89 – How to cut Perfect Mortise and Tenon Joints in Minutes

89 – How to cut Perfect Mortise and Tenon Joints in Minutes

How to Cut Perfect Mortise and Tenons Quick and Easy

I get a great many emails asking me what is the best way to cut mortise and tenon joinery. I don’t think there is any best way, but I made this video to show you a quick and easy way using a router and a table saw sled to make perfect mortice and tenon joints.

Here is a link to see how to build my table saw sled:

Things we used for this project:

WoodRiver No. 91 Small Shoulder Plane – https://amzn.to/3wGWjFk
Bench Plane – https://amzn.to/3HJd74G
Combination Square Set 6″ & 12″ – https://amzn.to/3kB2jfW
Festool Kapex Sliding Miter Saw – https://amzn.to/3DvoCdC
Kreg Trak and Stops Kit – https://amzn.to/3ZVgnkB
Kreg Self-Adhesive Measuring Tape – https://amzn.to/3DGNpLU
Grizzly Cabinet Table Saw – https://amzn.to/3wXwzo1
Microjig Grr-Ripper Table Saw Pushblock – https://amzn.to/3XQ7I1y
Pneumatic Pin Nailer Kit – https://amzn.to/40kXlUQ
Dewalt Bar Clamp – https://amzn.to/3Rgtzgd
Bosch Plunge Router & Fixed Base – https://amzn.to/3X0R3XS
Flush Trim Router Bit Set – https://amzn.to/3X4YCgf
Table saw Dado Blade – http://amzn.to/2wZH7m1
Shinto Saw Rasp – https://amzn.to/3JpTNuG
Libraton Wood File Set – https://amzn.to/3wKMPsM
Safety Glasses – https://lddy.no/1etqg

CA Glue with Activator Bundle – https://amzn.to/3XnHp1q

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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  1. survivalsearcher on March 8, 2023 at 6:56 am

    Those mallets are sick nasty

  2. Michael Steventon on March 8, 2023 at 6:57 am

    Good vid, however, you need to take more care when using the file, you were cutting into the shoulder!!!!!!!!!

  3. 40 acre farms on March 8, 2023 at 6:59 am

    will that set up work on timber framed post beams rounded or do they need to be squared off for the pegs to hold better? im wanting to build a timber frame house and out of all the videos i have watched your way seems much faster

  4. Wood Slice on March 8, 2023 at 6:59 am

    Is that the photo bomber. Looks bright yellow 😉

  5. Jeremy McClanahan on March 8, 2023 at 7:01 am

    I love how your family joins in working in the shop.

  6. TRUSTNO1 78 on March 8, 2023 at 7:01 am

    I was skeptical on this video, but hey, it was a great video. Thanks dude

  7. Andy aam21spsl on March 8, 2023 at 7:01 am

    That jig will make things so much easier, and so simple. What a Blessing to have your children interested and working along with you.

  8. Eugene A on March 8, 2023 at 7:06 am

    but how you cut that square perfectly in plywood is a good question. got get that right first

  9. Dave Feinglass on March 8, 2023 at 7:08 am

    Hi James, It seems the links for the items used in the video are no longer active links, just text. Can you share which spiral upcut flush trim router bit you used? I’m looking to adopt your techniques here and wanted to get the right high end router bit. Thanks in advance and thank you for sharing this method. I’ve watched every YT video on Mortice and Tenon joints and this seems by far the easiest and most readily repeatable method. Well done.


  10. Want2Race on March 8, 2023 at 7:09 am

    I can’t help but think the tenon could have been done by router too.

  11. Nathan on March 8, 2023 at 7:10 am

    Another great video, clear and to the point. Very beautiful work. Wish you the best

  12. Vitas on March 8, 2023 at 7:10 am

    Thank you, great job as always!

  13. Terri Albright on March 8, 2023 at 7:11 am

    Great. Video. The router bit didn’t have an active link, which bit and bearing did you use?

  14. tyreese goonjabi on March 8, 2023 at 7:12 am

    I just love watching these guys work together, being a father of 3 young girls it’s really inspiring to see you guys go at it together creating such wonderful pieces and sharing your knowledge with us all. Thanks so much.

  15. Ace Many on March 8, 2023 at 7:14 am

    Thanks James. You remind me of my shop teacher Paul. Brings back memories 🍦

  16. R Star Guitar on March 8, 2023 at 7:15 am

    You know I just wanna stop and say how generous it is of you and your time to show people like me how to create A mortise and tenon you were able to simplify it to a digestible process . I discovered your channel maybe a year ago and I’ve been very impressed with not only your generosity of information and giving of your time not to mention the friendly way you deliver it I appreciate what you do for this community that I am hopefully becoming part of

  17. Артур Астежев on March 8, 2023 at 7:15 am

    Hi from Russia, thanks for video!

  18. Derek Willis on March 8, 2023 at 7:16 am

    I should have watched this video before I made my table. I’ve watched a bunch of other videos where the people showing how to make the mortises by drilling out and chiseling the wood from the hole. Well, maybe my chisels are not as sharp as I think they are. I had a hard time chiseling out pine. I got better at it by the end. Your method seems to have a very low labor intensity.

  19. pleappleappleap on March 8, 2023 at 7:17 am

    I think I’d prefer using a tenon saw to cut the tenon rather than a table saw.

