M & T Joints


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So I am still learning how to do M & T joints and was wondering what folks thought about the different methods and if they had any suggestions for while I am still learning how to make good joints  

Mortise

1. Domino (know this is not traditional but thought would throw on) 

2. Router table 

3. Forstner bit in drill press and clean up with chisel 

4. Chisel only 

5. Other 

Tennon 

1.  Domino 

2. Tennon jig on table saw 

3. dado stack on table saw 

4. hand saw and plane 

5. other?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions. 

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I’m building a park bench right now and it is substantial so I am using mortise and tenons on all joinery except where the back slats meet the upper and lower back rails, where I will use my Domino. As there are quiet a few mortises, I am using my dedicated mortiser. If there were only a couple, I would use a fortsner bit and clean up with a chisel. For tenons, I cut them on the ts, using a flat cut tooth blade on the shoulder cut and finish removing the waste with the dado set. Then finessing if need be with a chisel.

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On 9/4/2021 at 9:07 PM, Coop said:

I’m building a park bench right now and it is substantial so I am using mortise and tenons on all joinery except where the back slats meet the upper and lower back rails, where I will use my Domino. As there are quiet a few mortises, I am using my dedicated mortiser. If there were only a couple, I would use a fortsner bit and clean up with a chisel. For tenons, I cut them on the ts, using a flat cut tooth blade on the shoulder cut and finish removing the waste with the dado set. Then finessing if need be with a chisel.

And a shoulder plane.

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2 hours ago, Coop said:

I’m building a park bench right now and it is substantial so I am using mortise and tenons on all joinery except where the back slats meet the upper and lower back rails, where I will use my Domino. As there are quiet a few mortises, I am using my dedicated mortiser. If there were only a couple, I would use a fortsner bit and clean up with a chisel. For tenons, I cut them on the ts, using a flat cut tooth blade on the shoulder cut and finish removing the waste with the dado set. Then finessing if need be with a chisel.

Is the flat top blade you use similar to what I have seen people call a box joint blade?  I am assuming you use this on the shoulder so you get a nice crisp cut and top and don’t get that little notch from an ATB blade. 

I used this link to help me learn about blades and it has really helped me pick the right ones!


https://www.woodcraft.com/blog_entries/choosing-the-right-table-saw-blades

 

 

 

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I have used all the listed methids, except for the Domino. Each have their place, and each has an effectiveness level that can vary with the quality of machine being used. For example, I usually avoid the drill and chisel method, because my drill press is a little sloppy. I get better results by going straight to the  mortising chisel.

For tenons, I use the table saw, but rather than saw them off vertically, I mill away the waste using a dado stack and crosscut sled.

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I have made M & T joints many ways. My first machined joint was with a router and a slot cutter. I cut both sides of the joint with a slot. I added a third member. Called a chevron. turn the grain the short way. I sold my delta morticing machine and my delta tenoning jig for my table saw. They were both inaccurate and I owned a domino. It  makes sense to make one with hand tools. At least to understand how. I also own the jumbo domino. The small one gets most of the work. Years ago I used a horizontal boring machine. It was very adjustable. But all the other solutions for me are mostly not needed because of the domino. Most importantly it is very accurate. And if time matters, it does for me, then the domino wins the blue ribbon. 

That being said there is some work offered here that is incredible and all hand tools. Or mostly hand tools.

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I did mine using a BS (tenon) drill press and chisel for the mortise for many years. Now I have a mortiser, PantoRouter, and Domino and depending what I am after tend to use the PantoRouter for both or the Mortiser and BS, my domino is pretty much only used for quick and dirty applications and to be honest since acquiring the PantoRouter I could probably get rid of the Domino for as much as I use it.

I agree with the above statements that learning to do them with readily available tools before purchasing a mortiser, Domino, or PantoRouter is a worth while exercise.

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We all settle into our preferred method for a given situation.  Traditional, wedged or through M&T is a router jig / chisel for the mortise and a tenoning jig on the tablesaw for me. 

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Floating tenons are router jig or Domino. 

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Bridle joints and half laps are all on the tablesaw with the tenoning jig. 

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Try your hand on some scrap . .. a lot of scrap.  You will soon find the method that suits you best.  I doubt any one method will suit everything you do.

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I've done integral m&t with the domino cutting the mortise. Drill holes and clean with a chisel as well as router based. I personally don't like the router. If i need something odd i find the drill and chisel almost as fast and accurate. I'd rather do pocket holes than router mortises.

I cut tenons on bands saw or table saw. That said i almost always cut the shoulder on the table saw with a miter gauge. Haven't found the need for a shoulder plane yet.

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If I didn’t have a mortiser I would use a router.  I have a tenon jig, but like the dado better.

I had a Domino, but was underwhelmed by the accuracy - my biscuit joiner does a more reliable job, and the 500 doesn’t do large tenons. Rather than buy a  Domiplate, I sold it.  IMO a Domino has its place in a commercial shop, but it’s an expensive tool to sit on a hobbyists shelf 95% of the time, regardless of a persons financial ability..

