First, a definition: The mortise is a slot or recess, usually rectangular, cut into a wood table leg or wood column to receive a matching projection (tenon) from a wood apron designed to support a table or counter top. Together, the mortise and tenon form the mortise and tenon joint
, a kind of woodworking joint, that joins one piece of wood to another. And together, the legs and aprons combine to form your table or vanity base.
The mortise and tenon joint, when properly done, is exceedingly strong and durable. It has been a basic hallmark of good furniture and cabinetry construction in America since the 1700’s. Much of the furniture in American museum collections has mortise and tenon
joints holding it together quite well, even after 250 years. The tenon can be secured in a mortise by glue alone. The joint is made even more durable by boring holes through the assembled joint and pegging
At your request we mortise table legs and columns so they will join up to the tenons at the ends of the support aprons. Most tables are made with aprons that are 4" wide. Most aprons for bath vanities and kitchen islands are 5 3/4" wide. Together, the legs and the aprons form the table base, on which goes your tabletop. If you are a novice woodworker thinking about assembling a table base from legs and aprons, don't be intimidated at all by mortises and tenons. Assembly of the precision-milled parts is very easy.
Typical table base kit with mortised legs, tenoned aprons,
valuable assembly tips and hardware.
Consider shopping for a table base kit
. Base kits come with all the parts you need
to achieve success, including detailed instructions and even top-mounting screws. If
you still have doubts about how easy this can be, watch our short video series: Table Building Made Easy
. Matt will walk you through the basics and get you well
on your way.
If you are a veteran woodworker, you can really streamline production with mortise and tenon joinery and with base kits, too. Review our mortising standards
if you have concerns about dimensioning. Plus, we can do custom mortising. Call us if you have special needs.
Just a couple other details about mortising:
We do not mortise legs with a top block height of less than 4". Nor do we mortise the following legs: 100-B, 110-BC, 103-D, 140-C, 140-D, 140-E, 304-S, and 304-E.
Mortising and tenoning may add an additional 1-2 days lead time to the processing of your order. Finally, milled parts are not returnable.