Welcome back in the blog of those who love Woodworking!
Today I will enter into the details of one of the joints used by Woodworker  to join components of a wooden object: Tenon and Mortise .
I had already mentioned something about it in the Guide to Joints .

However, summarizing, I’m talking about a union formed by a male (tenon) that is inserted into a female (mortise) .

interlocking wood
As you can imagine is a type of interlocking very common and this is due mainly to three key features :
  • Average difficulty of realization
  • Effectiveness
  • Versatility


The difficulty of realization is certainly  relative.
It’s relative to the craftsman who have to realize the joint: obviously, more experienced is him and easier will be for him to crop the precise form on the two pieces to be joined.
It seems obvious, but it’s not!
Often, watching an expert woodworker at work, everything seems so easy and straightforward.
Then, when we are left to work at first hand, maybe without an expert at our side to help us, everything becomes very complicated.
The only way to figure out what can be difficult for you is: PRACTICE!
Just practice a lot, possibly on scrap pieces, can help you achieve this manual to understand the real difficulty of a job.
I talk about Medium Difficulty taking as reference a person who already has a certain dexterity.
tenon and mortise
Regarding Effectiveness I think we agree that the joint works if it’s properly done.
Although this may seem obvious, but when you go to the practice all becomes less obvious and natural.

But it’s the versatility of this type of joint feature of which I’m going to talk primarily in this post. In fact I am going to show you  10 different variations of Mortise and Tenon  you can meet in your works. Depending on the type of object you’re creating what you should consider is what’s right for you.
Whether you work with hand saw and chisels , or with power tools of various kinds, you should evaluate from time to time every chance to choose the best type.


Here are 10 types of Tenon-Mortise joint:
  1. Blind Mortise
  2. Through
  3. Through wedged
  4. Barefaced tenon
  5. Blind wedged
  6. Foxtail wedged
  7. Bridle
  8. Haunched
  9. Pinned
  10. Blind double


tenon and mortise

The classic Tenon and Mortise .
This comes to mind at most enthusiasts, when I talk about a Tenon-Mortise joint.
In fact it’s essential to achieve solid and resistant structures.
Remember that the mortise should be slightly deeper than the length of the tenon in order to have space for the glue.


tenon and mortise
As you can see from the picture it’s very similar to the above.
The only difference lies in the fact that the mortise is a real through-hole and the tenon arrives flush with the rear face of the workpiece.
Usually the tenon is made slightly longer than necessary and the excess part is then cut flush to have a smooth and homogeneous surface on the other side.


tenon and mortise
In this case, the tenon is not cut flush, but is enhanced and highlighted making it protrude a few centimeters.
Furthermore is punctured so that, by inserting a wedge , the joint locks without needing adhesives.
Precisely for this reason the junction is also removable .
Very frequent use of this joining parts of tables, chairs and benches .


tenon and mortise
No no, I do not mean to offend anyone.
Nor poor tenon which will be our job partner for a long time.
In this case it’s said barefaced because it has only one shoulder and is therefore decentralized.
It is used mostly for the production of chairs .


tenon and mortise
The Blind Mortise, instead of having the classic rectangular shape, is made wider than the tenon and with an inclined face .
In this way it’s inserted inside, near the tenon, a small reinforcing wedge that stabilizes the union giving more resistance .


tenon and mortise
This interlocking Tenon-Mortise is realized mainly in the case of wood that are subject to strong dimensional variations . (remember WOOD IS A  MATERIAL VIVO )
We practice a passer Slotting and a Tenon with double-edged “V” in which are inserted two wedges which can then be adjusted to the need at the moment when the timber will deform.


tenon and mortise
It is the most widely used junction in the construction of frames for paintings.
The mortise is located at the end of the piece and, therefore, has an open face in which the tenon is inserted as in a channel.


tenon and mortise
The Tenon presents a sort of “step” which makes it more resistant to mechanical stresses.
Of course, the Mortasa will have the same shaping.


tenon and mortise
I’ve already talked about pinning in the Article related to joints .
It’s a fairly basic type of junction. In this case, we need to give more strength to our through Tenon-Mortise .
As you can see from the picture, on the Tenon’s and on the workpiece on which is located the Mortasa, a hole into which is inserted a is practiced plug (a small wooden cylinder).
This interlocking is considered virtually unbreakable .


tenon and mortise
One of the most difficult variants to achieve .
You have to shape in a perfect way the two parts of the union to have a very solid and durable joint.


Do you know other variants of tenon and mortise used in woodworking?
Write me and participate to my project!
Just type in the comments below or send me an email at ilwoodblogger@gmail.com, attaching a picture or a simple design of the joint.


Now you just have to arm yourself with patience and proper tools and immediately start to practice.
It’s ESSENTIAL to have good results in joinery.
I remind you that to stay up to date on my articles and don’t miss the news you can Subscribe to the newsletter (down left) and follow my Facebook page .
Until next time!
The Wood Blogger



Welcome back on these pages!

