Mortice and tenon joints
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Making a Through Mortice and Tenon Joint: Learning Objectives

Pupils should learn:

  • that gluing to end grain makes a weak joint
  • that there are standard wood joints that avoid gluing to end grain only
  • that standard wood joints may be adapted for particular purposes, e.g. through mortice and tenon joint, stopped mortice and tenon joint, haunched mortice and tenon joint, bare faced tenon, etc.
  • to measure accurately using a steel rule,
  • to use a try square, mortice gauge, pencil and marking knife
  • to use a tenon saw, mortice chisel and bevel edged chisel
  • to glue timber using PVA glue
  • to clamp timber using a G-cramp
  • how to plane end grain.


Each pupil will need:

  • 2 pieces of softwood 160 x 45 x 22
  • work station on a woodwork bench ~ a woodwork vice
  • pencil, marking knife, try square, mortice gauge, tenon saw, bench hook, mortice chisel, bevel edged chisel, mallet, G-cramp, small piece of scrap wood for padding under the G-cramp.


  1. Students are given two pieces of timber (2 off 160 x 43 x 22).

  2. Students mark around one end of both pieces of timber using a try square and marking knife.

  3. Students measure 45mm from the line and mark a line around both pieces of timber using a pencil and a try square.

  4. Students mark out the tenon using a marking gauge and a mortice gauge and mark the waste wood.

  5. Students use a bevel edged chisel to pare along the waste side of the line (across the grain) so that a tenon saw may be located easily next to the line.

  6. Students use a tenon saw to saw the tenon:

    1. holding the timber in a vice and sawing along the grain
    2. holding the timber on a bench hook and sawing across the grain
  1. Students mark out the mortice.

  2. Students clamp their timber to the bench and use a mortice chisel and a mallet to cut a through mortice.

  3. Students assemble their joint.

Click here to view the PDF version of this resource. Wood joints multiple choice test Mortice and tenon PDF
Copyright Laszlo Lipot.