Master the Through Mortise & Tenon

Three ways to approach this ancient joint.
By Frank Klausz
Pages: 41-44

From the October 2006 issue #157
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In furniture making, while carcases and drawers are dovetailed together, tables and chairs have mortise-and-tenon joinery. In this article, I make a through mortise and tenon three different ways. First by hand, second with a hollow-chisel mortiser and table saw, and third with a plunge router and band saw.

In 1991, I had a very nice commission to make about a dozen pieces of Egyptian furniture for the Newark Museum in New Jersey. I had the opportunity to see the real, original ancient pieces and make measured drawings to do the work. The pieces I had to make are more simple ones which are less well known than the spectacular furniture from the tomb of King Tutankhamun.

This stool at left is a copy of a New Kingdom craftsman stool. I made it 2″ higher than the original. The Egyptians were squatting before they had stools and the low height of the stool was designed for sitting in this squatting position.

From the October 2006 issue #157
Buy this issue now