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For maximum strength, try the double mortise-and-tenon joint

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Cut the mortises first
Router /stopblock/two legs?
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Position the bit within the layout
lines of a mortise, set the edge
guide, and secure stopblock(s)
to fix the mortise's length.

Cut the mortises first

Prepare your workpieces, along with one extra for testing the mortise setup and another for testing the tenon setup. Mount an edge guide on your router and install a spiral upcut bit to match the mortise width.

Lay out the mortises; then clamp two legs together to provide a broad surface for the router to ride on. Set the edge guide, as shown in photo, and double-faced-tape stopblocks to define both ends of the mortise. For mortises near the end of a workpiece, there may not be room for a second stopblock; in this case, simply rout to the layout line.

Rout the inside mortise in each piece, reposition the workpieces so the edges that were inside are now outside, reclamp them, and rout the second mortise in each piece. Repeat these steps to rout mortises in all of the workpieces and the test piece.

Reset the edge guide to remove the waste between the mortises in the test piece only, making one large mortise. You'll use this when dialing in the setup for the tenons in the next step. With a chisel, square up the ends of all the mortises, including the test mortise.


Continued on page 3:  Tenons times two

 

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