Joint Variation: Haunched Mortise and Tenon

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The haunched mortise and tenon is a type of mortise and tenon joint that can be used when the parts form an L (rather than a T). If you haven’t made a basic mortise and tenon joint, we recommend you make one first. You can find our guide on making a mortise and tenon here. This joint is often used on tables because of its strength -not aesthetics as it’s rarely ever seen. The aim is to get the tenon in as far as possible and making good contact on all 4 sides (does not include the end. If you were to make a common tenon flush to the top, it would only have enclosure on 3 sides). The small haunch (or ‘shallow tenon’ part) is to strengthen the junction at the top of the leg with its increased surface area.
For this course, you will need:


  • Two pieces of wood. The sizes are not critical for practising, but Paul used two 10″ (254mm) boards that resemble hypothetical table leg and apron sections; one being 1 ½” (38mm) x 1 ¾“ (44mm), and the other ¾” (19mm) x 2 ¾” (70mm).