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Mortiser, tenoner

Many carpentry work requires to make assemblies at right angles through the realization of tenons and mortises. By hand, we use a saw and a chisel for the execution of the tenon and a chisel for the mortise. (Non-contractual photo, does not necessarily reflect the drawing)

This is usually cut to the drill mounted on a crankshaft or on a drill. The woodworking machines, combined or integral with fixed station, allow today to realize easily and, above all, with a great precision, this kind of work. In both cases, one uses a device of turning, which is associated to one of the machines: planing-planing or circular saw for mortising; router for tenoning.


It consists of a moving platter mounted on columns, allowing its longitudinal and deep movement, via two levers. Two presses, perpendicular to the plate, ensure the blocking of the workpiece.
The tool - a mortising cutter very close to a large wood drill bit - is placed in a mandrel arranged parallel to the carriage plate.
It extends the shaft axis of the main machine: planer-planer, circular saw. The setting of the mandrel, in height, is carried out via the steering wheel of height adjustment of the table of the main machine. After tracing the limits of the mortise, the piece of wood is immobilized on the table with the presses.
By movement of the levers, the table is approached by the cutter, and two holes are drilled at each end of the future mortise. A series of intermediate holes is made to rough this one. By a series of back and forth, the mortise is then equalized.
The accuracy of the work depends on the setting of the travel of the table in both directions, which is achieved by a setting of the stops of the machine.

Anatomy of a mortiser

Anatomy of a mortiser


Associated with the topthe tenoning trolley is used for many jobs, especially for all cases where a workpiece is to be worked at the end, and for the fast and accurate shaping of tenons.
This cart consists of a metal table mobile on two columns (parallel to the table of the top). He's wearing a adjustable guide and an press intended to fix the piece to tenon. The guide can be oriented at 45° (in both directions). The tenoning trolley allows grooves on edge on large pieces. The workpiece must be wedged along the adjustable guide serving as support and immobilized on the plate thanks to the press.
Unlike the slotting trolley, the tenoning trolley moves only in the longitudinal direction on the two column slides. A smooth and smooth movement is obtained when the carriage is mounted on ball bearings.
The turning allows a precise and regular work and ensures a placement of the hands far from the dangerous zone, that is to say of the proximity of the tool.
As on the mortiser, there are stops which, by limiting the longitudinal displacement of the carriage, guarantee a high accuracy of execution.

On the same topic

  • DIY tips
    • How to cut with a band saw?
    • How to use a router?
    • How to make mortises?
    • Use a jointer to work the wood

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Video Instruction: CNC Mortiser - Tenoner