  20. Jimmy Saunders on March 8, 2023 at 7:19 am

    Well that’s now the way I do them. Thank you. Also when I get paid I’m going to order your rocking chair plans 🤪

  21. anxhelin on March 8, 2023 at 7:19 am

    Very informative, thank you!

  22. Matthew Farrer on March 8, 2023 at 7:20 am

    What bearing/bit was used in this video? I didn’t see a link for it in the description.

  23. mike on March 8, 2023 at 7:21 am

    I wish I had a dollar for every time he says "gonna" – – it cold pay for my property tax this year

  24. Shaz on March 8, 2023 at 7:22 am

    You forgot to put links to the stuff you used.

  25. steve price on March 8, 2023 at 7:23 am

    I love jigs, got a bunch of them, in my new shop I’m going to have a "jig space" where I can keep all my jigs and templates stored that I have made up. Since I have gotten older, I tend to shake and can’t see as well due to health problems, my jigs make my wood working so much easier and fun

  26. zach smith on March 8, 2023 at 7:23 am

    What if you take away too much material when creating the curved edge of the tenon? Would this cause issues with the fit since it’s covered in glue inside the mortise?

  27. mysticwizard on March 8, 2023 at 7:23 am

    I know this is an old video and you might not ever see this, but for anyone else’s edification: It is generally bad practice to shoot a nail gun into a board vertically if there is a person standing a few feet in front of you, as seen in this video. It isn’t exactly a freak occurrence for nails to fly right through whatever you’re shooting into, even less so for nails to decide they’ll misbehave and fly out at random angles. You lessen the probability of shooting someone in the eye by at least tacking boards away from any bystanders.

  28. Sean Regehr on March 8, 2023 at 7:24 am

    This is quite solid.

    IMHO though, the mortise and tenon should always be squared. The reason I say this is because the entire purpose for utilizing a mortise and tenon is for longevity and quality. The square corners add strength and over time will hold tighter with less play or wiggle.

    Even so, this definitely improves the mortise making, even if you decide to cut out square corners.

  29. Phil Vanderloo on March 8, 2023 at 7:25 am

    I’m having a problem finding a spiral upcut "plunge" bit with a flush trim wheel on the bottom and I see you have no link here for yours. Can you guide me to one? Great vid by the way.

  30. C Benz on March 8, 2023 at 7:27 am

    Would you share what "top of the line" router bit you used?

  31. Audioventura on March 8, 2023 at 7:29 am

    james, could you maybe explain to me wich one you prefer and why: Combination square or Double Square? Is there a difference in angle precision between the two?

  32. Will Evans on March 8, 2023 at 7:30 am

    Where would you use the block plane ,you mean if you haven’t lined up your joints properly you mean?

  33. Alden Pike on March 8, 2023 at 7:32 am

    you have the best informative video and narration on youtube IMO. thank you!

  34. Larry Taylor on March 8, 2023 at 7:33 am

    James I just stumbled upon this most helpful video this morning. You’ve opened the door that just solved a major challenge for me. Now I know just how to make a triangular mortise and the mated tenon. Thank you ever so much.

  35. Badman XXL on March 8, 2023 at 7:33 am

    WOW – suuuuuper👍✌️👍✌️

  36. koruki on March 8, 2023 at 7:35 am

    wow the shaving of the tenon instead of chiseling the mortise tip is awesome for quick jobs

  37. doctortono on March 8, 2023 at 7:37 am

    Where I can buy a circular saw blade like that?…I mean the saw only no the table saw

  38. Chris DeMeglio on March 8, 2023 at 7:40 am

    As always, your videos are so detailed and concise. You referenced the high end router bit that you used to create the mortise but can you tell me what bit it is and where you purchased it? Thanks.

  39. Terence Hertweck on March 8, 2023 at 7:40 am

    That video was very well done and very informative. Thank you

  40. Jaben Build on March 8, 2023 at 7:40 am

    I’m about to make a harmonica door with slats. 4 doors with in total 192 mortise and tenon joints. But I’m contemplating if I’m no going to use biscuits… it is easier and it will not get much load to bear

  41. Ken OCALLAGHAN on March 8, 2023 at 7:45 am

    Thanks for the video! Do you think this method is good for through tenon as well? Thx, Ken

  42. Adam Wilks on March 8, 2023 at 7:46 am

    Just wonderful. Thanks.

  43. tarik benabdallah on March 8, 2023 at 7:46 am

    thank you so much ,great explanation

  44. Mikael on March 8, 2023 at 7:48 am

    i need those small adjustable square ruler, i cannot find on china online store, would you guys suggest if ya know

  45. Brad McNamar on March 8, 2023 at 7:51 am

    This video really demystifies the process for rookies like myself. Thanks a million for the great video

  46. Natalia Hayden on March 8, 2023 at 7:51 am

    Would be great to get links to the tools used in this video.

  47. Ray Montella on March 8, 2023 at 7:51 am

    Thank you
    Am doing my first mortise and tenon table and was gong to
    Hand chisel the project but not now After seeing that great easy way to do it.

  48. Harry Mortimore on March 8, 2023 at 7:52 am

    Great video James.
    Who makes the spiral upcut bit that you used and where are they sold? I have had zero luck finding any.

  49. Christopher Widdis on March 8, 2023 at 7:53 am

    Useful and well explained to the point video!!!

  50. Val Distor on March 8, 2023 at 7:53 am

    Always wondered how this joinery is done, it is not easy but with lots practice I think I can follow it. Thanks it really helps me a lot.

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