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How Deep Should The Mortise Be?

This is a discussion on How Deep Should The Mortise Be? within the Tools and Woodworking forums, part of the General Woodworking category; Over the past several weeks I have asked a lot of questions about mortises and ...


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Old 01-09-2013, 02:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Over the past several weeks I have asked a lot of questions about mortises and tenons. However, in all of that time the issue of how deep a mortise should be has not come up. Right now the project that I going to be working on is, as I have said before, a small end table. The legs will be 2" x 2" and the workpieces that go between the legs will be of 3/4" x 3" material. I have been visualizing the mortiises being about 3/4" inch deep but am not sure that others with more experience would agree with this estimate and if not what would be more appropriate? Thanks

Jerry

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bowen View Post
Over the past several weeks I have asked a lot of questions about mortises and tenons. However, in all of that time the issue of how deep a mortise should be has not come up. Right now the project that I going to be working on is, as I have said before, a small end table. The legs will be 2" x 2" and the workpieces that go between the legs will be of 3/4" x 3" material. I have been visualizing the mortiises being about 3/4" inch deep but am not sure that others with more experience would agree with this estimate and if not what would be more appropriate? Thanks

Jerry
I prefer to use the rule of thumb of 1/3 the thickness of the material you are going into for depth (mortise) and 2/3 the the thickness of the material you are going in with... (tenon) with all of the shouldering being the same...

Sizing can and will change depending on location, material limits and purpose...
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would make the mortise 13/16" and the tenon 3/4".
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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2/3rds the width of the stick that receives the tenon is typical but often generous.
Can you tolerate any hardware?
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I always like to go as deep as is practical and since the mortices will butt into each other, that usually determines how deep they can be for me. Some like to 45 the ends so that each is maxed out.
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