My adventure in the world of joinery is getting ahead.

Today I talk to you about the different ways that are usually used to connect wooden pieces .

In this article I will list the most common (later go into them one by one in specific articles).

Of course you’ll have to choose the most suitable in each situation.

Unless the furniture is not done by following a style that provides visible screws, or already know that these will then be hidden in some way, you should apply the joints I explain in this article.

It must be said, however, that many of these joints, often are also consolidated by the use of screws and nails as well as by glue.

To accomplish some of these processes you will need a lot of practice and specific tools .

Continua a leggere →



Welcome back among the pages of my “Diary of an Apprentice Woodworker”!

Today I’ll take as an example, that reminds me of my childhood,  Kids TV Shows  where they demonstrated how to create some little projects whit paper and glue.

Do you remember how they  illustrated the tools  that would be needed to  implement the project  of the episode?

Very  simply  (they addressed to children) were showing  all the tools and materials needed before you start with the actual construction.

And it’s to those TV Shows that I want to inspire for this article.


By now I intend to  simplify as much as possible  this topic that is really extensive.

In fact there are a lot of tools, including  Traditional Joinery  and Modern Joinery, used by Woodworkers.

On entering the  shop of a Woodworker  you have certainly noticed large machines like  saws  of all kinds,  planers,  work benches  etc …

But it’ll certainly eye fell also on the famous work bench.


With this article I will help you to select just the tools you need at first, to make small and simple projects.
And on the wall near this bench, a myriad of  tools of which it’s hard to understand the usefulness, if you are not a Pro.

Also because many of those tools are quite expensive and we don’t want to spend so much all at once!

Maybe we’ll buy a little at time…

At the end of this article, you should create your little Woodworking Kit and you will be ready to start to Work Wood.

Ok, let’s start!


Let’s discover  the tools that you should buy now  if you want to begin to make a small project with wood .

I write this article because I  know  the uncomfortable feeling  you can get when, in the middle of a process,  you find yourself without a crucial tool and you are forced to stop.

Right in the middle of the creative flow!

These things make me nervous…

Obviously  I’m not talking about tools that we all have in the garage (pencils, screwdrivers, pliers, cutters, wrenches etc)

And I’m not talking about  security objects  (even these deserve a separate article), but for now you should at least wear thick gloves and a mask to avoid breathing in wood dust.

Let’s talk about specific equipment and a little more professional.

So don’t get caught unprepared!

Arm yourself with these 15 essential tools:

  1. Measuring Tape
  2. Woodworker Set Square
  3. Woodworker Compass
  4. Hammer
  5. Vise
  6. Clamps
  7. Hand saw
  8. Jigsaw
  9. Circular saw
  10. Drill/Screwdriver
  11. Manual Planer
  12. Electric Planer
  13. Sandpaper (various grits)
  14. Chisels
  15. Files and rasps

Probably still you do not have a real  Work bench .

So I suggest, in the meantime, to work on  an old table  to not have troubles.



You do not need to go looking for one by one all these tools to buy

I have already done all the work for you 

(Then don’t say that the Wood Blogger doesn’t love you …)

You can click on pictures or links below to see them in the online store and buy right now!

Enjoy the reading


For now it will go well with a 5 meters measuring tape  like the one above.

Ok, maybe that you have it already in your home, but it’s one of those  essential tools  that instead we tend to forget and I want to remember it  anyway.

One of the most important features that a Woodworker needs is accuracy.

You have to be accurate in sizes and cuts.

You need to know all  the dimensions of the pieces  we’re going to assemble already  from before starting the construction of a project .

For this I’m also preparing the design and planning lessons : to enable you to  arrive at the practical work with very clear ideas .

This will not waste time and valuable material!

Indeed, if I were you I’ll also buy  a good gauge .



The Set Square is another “precision” tool  very important for you.

What I suggest at this stage is a  combined set square , stainless steel, very light, durable and  rich in useful features .

In fact, in addition to  centimeters and inches  indicated on the long side, it is equipped with a  stylus to trace,  a level and a swing.

Do you think is  important for a Woodworker to create perfectly squared corners?

I would say so!



Another useful precision tool!

The  Woodworker’s Compass  will help you to draw perfect circles and much more.

In fact, this tool is also used to  bring measures  and  draw straight equidistant  or  parallel  to shaped edges .

I think is better to shell out a little more money and have  an extremely precise compass.

I don’ t recommend you to take that old and inaccurate school compass of your child.

You’ve been busted!



Ok, this is a  fairly common tool  in every home.

Especially for us who are fan of joinery!

But I think it’s important to mention this because it  is crucial  in its  extreme simplicity  and to have not it on hand could be very annoying.

