Goof-proofing starts with good habits
4 Straightforward Ways to Make Super-Strong Mortise and Tenon Joints
- Without square ends cope-and-stick joints will not align properly. So, crosscut rails square and to final length before routing the coped ends that match the stick profile on the stiles.
- Size the rail-and-stile frame to fit the door opening, and then size the raised panel to fit that frame.
- Use straight-grained stock for stiles and rails to best resist warping.
- If you intend to strengthen the cope-and-stick joints with loose tenons or dowels, cut the mortises after routing the profiles. This prevents tear-out around the mortise and keeps the router bit bearing from dropping into the mortise and botching the profile.