Making a Mortise and Tenon Joint: Mistakes to Avoid Making a Mortise and Tenon Joint: Mistakes to Avoid

Many people find a mortise and tenon joint one of the most difficult joints to create. Mortise and tenon joints are used in many applications such as fitting door locks, so inevitably the better the accuracy the better the fit. You will want to avoid the following common mistakes when creating a mortise and tenon joint.

Mistake 1 – Measuring Incorrectly

The golden rule to remember in all carpentry projects is to measure carefully and recheck your work before you cut. Make a template to ensure accuracy. Measure the area where the mortise will be cut and then measure the tenon to match. It should be a tight fit but only as tight so you can gently knock it into place without misshaping it.

Mistake 2 – Not Marking a Door Lock before Cutting

If fitting a door lock, close the door and place a light pencil mark from the door to the frame at the correct height of where the mortise and tenon will be placed. The lines should continue to match up as you cut your joint.

Mistake 3 – Reverse Chiseling

Avoid the mistake of chiseling the mortise the wrong way around. Use the correct sized chisel and make sure the curved side of the blade is on the inside of the hole to be cut. The flat side should be against the marker line. Hammer light so you don’t split the wood.

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