Cedar Shelves

Mortise And Floating Tenon Joinery

Kevin Haynes avatar
Video made by Kevin Published on 11/11/2019, viewed by 1890 , 0 Comments

Beautiful grain! No nails or screws required. This joint is very strong and can be used for table tops and many other applications. No Festool Domino required. Much stronger than a biscuit joint too.

What you will need

1x4 Cedar

wood glue

table saw

bench top mortiser or chisels

sander or sand paper

finish of your choice

How to do this project


Make a nice square glue edge

Rip the ends off the board to make a square edge on the boards glue edge on the table saw


This will vary on your project

Measure and cross cut pieces to desired length.


Tried and true joints

Bring cut pieces to the mortiser and make .25 inch wide mortises apx one inch long.



Bring 1” thick scrap wood over to table saw. This is important if your piece of scrap is not 1” thick do not cut your mortises one inch long. Make sure those are the same.


Set fence on table saw to just over .25” and rip a piece.


Cut floating tenons

Cross cut your piece to 1” pieces. Cut ad many as the amount of mortises you cut. For a shelf this size I would suggest four or 5 on each side of the board that will join with the other piece. This may vary depending on the depth you set on your mortise and is not an exact science. Leave a little room for glue inside the mortise.


Who needs a festool domino?!

Test fit your floating tenons inside the mortises. If more clearance is needed adjust your mortises back at the mortiser.


Glue up the mortises very liberally. This will ensure the joint is strong and can withstand weight along with the support of the loose tenons.


Insert the tenons and join the boards


Clamp pieces together snug but not too snug where you may ruin the squareness of the joint. Let dry for a few hours.


Sand excess dry glue off and sand the rest of the wood smooth starting with 80 grit, then 120, than 240.


Use finish of your choice. Tung oil works great on cedar.


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