Frame and panel construction is one of the hallmarks of traditional woodworking. It’s the technique that’s frequently used in making doors and cabinet frames.
Typically, a frame and panel is made by joining the frame with mortise and tenon joints. The panel rests in grooves cut along the edges of the frame.
But a mortise and tenon isn’t the only joint that can be used on a frame and panel project. If the panel is plywood (or another man-made material). I often use a stub tenon and groove joint.
On a traditional mortise and tenon joint, the long tenon and deep mortise provide strength for the frame, see Fig. 1. So. in a frame and panel unit built with mortise and tenon joints, the strength in the unit comes from the joint itself.
STUB TENON AND GROOVE
A stub tenon and groove joint is a little different from a traditional mortise and tenon. The stub tenon and groove joint doesn’t have a “true” mortise. Instead, the groove that holds the panel also houses the short tenon, see Fig. 2. (Also see pages 14 and 15 for more on the groove and stub tenon.)
What is useful about this joint is that it can be done using only a table saw. The following video shows how.