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WWX Mortise & Tenon Plugin Tutorial

posted Jun 16, 2010, 11:21 AM by Sharon Lev   [ updated Mar 2, 2014, 7:03 AM ]
This tutorial shows the basics of using the WWX Mortise & Tenon plugin for SketchUp. 

Click on the images to see a larger view.

1.    After obtaining the plugin compressed ZIP file, copy it to your Sketchup plugins folder.

    For Windows, this would be located here:

        C:\Program Files\Google\Google Sketchup 7\Plugins\

    For Mac, this would be located here:

        \Library\Application Support\Google SketchUp 7\SketchUp\plugins\

2.    Unzip the ZIP file into your plugins folder. at this point, you should have a file called 'wudworx.rb' and a folder called 'wudworx' in your plugin folder as can be seen here (depending on which plugin you purchased you may see only some of the plugins in the wudworx folder):

3.    Start SketchUp

4.    Click 'Preferences' on the menu:

5.    In the Extensions pane, enable the WUDWORX extension if it is not yet enabled:

    This will add the WWX M&T plugin tool and WWX M&T Preferences option to the plugins menu under "Wudworx" and will enable the plugins menu if not yet visible.


6.    This plugin operates on Components, so we'll start by making 2 'boards', by making a 2x4 rectangle and pulling it 10":

Then making it into a component which I call "Board1":

we'll add an adjacent 'board' to simulate a M&T joinery situation:
and make it into a 2nd component which I call "Board2":

7.    Now that we have our 'boards' as components and in place (must be adjacent to one another in a position that will warrant a M&T joint) we'll open the M&T preferences pane:
which lets us choose the following:

    Tenon Depth:
        The depth of the Tenon (surprising I know...)

        This can either be a numerical length value (1", 20mm, etc) or a relational value to the mortised part (*1/2, *3/4,1, *1.5, etc) in which case a "*" star sign must lead the value

        A common tenon length value is 1/2 the depth of the mortised part in which case you could enter *1/2

    Tenon Offset:
        The offset of the tenon, or the width of the shoulders. this will set the shoulder width on all 4 edges
        This again, can either be entered as a numerical length value or as a relational value to the edge of the Tenon board.

         A common tenon offset is 1/3 of the depth of the board in which case you would enter *1/3

    Mortise Glue:
        An optional length value could be entered here to make the mortise deeper than the tenon's depth to accommodate for glue squeezeout. Enter 0 to disable and not use this.

8.    Let's make some M&T! Select the WWX M&T tool either from the menu (plugins->Wudworx-M&T) or from the toolbar if you made it visible. Click the first 'board':
Click the 2nd 'board' and Mortise and Tenon are created automatically per your input values:
Another view with the X-Ray turned off:

NOTE: The face of the component that will have the tenon must be within the space of the face of the component that will have the mortise. If the tenon part is offset to either side of the mortise part (out of bounds) the plugin will NOT add the joinery as a safety mechanism.

For a Through Pegged Tenon use *1 as the mortise depth: 
which results in the following:

For a Through Wedged Tenon use value that is greater than the mortise part's depth. in this example I used *1.5:
which results in this:

1. The orientation of the boards in this tutorial does not necessarily represents a real life scenario. this is only for demonstrating the capabilities of the plugin.

2. Remember - This plugin works on exclusively on components! When you change 1 component in SketchUp it changes all corresponding components, so making one joint in most cases will automatically modify all corresponding joints. in some cases - a mortise will be present in a joint where the tenon is not yet existing - just repeat the process on the parts consisting of that joint, and the tenon will be made (although the mortise will not have to be remade as it's already there). 

3. Beyond the scope of this plugin: this plugin will automatically and quickly create M&T in your models without the need to repeatedly measure, mark, draw, and pull. even if you want more elaborate M&T joints, this can simplify the initial drawing process which can then be manually modified to it's final geometry.

4. The Plugin will automatically figure out which 'board' should have the tenon and which 'board' should have the mortise based on their orientation! the only exception to the rule is in a scenario which is similar to a bridal joint where both 'boards' are edge to edge (no real benefit of using this joint in that case - but for the records, it'll work on SketchUp) in which case, the first 'board' clicked with the plugin will be the Tenon, and the 2nd 'board' selected with the tool will have the mortise.