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Fox Wedging Tenons on a Front Door

The Mortise and Tenons are cut, they fit well. There is another part to the joints to keep them tight over time – WEDGING

Wedging a mortise and tenon tightens the joint up. Not just for now but into the future, even as the timber expands and contracts.

A normal wedge is easy to understand.

Wedged Mortise and Tenon Joint

A wedge is driven in at either side of the tenon, exerting pressure and holding the joint tight. The timber of the wedge and the tenon is compressed. Any slight shrinking of the timber due to a drop in moisture content is taken up as the compressed timber springs back. So this wedging works well and is commonly used.

However regular wedging of mortise and tenon does require an extra bit of accurate manual cutting.

The ends of the mortise need to be cut back at an angle, usually around 8 degrees.

Regular wedging verses Fox Wedging

Fox Wedging

With fox wedging I don't need the extra process. Thin wedges are driven in to saw cut slots in the tenon. This has a similar effect as regular wedging, i.e. tightening the joint and compressing tenon.

I'm all for saving a bit of effort so Fox Wedging is the right for me. (Let me know your thoughts)

Advanced fox wedging

  1. Dovetailing Fox Wedge. This expands the end of the tenon to fill a angled mortise. Very slick but OTT for door joinery.

  2. Blind Fox wedge. The bottom of the blind mortise pushes the wedges in. I'll have to try this some time so I confuddle folks “How does it stay in with no glue?”

Both of these are over the top for a softwood door but good to know about.

Note: Some say "It's not a Fox Wedge unless it's blind" I stand to be corrected if the consensus goes that way, have your say.

Dimensions For FOX WEDGING a Door

I did some trial to work the dimensions out. The following works well on my redwood door.

Dimensions for Fox Wedging a door

Cutting Accurate Wedges

Not easy, so I spent some time thinking of a simple jig.

Jig for cutting wedges

This jig works well on my table saw and would work equally well on a band saw. It uses a wedge to provide fine adjustment of the angle. The stop at other side of the slot gives consistency to the thin end of the wedge. Have a look at the video to see it in action.

Gluing up a TIMBER DOOR

For an amateur like me, gluing something this size is bit daunting. Its all got to go together, its all got to fit tight and its got to be square. Once the glue is on there's no chance for last minute adjustments. As I'm using polyurethane adhesive that start setting quickly the pressure is really on.

The trick I use, is to sit and think through all the steps of process. After playing the procedure through in my mind a few times I'm ready to start.


It might also be useful to have an assistant to hand. If like me there's no one available, console yourself, there's no one to witness the minor panics. You might spot my “moments”even after the careful edits.

The next part covers jointing boards. Then creating deep raised panels using a router table and basic tooling.

As always your comments are more than welcome

How to Make a Timber Door

Part 1. Timber Exterior Door Design

Part 2. DIY External Door Design and Proportions

Part 3. Tenon Theory and Cutting

Part 4. Mortise Marking and Cutting

Part 5. Fox Wedging Mortise and Tenon Joints

Part 6. Raised Panels on the cheap

Part 7. Routered Mouldings and Fitting