Learning to make mortise/tenon joint worth it?


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So here is a question.  Listening to WoodTalk this morning they talked about whether or not they would choose to use a domino or a mortiser...?  So that got me thinking.....  With the domino or the Beadlock jig, why would you need to learn the time tested mortise/tenon joint?  If we had these and other types of tools that create mortise quickly for a loose tenon - does the time it takes, frustration it comes with - make sense and worth it? 

Part of me says yes sense learning a new skill is always a plus.  But, as a father of 3 young active kids - who has limited time in the shop -that other part says hell no - use loose tenons instead.  

Thoughts? 

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If you can't make a mortise and tenon, you have no business buying a Domino.  Take your lumps, learn the skills.  This hobby is a journey, not a destination. Fundamentals come first, then conveni

Learning to make a proper M&T joint isn't so much about making the joint... It is more about learning proper layout, sawing straight/square, using chisels in a controlled manner, good stock prepar

Eric, I think Marc needs to add you to the podcast.  You'd be like the Simon Cowell of Woodtalk.

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Nothing is a requirement.  There are so many different ways to go about any joint or process.  That being said, I love using hand tools - and I started off with dovetails and traditional M & T.  It's a frustrating route, but now that I'm nearly decently ok at it, I'm sure glad I invested the time.

If you mean learning power tool M & T, I'm not sure it's a terribly different skill than many other power tool joints.

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Personally, I think it's best to learn the skill. I find doing mortises with a drill & chisel is an extremely satisfying activity. If I was just doing woodworking to produce lots of furniture, I'd go for every kind of automation I could.

All that being said though, I could see myself getting a Domino or Pantorouter maybe some day.

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I think it a good skill to have and is worth the time to learn.  Whether you do it with power tools, hand tool or a combination.  The mortise and tenon have the same skill set to a degree as the lap joint or saddle joint.  Also the through tenon is something that you may want to do some day.

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8 minutes ago, Chet K said:

I think it a good skill to have and is worth the time to learn.  Whether you do it with power tools, hand tool or a combination.  The mortise and tenon have the same skill set to a degree as the lap joint or saddle joint.  Also the through tenon is something that you may want to do some day.

I tend to really like through tenons, although I guess they are easily faked though.  Oooh Tusked through tenons!

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I am in the learn the skill camp, just because I like learning.  I wouldn't hold it against someone if they didn't have the skill or interest in learning it.

However, there are some times when a Domino just won't do.  I can't see how you attach a Rubo leg to its top with Dominos.

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If your goal is to do it fast, i.e. you're trying to make a living at woodworking, then the Domino is king.  However, if you are building for yourself, friends, family, etc. there's something about doing it by hand.  Now, when I say by hand, it doesn't matter if you use a drill to hog out the waste, or a router, but cleaning out the waste with a chisel, using a shoulder plane to fit the tenon, etc. brings it to a different level, IMHO.

Of course, Shaney is going to demolish my argument, but as they say up in Canada, "it's my opinion, eh."

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I just did my first M&T joint on my last project. I chose that particular project fro the fact the joinery was M&T. I find that if I am not learning, I get bored. I prefer to learn the traditional way, and then upgrade to more convenient way. But to each their own. 

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I'm in a similar situation; I'm considering designs for an outdoor table (it will be inspired by, maybe not the same as Mark's table.)  Domino joints offer some design possibilities, M&T joints offer others.  I could borrow my buddy's Festool domino cutter (he uses dominos for everything, now!  Give a boy a Festool and everything needs dominos.)  I've decided that I like the designs, both aesthetically and practically, that M&T joints facilitate.

So I just made my first simple, through mortise joint today (mortised members were jointed and then the mortise was cut/dadoed with a table saw and chiseled smooth.)  I would finish this by glueing and pegging.  This tenon member has no shoulders; in the future I'll include shoulders if only to facilitate a tight joint.  Else I peg it on both sides.

 

 

 

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Aside from gluing a panel together, the M&T is the most fundamental technique in woodworking. If you're not interested in learning something so critical to the craft, I would suggest picking a different hobby. It would be like deciding to be a fisherman but refusing to learn knots.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

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