First time doing mortise and tenon. Almost cost me a thumb!!

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Project by nayo posted 02-03-2014 12:48 AM 1798 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So a friend asked me to do a magazine holder. being that i wanted to try mortise and tenon joints i decided to take this path with this little project. My dad was telling me that he used to do this joint only with hand tools, so i thought that it will be not that difficult.

i had all the pieces cut and was ready to glue them up, then i noticed a little crack in one of the pieces, as i did not want to do another one(even tough i had the set up already on my little table saw) i tried to fix it by making a cut on said piece using the table saw and then glue a little piece of wood. then i proceed to do the cut about five inches long by 1/8 wide. as i did not find a piece that fits i decided to cut a piece of 6×4x1/2 to get that width, the problem is the saw has a big opening and lazy me did not want to put a little piece of ply underneath as my dad always tell me to do.

so i was almost done with it when the piece went under the table saw and as i was not using a push stick, BAM! it got a little of my left thumb, not much but that was really a close call.
that was on Tuesday of last week and still hurts so much that i can not do pretty much(i am lefty)

so, don’t be lazy like me and always take all the precautions that you can so all your projects don’t have an additional story to tell.
this is the damage one day after:

back to the magazine holder. i was able to finished and from far away does not look that bad, there were a couple of gaps in the joints but were fixed by my dad. my friend wanted stained as in my country if is not stained, it is not monogamy, don’t ask me why, but here natural looking wood is not the norm. sadly.

anyway thanks for reading and always be safe.


5 comments so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3847 days

#1 posted 02-03-2014 08:13 AM

Very nice Nayo, M&T are fun to make. Nothing wrong with stain most of the furniture I make for people here prefer it to be stained to match their furniture. I do prefer the natural look but its not for everyone.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3609 days

#2 posted 02-03-2014 12:46 PM

Very happy to see it wasn’t any worse. Thnx for another reminder for us all to take in. Safety, safety, safety should be the first word in everyones shop.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View CFrye's profile


11022 posts in 2645 days

#3 posted 02-03-2014 09:57 PM

Why do we tend to ignor that little voice of reason when it tells us to do (or not do something)? Glad uour injury was not as bad as it could have been Nayo. Did your dad tell you how long it took him to get good at M & T joinery? This magazine rack looks good. Nice training exercise. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View DavidIN's profile


81 posts in 2793 days

#4 posted 02-06-2014 01:58 PM

zero inserts for small pieces and i always use a pushblock with anything under 12” between fence and blade. sleds are great also as there is no kickback with them. only thing with sleds is if you are using a stop make sure to hold the piece between the stop and blade. Or better yet have a stop that you can flip up so nothing is “trapped”.

good job on the project

View Paul59's profile


56 posts in 2730 days

#5 posted 02-08-2014 05:28 PM

Nice project. Thumbs up! :P

-- "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather, teach them to long for the sea." ~Antoine de Saint Exupery

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