Floating tenon joinery can be done with a router with the right jigs.

If I were going the machine route, I would get a horizontal mortiser.

 

Bottom line, a router and floating tenons is an excellent way to go, is extremely accurate, you already have the tools, and set up is much easier.

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1 hour ago, Drbwwing said:

If I didn’t have a mortiser I would use a router.  I have a tenon jig, but like the dado better.

I had a Domino, but was underwhelmed by the accuracy - my biscuit joiner does a more reliable job, and the 500 doesn’t do large tenons. Rather than buy a  Domiplate, I sold it.  IMO a Domino has its place in a commercial shop, but it’s an expensive tool to sit on a hobbyists shelf 95% of the time, regardless of a persons financial ability..

Floating tenon joinery can be done with a router with the right jigs.

If I were going the machine route, I would get a horizontal mortiser.

Bottom line, a router and floating tenons is an excellent way to go, is extremely accurate, you already have the tools, and set up is much easier.

I"m surprised that you didn't' find it accurate. You must have had one with defects because both my DF500 and DF700 are FAR more accurate than the biscuit joiner I had.

Doing floating M&T with a router seems silly if one has a domino. The 500 is capable of making 1-1/8" deep mortises winch is good enough for most work. A lot of people get in the mental block that the domino has to be used 1 way.

0906211828-01.thumb.jpeg.1117b72cfc0184695f801babef59b705.jpeg

To most people, a mortise like the one above would be done with a router and edge and end guides. The mortise in the picture above was made with 5 plunges of the domino in a row. The mortise wall is smoother and perfectly parallel to both faces and is of higher quality than i have ever been able to manage with a router. Home made tenon stock with the corners rounded can be sized to fit perfectly.

Bottom line the domino doesn't need to be constrained within the box that festool outlines. Thinking out side the box can allow utilization of the tool in many useful ways that are not initially apparent. I run a hobby shop and my domino is used on every project. It sits on the shelf a lot yes, mostly because it's such a quick and easy mortise machine. I think the pantorouter is the best over all with the capabilities to make the integral tenons so quickly and perfectly sized. The pantorouter takes up a bit more space though.

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Yes, I did not get the perfect alignment, and I think others have experienced this, hence the Domiplate.

If one has a Domino, sure, why  would you use a router?  That isn't the question, though.

For the type of M/T in a table or larger project, you need an XL and that steps the price up appreciably.  In a commercial shop, not doubt with quicker setup and accuracy it can be a huge time saver.

I'm not anti-Domino, I'm saying shelling out $1200 for one sn't for everyone, when it isn't doing something another tool can do.  Think of all the premium wood you could buy with that money.

I always thought the ONE Festool I would buy was a Domino, and I found for me and my work methods, it was not the game changer I was expecting.  BTW I bought mine 2 years ago for $850 and sold it for $1000 on Ebay in something like 3 hours.

However, both my Festool sander and track saw are definitely game changers!

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The accuracy issue is interesting. For those that experience that I'd encourage the buyer to utilize festool's excellent warranty and either return it or have it fixed. Both of mine have been nothing short of perfect. The machine is more accurate than my ability and honestly I'm the weak link in the use.

I don't care 1 way or another. I think it's a good tool, but my main goal is to try and show people that it doesn't need to be used 1 way and there are a lot of good uses for the domino outside the festool box. It makes a mortise and you are able to fill the mortise with what ever you can fabricate to fit. Integral tenon, home made stock, through mortise etc. I look at the tool as a router with a fence and a nice handle. I can't remember the last time I used the thing as intended.... but yes I'd agree it's not really a game changer but it is FAST and it saves me a ton of time.

To your lumber comment... i have more lumber that i have space to store it. I need tools that allow me to convert said lumber into useful products quickly.

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How would the domiplate fix an accuracy issue with the domino? Are you saying that the stock plate was not 90* to the plunge direction? Or that it is not parallel to the side-to-side movement of the bit? 

The only time I have had alignment issues with my domino is when I wasn’t thinking and didn’t use the same reference side on both pieces. It’s been far more accurate than my dewalt biscuit jointer.

 

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I can only speak from my experience using the tool and that others have had the same issues.

I've registered off the plate, as well as the table, either way, I would find errors in alignment cropping up enough for me to think I'm either doing something wrong, or its the tool.  I took a look at the ergonomcis of how I was holding it, and adopted the "hold the plug" hand position, thinking zero downward pressure should be good.

I don't know if the Domiplate was developed for misalignment issues, or simply for plywood, but I know they talk about "fence drift".

It may be one of those things that a tool in different people's hands can work differently.

 

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If vertical movement in the fence is the "fence drift" your talking about that can be addressed with service. Side to side fence drive means you need to hold the tool a bit more firmly.

The Domino should be bang on flush every time. Like I said before if it's not return it or complete a warranty repair. Festool has a no hassle 90 day return and I've used it.

I'm posting this because i want to make sure that any one in the future that may see this understands that any fence drift is unacceptable and the product is defective and needs to be serviced or returned.

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