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You can chisel out mortise and tenon joints in timbers by hand, program a CNC milling machine for the task, or you can use LignaTool’s router system. Their system lets you create dovetail mortise and tenons for connecting timber without fasteners.

The system is comprised of a mortise template and a tenon template. Both have sliding fences built in for quick setup. With the LignaTools templates you can make mortises and tenons in wood cross sections from 3″ by 3″ to 8″ by 15″ — plus you can vary the tenon length and make joints with compound angles up to 45° in both directions.

Here’s the bad news: the templates alone will cost you $4000. An 8° or 15° router milling bit will run you another $400, and there’s also the matter of having a 2000W heavy-duty router that can handle milling timbers.

LignaTool [Timber Frame Tools]

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14 Responses to Create Dovetail Mortise And Tenons In Timbers

  1. aaron says:

    i’ll do it with my teeth for that price!

  2. fred says:

    Most of the timberframing tooling sold by folks like Mafell cost an arm and a leg – it certainly would discourage the infrequent user.

  3. Shopmonger says:

    Yeah i could make a jig in an hour that would od that with a rounter…..so why 4000…..CRAZY…


  4. Sweettalker says:

    $4000!!! They had better do more than mortise for that price.

  5. Gary says:

    Does the tenon widen as it gets to the edge of the end of the board that will be touching the face of the other? It doesn’t look like it from the pics. If it doesn’t, the joint doesn’t lock together like a dovetail joint. You could do a stopped dado and tenon joint and achieve the same result very easily.

  6. Mr P says:

    It seems like everything on that site has an extra zero on all the pricing. Festool, Fein, Hain, Incra, and Hilti now look very affordable.

  7. Gideon says:

    Make your own templates and use a guitar dovetail cutter like the one from wealden tools:


  8. Randy says:

    I would do that buy hand for that price

  9. Terry Evans says:

    That’s almost as bad as the puppies I want to buy for $3000.000! Needless to say, I can’t afford the dog or this tool Although the tool is ingenious, I could probably get but with a hammer and chisel.

  10. Werner Maria Schmidt says:

    I built these templates at a Saturday morning…with corian……costs 100 dollar maximum….. And they ‘re working great ………

  11. Jim Rankin says:

    I can cut dovetails out by hand in the time it takes to set up the templates
    They are great for small production work but if you’re doing just a few consider it time we’ll spent brushing up on your handsaw technique

  12. RichPullan says:

    For that price I’d rather use a chisel and my ball sack as the mallet!

  13. JC says:

    I don’t see the point of it. Where’s the strength of the joint? Unles the sides of the mortise and tenon are tapered to lock it in (which doesn’t look like it does) it’ll still need a fixing to lock it together. $4K is big bucks for a joint that isn’t a true dovetail.

  14. JARMULA says:

    Very necessary

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