Step by step on how to make traditional, simple mortise and tenon joints. a mortise and tenon joint isn’t scary. After you make a few you will be proud that you used traditional joints for your project. This quick tutorial shows you step by step how to make mortises with a router and chisels, plus how to create a perfectly fitting tenon for your joints.
Want to see the longer, detailed version? Check out my hallway table video where I show all the steps necessary to build your own table: https://youtu.be/Amd19eo541k
There are multiple types of mortise and tenon joints, from haunch tenons to wedge tenons, and everything in between. This video is basic overview on how to make a simple mortise and tenon joint. Just like there are multiple versions of this joint, there are also multiple ways to make it. Choose the method that works best for your skillset and tools.
The general rule of thumb is to make your tenons about 1/3” the thickness of the board. It’s a balance. You want a thick enough tenon that the joint is strong; however, if the tenon is too thick then the walls of the mortise are thinner, making for a weaker joint.
In this video, I show how I make mortise tenon joints. I layout my mortise with a combination square. Using a plunge router, I carve out the mortise in multiple passes until I’m at the depth that I want. I always make the mortise first. It’s much easier adjusting the tenon to fit than adjusting the mortise.
After my mortise is routed, I cut the tenons on a table saw using a flat tooth ripping blade. I cut the shoulders first and then I remove the remaining material off the cheeks. To get the right fit, I will make my tenons a tad oversized. I can then use a hand plane to sneak up on the fit.
I’m confident that there are other ways to perform these tasks. This video is a glimpse into my shop and how I make things. If you want to follow along on my woodworking journey, make sure you subscribe and hit the notification bell so you are alerted to my videos.
Here’s a list of tools and materials that I used to make this project. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
•• Tools & Materials ••
Jet Table Saw: https://amzn.to/2RwQTJa
Diablo Ripping Saw Blade: https://amzn.to/30ZOJEV
Starrett 6” combination square: https://amzn.to/3aPMN6n
Starrett 12” combination square: https://amzn.to/2U04x9d
Bosch Router: https://amzn.to/30Yus2A
Narex chisels: https://amzn.to/36dM4dk
Leather strop: https://amzn.to/2LDO3hR
Wood Mallet: https://amzn.to/36dIYWN
General Finishes Dye Stain: https://amzn.to/3n0n5Bw
Brass Setup Bars: https://amzn.to/37yyAZK
1/4” spiral router bit: https://amzn.to/39gDTyM
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