Large mortise and tenon leg joinery

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Blog entry by Tooch posted 05-01-2016 10:12 PM 1564 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are by far the largest, most difficult mortise and tenon joints I’ve ever attempted. 1” wide by 5” long, through 3-1/2” thick maple. After marking them out, I used a 1” forstener bit to hog out most of the material.

There was so much vibration I needed to use a clamp on both sides to stabilize the workpiece.

I was worried about being able to chisel out the other material after I drilled it, so I stamped the border with a chisel so I had it already started.

After drilling out all of the holes, it was time to square up the mortises using a nice, sharp chisel. This was very time consuming due to the thickness of the legs.

After lots and lots and lots of chiseling, all 4 of the legs mortises were complete. Phew, as I said, very time consuming.

The Tenon’s were not that difficult to produce, as I only needed to take off a small amount of material. I did it on the table saw, and only fitted the first 1/2” because I was afraid if I put them all the way in I might not be able to get them back apart.

Next up, I need to cut out 2 more mortises on those bottom rails, and then hopefully ( and thankfully) will be done with chisel work.

Thanks for looking, hopefully the next update will be up soon

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

4 comments so far

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6175 posts in 3499 days

#1 posted 05-01-2016 11:03 PM

Hey Tooch!
Those are some huge mortises and they look really nice. Lots of work though!
I used to do it the same way as you but now I use my Horizontal mortise machine and then make floating tendons to fit the mortise’s. When your old like me a chisel can do a number on you, my hands just can’t take all that work anymore!
Can’t wait to see the finished Table !

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21303 posts in 3251 days

#2 posted 05-02-2016 12:28 AM

Way to go Tooch. You should have brought them over to hog out on the mill. I have a deep cutter to handle it.
Well done!!!!!!!!!!
Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View hoss12992's profile


4068 posts in 2039 days

#3 posted 05-02-2016 01:41 AM

Those M&T sure look good. I feel for ya on making those. Great job buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Roger's profile


20948 posts in 2950 days

#4 posted 05-02-2016 10:19 AM

Some gr8 lookin mortises.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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