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 →