The hammer is probably  the most used tool in our business  and is certainly one of the most representative.

So, buy  a good comfortable and sturdy hammer  if you still don’t have it!

(Read the Guide on joints with hammer and nails  for more)



Now to the tools that will help us to  hold firm our and working them in peace.

In fact we often have to use a tool that is used with two hands (such as a planer  or  chisels and hammer) and we need that piece that we are working still remains.

durable and stable vise is right what you really need.

Here I recommend you one that  you can simply screw on your  work bench.

This is not a real  woodworker vise but if you are just starting and want to do small jobs, yet can fit.

When you’ll have a real Roubo Bench ( clicking here you’ll discover how to build it by yourself using few tools and saving money) it will be another story.



Another tool that you need in the moment you’ll  combine, and especially paste , your wooden pieces, to keep them firmly stopped while you’re waiting for the  glue to do its job.

They will be very useful in keeping steadfast work pieces that we can not block in the vise that I advised you before (which is for small pieces)

Then you’ll have to take your Clamps!




A Real Woodworker cannot be without it!

It’s  a symbol  rather than a tool.

Whenever I imagine a woodworker I see  an old man in his dusty shop full of boards and chips.

Bowed on a  bench  with a handsawcutting a piece of wood .

Ok, it’s a stereotype!

But I’m just a little romantic when I imagine something like this.

(Read the article on the wood cut for more)



I remember the first time I saw one at work I brightened.

It was something  absolutely wonderful  for me!

A  saw  (much less laborious than handsaw) that allows you to  shape the wood  in a fairly  simple and accurate way.

Drawing shapes with wood … GREAT!

Okay, it’s not so great, but for me at that moment it was.

The discovery of the  jigsaw

(Read the article on  the wood cut  for more)



For now we speak of a  circular handsaw .

Then we will have to equip ourselves with a  circular saw bench,  but for now I think is a big expense and if we have to do only some small objects  the handy one will be good.

Needless to say that is very useful.

It’s true that you can get from any DIY Shop and let you cut the pieces as you want.

But if you want you to feel free to make changes  and cut new pieces, you will not have the famous  annoying snag I was telling you about at the beginning of this article.

I can say, having a Circular Saw will make you free!

(Read the article about  cutting wood  for more)



The classic  Cordless Drill  used by a bit all the workers.

This is also likely that you already have it.

In that case you must ensure only to have  wood drills bits.

But  if you do not have it, buy it now  because soon there will be much to be drilled and screw, unscrew and screw …

So it will be fun!

(Read the guide on How to drill the wood for more)



Here is another indispensable tool for the woodworker!

Another tool that I imagine in the  dusty romantic workshop

Our  craftsmen , right now, is patiently and with fluid movements planing a wonderful chestnut piece.

Wield firmly with hands marked by  work,  his trusty  plane , companion of many creations.

It’s such a beautiful moment that I will not ruin it with technical details.

Close your eyes for a moment and dream with me …

(Read the article about Planing wood for more)



Stop dreaming!

You’ll also need an  Electrical Planer   if you don’t want to work too hard.

In fact, the  hand planer  is beautiful and romantic (and useful in many cases), but when the pieces  to be done are many and big  in comes into play  convenience.

Accuracy, speed and fatigue reduction.

What else do you want?

(Read the article about Planing wood for more)



Even Sandpaper  is a  tool .

And it’s essential!

To  finish, polish and smooth , but also to  “age”  a piece sanding the paint .

I suggest you to arm yourself  at least 3 different grits: a fine, a medium and a coarse-grained .



You don’t have to be  Michelangelo  to know how to use it and I’m not saying that  tomorrow you’ll be able to sculpt a David  better than him, in  beech .

But having a set of chisels you can  refine and make small interventions.

High practical rate instrument (and even a little artistic).

(Read the article about Joints for more)



Last, but not least! 

There are different  shapes and sizes .

The  difference between file and rasp  is that the first serves for  smoothing  the most delicate and has thinner teeth , while the second serves for  roughing  and  more massive interventions.

In fact, the  rasp  is provided with a coarser and powerful texture.

Both are nonetheless very useful.



In this article I merely describe in broad outline these  basic tools  that  you have to equip yourself to start woodworking.

Then we deepen them one by one in the next posts to  learn how to use them in the best way.

Even if you’re out of luck and you have none of the mentioned  tools,  with a few hundred euro you will have a small but consistent carpentry  that will allow you to do so many things and above all  fun.

Meanwhile, as always, I encourage you to  report any inaccuracies or additions  that could be done in the article,  commenting below .

If this blog can become a point of meeting between professionals and apprentices is above all thanks to you and to your contribution.

Also remember to follow my FB page  The WoodBlogger  to stay informed!

If you like it you’ll look even on my Instagram and Pinterest !

Good luck
See you next time!

The Wood Blogger