Practice joints:

Mortise and tenon joints 




What is a Mortise and tenon joint?

The mortise and tenon is one of the most common joints used by woodworkers and is the traditional corner joint for sturdy frames. 


What are the advantages of this type of joint?

        Neat and very strong.

        Large surface area for gluing.

        It cannot wobble.

        Is difficult to pull out.

        Most of the joint is hidden in the timber.


What are the disadvantages of this type of joint?

        Can be fairly difficult to mark out and cut.

        Poor resistance to tension, especially if badly fitted.


What are the applications for this type of joint?

Used where maximum strength is important in window, door, chair, mirror, bed and table frames and frame-and-panel cabinets or external work like garden or street furniture (seats, tables etc)


Calculating the thickness of a tenon:

The thickness of the mortise and tenon is exactly one third the thickness of the wood. A wider mortise will produce thin sides that could split open under twisting forces when pressure is put on the tenon. Likewise, if the mortise is too narrow, the thin tenon is relatively weak in shear and could snap. 




Types of Mortise and Tenon Joints:


 Through mortise and tenon joint

In a through mortise and tenon joint the end grain is visible and the joint needs accurate cutting for good appearance.

 Download solidworks model of this joint



 Haunched mortised and tenon joint

In order to include a strong joint at the frame, a haunch is introduced to the joint. The haunch prevents the frame from twisting and makes it firmer, giving it added strength. It also increases the gluing area.

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 Double mortise and tenon joint

This joint gives excellent strength and is used where the mortise is cut into the face rather than the edge of the wood. Proportions of the joint will depend on whether it is used for light or heavy work.

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 Stopped mortise and tenon joint

This is the best joint for external work as most of the joint is protected from the weather by tenon shoulders. The joint is strong and concealed and used in furniture construction where a high- quality finish is required.

The stopped mortise and tenon joint is a good looking joint because the tenon of this joint does not show on the outside face. The depth of the mortise should be three-quarters of the thickness of the wood being joined.

 Download solidworks model of this joint



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