Joining in the middle of 3/4 inch board

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Forum topic by seadonkey posted 11-18-2019 05:15 AM 358 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 1047 days

11-18-2019 05:15 AM

Hello, I’m a rookie woodworker and pretty much the only type of joinery I’ve used is pocket holes, so I’d like opinions on how best to accomplish a joint into the middle of a 3/4 inch piece of wood. I was thinking mortise and tenon, but it seems like the mortise would be really shallow and the tenon very short. I’m building a little step stool based on this:

my question is in relation to the parts that bridge between the two sides- is mortise and tenon the way to go there or is there some better joint for that?

Thanks in advance for your advice

-- I mostly make firewood...

9 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6014 posts in 3373 days

#1 posted 11-18-2019 05:34 AM

Mortise and tenon would be best. Dowels would also work. Even glue and recessed screws is fine. Then you can cover the holes with tapered plugs.

Lots of options.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View seadonkey's profile


20 posts in 1047 days

#2 posted 11-18-2019 05:39 AM

Thank you for the advice, I think I’m going to go for the mortise and tenon. When it comes to the depth of the mortise the rule of 2/3rds means about .5 inch deep- do you think that’s what I should go for?

-- I mostly make firewood...

View OSU55's profile


2450 posts in 2549 days

#3 posted 11-18-2019 01:14 PM

1/2” is fine, or you could have through tenons which show thru to the outside showing off your work.

View bondogaposis's profile


5570 posts in 2911 days

#4 posted 11-18-2019 02:21 PM

For something like that I would use screws and plugs.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Robert's profile


3569 posts in 2040 days

#5 posted 11-18-2019 02:45 PM

Through mortise and tenons with wedges. Think “chair building”.

If you don’t do it this way, the racking forces will loosen the joint, it being so shallow.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Travis's profile


349 posts in 326 days

#6 posted 11-18-2019 03:12 PM

Pocket holes would certainly be easiest, especially since you’re familiar with them. If I were going to paint the project (as in the product links) I would go pocket holes all the way. If you’re using a hardwood and want the grain to show, want to make the project a bit more “showy,” then I would do a through M&T, either wedged or tusked, as others have said.

-- The plan is wrong; my finished piece is right.

View pottz's profile


7014 posts in 1544 days

#7 posted 11-18-2019 08:24 PM

For something like that I would use screws and plugs.

- bondogaposis


-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View AndyJ1s's profile


73 posts in 315 days

#8 posted 11-19-2019 01:59 AM

Single step or two step stool?

Depending on your skill level (and/or sense of adventure), you might consider sliding dovetails for the steps.

The stretcher would best use M&T on the single step.

On the 2-step, a M&T as shown on the 2-step. Or move the stretcher back flush with the rear of the sides, and dovetailed into the rear edges of the sides. There may be a second stretcher on the 2-step, across the front.


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20 posts in 1047 days

#9 posted 11-19-2019 05:11 AM

I’m doing the 2 step one, so there will be 4 total stretchers- on the back ones I’m just going to have them in the very back and dado out some slots for them, the ones below the front of each step I’ll give a through mortise a shot.

Thanks everyone, really appreciate it! My main reason for wanting to skip the pocket holes is really just to experiment and expand the skill-set. My skill level is extremely low, but I have a strong sense of adventure and have purchased extra raw materials!

-- I mostly make firewood...

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