Make Super-Strong Through Mortises & Tenons
Through-mortise-and-tenon joints typically go together one of the two ways shown at right. Either both parts are the same thickness -- a 3/4" rail mating a 3/4" stile, for example -- or the tenon fits into a mortised part of greater thickness, such as a 3/4"-thick table apron against a 1 1/2" square leg.
To join parts of equal thickness, cut both the mortises and tenons one-third the part thickness. On a joint using 3/4"-thick parts, for example, the mortise width and tenon thickness both measure 1/4".
Quick Tip! Allow some wiggle room. If your smallest chisel measures 1/4" wide, lay out mortises a hair wider than that to simplify chiseling out waste later.
For parts of unequal thickness, make the mortise and tenon up to a third the thickness of the larger part. To join a 3/4"-thick table apron a 1 1/2"-thick leg, for example, cut tenons 3/8"-1/2" thick on the apron ends.
Make the tenon 1/32" longer than the width of the mating part if you'll sand the tenon end flush with the mortised part after assembly. For beveled-end tenons, like the one shown above, make the tenons 1/4" longer than the mating part width.
Free Year + Free Gift! Order NOW and get 1 FREE YEAR of Wood® Magazine! PLUS you'll get our Great Projects for Your Shop guide instantly! That's 2 full years (14 issues) for the 1-year-rate – just $28.00. This is a limited-time offer, so HURRY! (U.S. orders only) (Click here for Canadian orders)
Add your comment
Please confirm your comment by answering the question below and clicking "Submit Comment."