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Mortise and Tenon Joinery – Using Only a Hand Drill!


Mortise and Tenon Joinery – Using Only a Hand Drill!

Mortise and tenon joints are the gold standard for strength. Usually, mortises are cut by hand or made on a mortising machine. Two jigs by beadLOCK make this much simpler and less expensive: all that’s required is a hand drill.

Here’s how beadLOCK works. First, you use a beadLOCK jig to drill a series of overlapping holes in both sides of a joint. Second, you cut beadLOCK’s tenon stock to fit the mortises. The whole process is easy and accurate. The unique shape of the tenon stock adds up to 10% more gluing surface.

The basic kit includes a 3/8 in. drill bit, stop collar, and a 3/8 in. guide block, allowing you to center a mortise 3/8 in. from an edge. Using shims, you can center the mortise up to 7/8 in. from an edge.

The Pro Kit is based on a newly designed drilling jig and includes everything needed to make 3/8 in. joints. It handles stock up to 3-1/2 in. thick and makes mortises up to 3-1/2 in. wide. The drilling block slides on guide bars, allowing much more flexiblity than the basic kit in positioning a mortise. The new jig also enables you to make square mortises. You drill the holes as usual, replace the drilling guide with a straight-sided paring guide, and use a chisel to square the mortise. Kits for making 1/4 in. and 1/2 in. mortises are available for both models.


Note: Product availability and prices are subject to change.

Rockler,, 800-279-4441, beadLOCK Pro, 37801; 1/4 in. beadLOCK Pro Accessory Kit, 39882; 1/2 in. beadLOCK Pro Accessory Kit, 36546; 3/8 in. beadLOCK Kit, 34802; 1/4 in. beadLOCK Guide Block Accessory Kit, 38088; 1/2 in. beadLOCK Guide Block Accessory Kit, 34985.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker September 2008, issue #137.

September 2008, issue #137

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