How to easily Make a Wedged Through Mortise and Tenon

Wedged through mortise and tenon

Woodworking is an art that has been practiced for centuries, with various techniques and joinery methods developed over time. One such classic method is the wedged through mortise and tenon joint, known for its strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to create a perfect wedged through mortise and tenon joint for your woodworking projects.

What is a Wedged Through Mortise and Tenon Joint?

A wedged through mortise and tenon joint is a variation of the traditional mortise and tenon joint, where a wedge is inserted into a slot in the tenon to lock it securely in place. This additional feature adds strength and stability to the joint, making it ideal for applications where extra support is needed.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

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Before diving into the process, gather the following tools and materials:

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Wedged Through Mortise and Tenon Joint

Step 1: Marking and Measuring

Start by marking the location of the mortise and tenon on your wood pieces. Use a measuring tape, gauge, and pencil to ensure accurate placement.

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Step 2: Cutting the Mortise

Using your chisel and mallet, carefully chisel out the mortise on the mortise piece. Starting from the center and working out towards the marked lines going to around 3mm depth each time.

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Step 3: Cutting the Tenon

Next, you’ll need to measure and mark the tenon. Now it’s time to cut using your saw. Tip: Cut outside your marked line around 2mm to ensure your mortise and tenon will fit snugly – you can always remove wood you can’t do the opposite.

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Step 4: Inserting the Tenon

You can use glue at this stage but it can be fitted without the use of glue and still hold nice and strong. Insert your tenon piece into your mortise. Use your mallet to gently help them together if the fitting is tight. You may need to remove more material with your chisel if the fitting is extremely tight and you are unable to get it to fit.

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Step 5: Adding the Wedge

Cut a wedge from your chosen wood and insert it into the slot in the tenon. Tap the wedge in place using a mallet until it is secure.

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Step 6: Finishing Touches

All that’s left to do is cut the excess wood sitting above the mortise. If you have used glue make sure the glue has set before doing this. Finally, you can plane and sand the surface to ensure you have a nice smooth finish.

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Tips for Success

  • Take your time and work carefully to ensure precise cuts and measurements.
  • Test the fit of the tenon in the mortise before fixing it together to make any necessary adjustments.
  • Choose contrasting woods for the wedge to create a visually striking joint.


Creating a wedged through mortise and tenon joint may seem intricate, but with patience and practice, you can master this classic woodworking technique. This joint offers both strength and beauty, making it a valuable addition to your woodworking skill set. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your tools, and start crafting your own wedged through mortise and tenon joints today!

See how we did it below…

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