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Tools You Need to Make Mortise and Tenon Joint

Are you thinking about building wooden furniture? The making of mortise and tenon joints is important in woodcraft and can be the perfect solution for your project. It is indeed the strongest way to stick two pieces of wood together. In fact, it is pretty much an art form that requires a lot of skills. Continue reading if you are looking for a guide to make your own mortise and tenon joint.

What Are Mortise and Tenon Joints?

Mortise or Mortice is a hole you make for the tenon to form a joint. The Tenon basically works as a peg that you can insert in the mortise. The mortise is usually made in a square or rectangular shape. Accordingly, the tenon will be made with shoulders that will go around the mortise hole.

What Are the Tools I Need to Make Mortise and Tenon Joints?

These tools will be used when you are making them by hand. What’s more satisfying than using your own hands to build something? Here are 10 tools you’ll need:

  1. A pencil You will need a sharp pencil for this one. It will be used to mark the lines that you are going to drill or cut the mortise and the tenon.
  2. A marking gauge or mortise gauge The marking gauge will be used to scribe the lines on the mortise and the tenon both on the shoulder and the surface. This will give you an idea of where the tenon will go into the mortise.
  3. A combination square This tool will help you determine how deep you need to cut the tenon. The latter will also be important in terms of giving you precise lines. You wouldn’t want your lines to be wavy when you’re about to cut them.
  4. Bench chisels They come in many sizes from 1/8“ to 1”. The size you choose depends on how big the thing you are going to build will be. You will need this to chop the wood into holes on the mortise.
  5. A mortise chisel If you cannot chop out the mortise by using a saw, try to use a mortise chisel. It can also be used to cut out small areas. Therefore, it is good for keeping the small details neat and clean.
  6. A wooden mallet You will need to use this to drive the chisels into the surface of the wood. It can be used to shape your woodwork and to put pieces of wood together as well.
  7. A tenon saw This tool is used to cut the wood that you marked into the shape of the mortise and the tenon. Thus, if you want an exact cut on your wood. This is the tool you will need.
  8. A carcass saw This is like a tenon saw, but it is so much bigger. If you want a deeper and stronger cut, use this tool to make your wood come out better.
  9. Sandpaper When it comes to neatness and polish looking, sandpaper is the answer when you do the woodwork. It will help you get rid of the extra wood that you do not need, and make it decent looking.
  10. A clamp To secure the wood together, you will need this tool. It will make your work much easier as it keeps the wood to stay steady and still.

Types of Mortise and Tenon Joint

  • The Blind Mortise and Tenon Joints, This is the most common method that people use. It gives a decent strength and a nice-looking joint because you cannot see the tenon as it is assembled inside the mortise.
  • The Wedged Mortise and Tenon Joints, If you do not want to use glue to secure the tenon to the mortise, you can try this method. The two small wedges will be inserted at the end of the tenon to give it more strength.
  • Pegged Mortise and Tenon Joints, This one will give you a very strong tenon joint. You will need to drill the pegs in after you glue the tenon into the mortise. To do so, make a hole that the peg can go through in the middle of the mortise and the tenon. Once it fits perfectly in the hole, then you will need to glue the peg up.

Things You Need to Consider

  • Make sure that it fits perfectly, If you want your furniture to last a long time, then take your time while making it. This is due to the glue not lasting so long. Thus, be precise and always make sure that the tenon fits well in the mortise.
  • Try to Keep It Simple, You do not need to do some complicated mortise and tenon joint. The simple one will just do the trick. Unless you have some experience and want to improve your woodcraft skill.
  • Be Very Neat and Clean with Your Work, As woodcraft is an art form, it requires a lot of time and dedication. Do not cut corners because you would not want your art to come out sloppy.

After you find all the tools we recommended, it is time to start your work. If you are a beginner at woodcraft, start by doing basic mortise and tenon joints, and practice regularly.