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How to Make a Mortise and Tenon Joint - Part 2

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Learn simple steps to hand-cutting a mortise for a mortise and tenon joint.

This content is for anyone looking to build a foundation in woodworking.

To learn how to make more kinds of joinery, continue watching the remaining videos on this completely free video series covering the basics of woodworking.

This two-part tutorial will take you through everything you need to know to master the mortise and tenon joint for you to use in your own woodwork projects.

Music - Gilles B

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Watch the Video How to make a Mortise and Tenon joint part 1.

If you have followed How to Make a Mortise and Tenon joint part 1, you are now ready to start marking the Mortise.

Step 1 - Marking the Mortise.

Place the wide face of the Tenon on the mortise piece and scribe two lines along the edge of the cheeks with a marking knife and try square.

These lines indicate the length of the mortise.

Highlight the lines with a pencil.

Now that you have the length of the mortise, take the mortise gauge, which is still set to the thickness of the tenon, to scribe between the lines marking the length of the mortise.

Highlight the lines with a pencil and ruler.

Step 2 - Shaping the Mortise.

The first step in making the mortise is to bore out a series of holes with a ratchet brace.

Use a drill bit that’s slightly narrower than the mortise and apply a strip of marking tape along its length to indicate the depth of the mortise.

The depth is set to an eighth of an inch deeper than the mortise to allow the glue or debris some space during assembly.

You can also keep an additional depth gauge handy to keep checking.

Fix the piece on the vice with the mortise side facing up.

Drill the hole in the center of the mortise till the surface of the piece reaches the marking tape.

Recheck the hole once again with the depth gauge.

Now, drill a second one on one side and a third on the other so that you have a series of connected holes.

Flatten the long edges of the mortise using a wide bench chisel and the narrow edges using the mortise chisel.

Ensure smooth and square sides.

Keep checking with the depth gauge as you fine tune the mortise.

Step 3 - Assembly.

When you a have the final dimensions set, fit the tenon into the mortise to check the fit.

Use a try square to make sure that the two pieces are square with each other.

Adjust by paring further if necessary.

When the fit is good, glue the joint, clamp and leave to dry.

You have now learnt how to make a Mortise and Tenon Joint.


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