How Deep Should The Mortise Be? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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How Deep Should The Mortise Be?

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

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
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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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 04:31 PM
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I would make the mortise 13/16" and the tenon 3/4".
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 05:38 PM
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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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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 09:17 PM
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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.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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