How To Easily Create A Mortise

In mortise & tenon joinery, the tenon (or tongue) on one piece fits into the mortise (or hole) of another. Creating a mortise typically requires a mortising machine, a drill press outfitted with a mortising attachment, or a combination of a drill press and hand chisels.  Whew! But, hold on … here’s a nifty trick that allows you to quickly make a mortise with a table saw.

Make Tennon Cuts

First, cut your tenons on the table saw outfitted with a dado blade as you normally would. (By cutting the tennon first, you can then create your mortise to match.)

Easy Way to Create a Mortise Tennon

Make Matching Cuts

Now, here’s the trick for making a quick and easy mortise: Leave the dado in your table saw and make a pair of matching cuts in the edges of two pieces.

Easy Way to Create a Mortise Trick

Clamp and Glue

Clamp and glue the two pieces together and presto! You now have a perfect mortise!

Easy Way to Create a Mortise Clamp

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