contains the mortise.

The mortise and tenon joint is one of the strongest ways of jointing two pieces in a T-joint, and is traditionally used for fixing the legs to the frame on tables and chairs that use rail and post construction methods.

2 Using a power drill fitted in a drill stand, remove as much of the waste wood as possible.

3 Remove the rest of the waste with a bevel-edged chisel, using a paring action. Hand pressure is usually sufficient, but if it is difficult, a few blows with a mallet will speed the job along.

FIG 4.11

Making a mortise for a mortise and tenon joint.

2 Using a power drill fitted in a drill stand, remove as much of the waste wood as possible.

3 Remove the rest of the waste with a bevel-edged chisel, using a paring action. Hand pressure is usually sufficient, but if it is difficult, a few blows with a mallet will speed the job along.

1 Use a try square to indicate where the mortise is to be cut. Set the mortise gauge to the required width, which is usually between one-third and one-quarter of the width of the wood, and scribe the lines.

The tongue is shorter than the depth of the groove so that there will be no gap in the joint.

FIG 4.10

Tongue and groove joint.

FIG 4.12

Making a tenon for a mortise and tenon joint.

1 Decide on the length of the tenon and use a try square to mark it on all four sides. Use the mortise gauge, already set to the correct width after making the mortise, to mark the width of the tenon. Cut the tenon with an appropriate saw.

Barefaced Mortise And Tenon
2 Test and adjust the joint until it fits accurately and glue in position. When it has set, plane the faces to clean them up
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