Last edited 26 May 2021

Mortise and tenon joints

The lintels at Stonehenge are secured by stone mortise and tenon joints.


[edit] Introduction

A mortise is a socket, recess or hole cut into a material in order to connect with a tenon (or tongue). In construction terms, this technique is commonly referred to as a mortise and tenon joint.

This method can be quite strong and sturdy, and is often used to join two components at a right angle. It is commonly found in furniture (such as tables and beds) or structures that require durable frames, such as doors or windows. It is one of the most common types of joinery used for woodwork and furniture.

[edit] History

Mortise and tenon joints have been used for thousands of years, most commonly in woodworking, but also for stone, iron and so on. Ancient examples have been found in architecture, shipbuilding and furniture making around the world, including a ship in the Giza pyramid complex, roofing structures in ancient Chinese architecture and the lintels at Stonehenge.

[edit] Types of mortises and tenons

There are many variations on the mortise and tenon joint:

[edit] Types of tenons include:

  • Hammer-headed tenon.
  • Half shoulder tenon.
  • Loose tenon.
  • Pegged (or pinned) tenon.
  • Stub tenon.
  • Teasel (or teazle) tenon.
  • Through tenon.
  • Top tenon.
  • Tusk tenon.

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