Woodworking Plans & Tutorial

How To Make a Mortise & Tenon Joint + Tools

Most of the projects made from wood are not only one piece of wood processed into that one final product.

Most of the projects you see daily combine several pieces of wood and this process of attaching the pieces of wood in a certain way is called jointing the woods together.

You have to keep in mind that the joint we will discuss today is a unique joint and that it is not suitable for every wooden project.

How to make mortise and tenon joint?

This is the central question of the article, and further into the article, we will be talking about making mortise and tenon joints and the tools we will use to achieve this effect.

We must mention that the joint isn’t the only thing keeping two pieces of wood together.

So, let’s get into the article and learn.


What is a wood joint, and what is it used for?

We shall start with an example so you will get the statement even more.

Imagine that you are building a chair, and you have to attach the legs of the chair to the piece that the user of the chair will sit on.

There are several ways that you can attach these two pieces:

  • External joints
  • Internal joints
  • Glue
  • Nail
  • Screw

You can use these methods to get two pieces of wood together. However, some of these techniques are not that efficient, meaning that there is a possibility that your project will fall apart eventually.

However, the internal joints are the best option on this list.

Usually, the joints consist of two sections:

The slot and the penetrator.

As you can see, these pieces complete each other; without one, the other is useless.

Now let’s see how a joint works, the example that we will use is the mortise and tenon joint:

Mortise and tenon are two separate pieces, one in the slot and the other one has a compartment that will go into the slot and makes it secure; however, by adding glue to the part that is going in, you are ensuring the safety of the project.

Usually, these kind of joints can be used to get some of the critical pieces into one, such as:

  • Table legs
  • Chair legs
  • Frames
  • Cabinet walls

There is one crucial difference among the joints in the woodworking world; in this section, let’s compare two popular joints and see which one is the best?


Mortise and Tenon joint vs. Domino joint

Mortise and Tenon Domino
Only one piece of wood gets to be the slot Both of the woods are slots
Less likely to break under pressure Likely to break the joint under pressure
More versatile Used for certain projects

As you can see, the difference is evident.

The Mortis and Tenon joint is more durable because one side of the joint is the wooden piece itself.

On the other hand, it is much simpler to use domino joints. If you want to learn more about Domino jointers, here is the full article.

However, we will discuss how to make mortise and tenon joints in this article so let’s go.

How to make a mortise and tenon joint? (+4 step tutorial)

In this section of the article, we will discuss the exact instructions for making a mortise and tenon joint; if you are wondering how they are made and want to craft your own, keep reading this article.

Stage I

Prepare the two pieces of wood you are trying to use for mortise and tenon joints; one of these woods will be Mortis, and the other will be tenon.

Stage II

Use a chisel or a saw to cut out a USB connector shaped piece on the wood. Remember that this piece has to stay on the wood, and this will be your tenon joint.

Next, you have to measure the dimensions of the part that you cut out and then create a big enough slot on the other wood so that the tenon will fit inside of this slot. And this piece will be called the Mortis.

Stage III

You must dip the tenon joint in wood glue and insert it into the mortise slot.

You must use a heavy object or something to push these two pieces together to ensure they stick together.

Stage IV

After the glue dries, you can use a chisel to clean the extra glue busted out of the slot. And then you have to sand the whole project, and in the end, you have a perfectly functioning mortise and tenon joint.

Now that you know how to make a mortise and tenon joint, let’s list the tools that you have to use to make this joint:

  • Flat chisels
  • Hand and machine saws
  • Wood glue
  • Vise
  • Jointer (optional)

A combination of these tools will help you create the same joint we described in this article; however, ensure that you always wear your protective gear just in case of any accidents.

By this point, you know how to craft a mortise and tenon joint, and you are aware of the tools you have to use to get the best joint.

Now let’s move on to the article’s last section, which is the conclusion.


Last but not least

In this article, we talked about the fact that there are lots of ways that you can use to join pieces of wood together to get the final product.

Some of them are efficient, and some are not; however, the mortise and tenon joint is the one that works the best.

Finally, using the instructions in this article, you will be able to create this joint in the best way possible.

In the end, we are happy that you stayed with us. If you have anything to ask us about the “How to make a mortise and tenon joint + tools” article, you only have to contact us in the section below.

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