A mortise is any kind of a hole that is cut into material for the purpose of holding something in place. For example, a mortise is a hole that is cut out of the end of a wooden piece to allow a piece of wood to fit into it.
A mortise is also the hole that is cut into the wood surface in order to allow the stems of the screws to be driven into the material of the wood. A mortise is used to hold the wood pieces together, to hold hinges together, and to hold nuts and bolts together.
Mortising is a precise operation that requires accurate measurements and a good bit of practice to get right. If you’re planning on making a table, chair, or any other project where mortising is required, it’s worth investing the time to learn how.
Mortising in the process of boring a hole in a piece of wood large enough to accept a tenon or large piece of timber, and then joining the two pieces together. The mortise is generally deeper than the thickness of the tenon’s or tenons’ thickness and it is drilled from the inside of the piece to be mortised – similar to an internal tenon.
The mortise is bored with a sharp chisel or chisels. If a sharp chisel is used, a tenon must have a chisel stop inserted into the tenon to prevent the tenon from being chipped or the chisel from hitting the mortise.
How deep should a mortise be for a door?
Mortise and tenon joints are incredibly popular joinery for wooden doors: the mortise is cut in the end grain of the wood, and the tenon is cut in the side. The tenon fits into the mortise and is held in place with the tenon pins. The mortise is cut deeper than the tenon to allow the tenon to be cut out of the side of the wood.
The size of the mortises in which I make my doors is one question that is often asked. The standard rule of thumb is that the tenon should be 2/3 the width of the stile, or 6 inches in total.
The rule is based on the simple fact that a narrow mortise allows the door to warp, while a wide mortise complicates the process of fitting two doors together. The rule of thumb that I often follow isn’t exactly accurate, but it’s a good one to follow.
How thick should a mortise be?
These days, a lot is said about the thickness of the mortises you cut for your projects. Some think it’s better to have a small mortise so that the tenon fits tightly, whereas others believe a thicker mortise is better for joints.
However, There are a lot of opinions out there, some of which are really confusing. Joinery is one of those things that, once you understand it, make sense, and once you do, it’s easy to see why others think it’s impossible to cut a mortise that’s not a very specific thickness.
To summarize, the mortise should be deep enough to fit the tenon but not so deep that you split the wood. The mortise can be cut deeper if needed. The tenon should be long enough to fill the mortise and a minimal amount of wood should be used to create the tenon.