Help with finishing a Mortise??? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-02-2017, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Help with finishing a Mortise???

I am in the process of trying to dig out some Mortises in some redwood 2x4's I got from Home Depot. They are going to be used to make the frame of a gate. I went to my local Mills Fleet Farm and got some cheap 20-25 dollar 3 pack of chisels. As you can see from my pics below... I did manage to get a good amount out. But Im only about 2 1-2 inches down and I wanted to go 3 inches deep, which should leave me 1/2" on the bottom.
BUT...
I'm not confident that I can chisel it deep enough and make it nice and square at the bottom. So I borrowed a Router from a buddy at work. Its a Makita RT0701C. And now that I have it, Im not sure it will even work. He didnt have the extra plunge add-on or a guide. The bits he gave me look like I can make a square mortise with them. But, I have tried and I cannot get it to drop down or extend down to be able to cut 3 Inches down. Maybe 1 1/4" - 1 1/2" at most. So I might be able to straiten out the rough top edges that I chiseled. But thats it.
Am I missing something? Are there bits that maybe are longer? Or do I need to get the plunge attachment to get that deep?
Sorry for the confusing beginner questions...[IMG][/IMG]

Last edited by Checksum47; 09-02-2017 at 12:51 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-02-2017, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-02-2017, 12:59 PM
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I would use a forstner bit on a drill press, then clean up with an extremely sharp chisel.

To use a router, you will need a jig and a 3 inch straight cut bit with a 1/2 inch shank. Just a note, using a bit that long in a route you will need to be very careful, if that thing gets away with you it can really do some sever damage to you, the work piece or the router or all the above.

You will not be able to make a 3 inch cut with one pass so you will need several passes to get that depth.

To sharpen your chisels I would go to youtube and look up scary sharp method, your chisels need to be extremely sharp in that soft wood.

http://www.diychatroom.com/

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post #4 of 9 Old 09-02-2017, 01:09 PM
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Yeah ... sharp chisels are a must. Also remember though, that the inside of the mortise doesn't need to be or look "perfect". If the tenon fits snugly, then it is a good mortise.

Another option to might consider is to use a shorter tenon. 2 1/2" is plenty, and will give you a very strong joint.

... turning perfectly good wood into firewood every day ... :smile3:
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-02-2017, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so looking at my pics. If I can kinda average the bottom out or get it a little closer to square 2 1/2" inches would be ok? If there ends up being a little chunk or chip in the tip of the tenon that is void it could be fine as long as the overall fit is snug?
Does my overall width of the Mortise look ok for a 2x4? Or should I take out more on any particular side?
I think I might have to do it with the chisels like you guys say...
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-02-2017, 02:28 PM
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Is the mortise 1/2" wide? Do you have the tenon cut yet? if so, can you post a pic of it?

... turning perfectly good wood into firewood every day ... :smile3:

Last edited by Chris Curl; 09-02-2017 at 02:31 PM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-02-2017, 05:03 PM
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When making large M&T joints (as in joining 2X4s), I cut my tenons first, usually on the table saw. Then, I cut each mortise to match one tenon. As Chris said above, the mortise doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to fit tight. I use forstner bits in the drill press to remove the bulk of the material and clean up with chisels.

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post #8 of 9 Old 09-02-2017, 07:08 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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you might have a problem ....?

There is not much material at the end of the mortise and Redwood is not particularly strong parallel with the grain line. It might just break out the end if stressed sufficiently. You could probably just tap on the end and knock out the small area at the end of the mortise..... I donno? :frown2:

I would have used a half lap for this joint where there is a lot of surface area for gluing and shoulders for strength/resistence against racking. I've made gate in this manner and they have held up for many years.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-04-2017, 05:16 PM
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The tenon end should not butt up against the bottom of the mortise, so it doesn't have to be completely flat. A small space between the two allows room for the excess glue that is forced back during assembly. Otherwise the joint may not close completely.


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