Mortise in Slab Legs - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 29 Old 06-09-2017, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by MarkWilliams View Post
From what I am seeing I think I am going to snag myself a solid set of chisels and just get good at carving out mortises. No need to try to get fancy with power tools if I can just get good at doing them by hand!
Excellent choice Mark!

Just a little reading and "listening" to the Chisel and the Wood itself will teach much. As others have suggested, this will require learning how to sharpen and getting a sharpening system setup that works for you...

This type of furniture is fundamentally what is the "Folk Arts" and have been servicing our furniture needs for millenia. The tooling is the most basic and perhaps the most elegant...

Good Luck!
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post #22 of 29 Old 06-10-2017, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay C. White Cloud View Post
Excellent choice Mark!

Just a little reading and "listening" to the Chisel and the Wood itself will teach much. As others have suggested, this will require learning how to sharpen and getting a sharpening system setup that works for you...

This type of furniture is fundamentally what is the "Folk Arts" and have been servicing our furniture needs for millenia. The tooling is the most basic and perhaps the most elegant...

Good Luck!
I usually use a template guide (post #3) and I've worked out a system for making dead accurate templates very quickly. I use my little router because it's quieter and has good dust/chip collection and you can do a lot more with a little router than you would think. I don't think, for many of us, that chopping this out by hand would be quicker at all than using my template system. I also think there is a lot less risk when you clamp a template to the work. When you've spent a lot of time on a project and the next to last step is inlaying hardware or cutting a mortise the risk of a mistake is a factor.
That said, for what you are making, I would do it by hand no question. Because JC has it- there is an emotional response to this object that says 'handmade'. It just wouldn't feel right to me to make this with a router and it wouldn't feel as good (to me) using it/owning it either. The router would get you a perfect result and I don't think perfect is really the goal here.
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post #23 of 29 Old 06-10-2017, 12:26 PM
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"The router would get you a perfect result and I don't think perfect is really the goal here."

Really? I take it you don't do this for a living...

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post #24 of 29 Old 06-10-2017, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Rebelwork View Post
"The router would get you a perfect result and I don't think perfect is really the goal here."

Really? I take it you don't do this for a living...
No, I don't, although so far this year my shop has generated about $20K in profit on sales of a little over $50K. Much of that was metal work/milling but the table saw is a big player as well. I tend to work to a very high standard but the piece in discussion has a rusticity that, in my opinion, would not be enhanced by a machined and perfect and perfect look. Only my opinion of course and I understand others will differ, which is great. There's room for everyone.
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post #25 of 29 Old 06-10-2017, 04:49 PM
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No, I don't, although so far this year my shop has generated about $20K in profit on sales of a little over $50K. Much of that was metal work/milling but the table saw is a big player as well. I tend to work to a very high standard but the piece in discussion has a rusticity that, in my opinion, would not be enhanced by a machined and perfect and perfect look. Only my opinion of course and I understand others will differ, which is great. There's room for everyone.
You should always have a standard of quality.,,,
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post #26 of 29 Old 06-13-2017, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian(J)
I don't think, for many of us, that chopping this out by hand would be quicker at all than using my template system.
That is strictly an opinion Brian, and has academic perspectives for both system that could be legitimately discussed...of that I would most certainly agree. Nevertheless, when it comes to "mortise cut" both now and throughout history, the most elegant, enduring and versatile ones are still (and probably always will be) cut by hand...that is coming from a historical and global perspective of "mortises cut in wood."

For a person new to woodworking, it is both a vital skill to embrace and learn thoroughly before all others...or...your not a woodworker yet rather a "machinist of wood." If that is the path selected, then that is the way of it...neither good nor bad...right or wrong. I too "machine wood" most every day...including many if not most of my mortises now to stay vital and current in speed within a competitive market...We still "chop" many by hand nonetheless, and all joints get hand tooled to completion...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian(J)
I also think there is a lot less risk when you clamp a template to the work...
Risk of what...???

I know of WAY MORE!!! injuries and damage to projects from routers (both professional and amature) than with hand tools...including (but not limited too) torn tendons, removed digits, broken bones and destroy material...

That isn't open to opinion...That is just a simple statistical reality...All major injuries and material losses in our shop (and any I know of) do not ever occur with hand tools compared to power tools...especially routers...and hideous power hand planers, which I despise but have to use all the time including massive 300mm handheld power planers are the worst. Not to mention the toil of wrestling something like a 3.5 horse Router (as little ones don't cut ti for a lot of projects) even in a template...So...FORGET [email protected]##!! it these days...ha,ha...I leave that to the younger folk around...and wish I could for those giant ass planners too as well, but they are just too freaking dangerous in the hands of "Knobs and Pilgrims."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian(J)
When you've spent a lot of time on a project and the next to last step is inlaying hardware or cutting a mortise the risk of a mistake is a factor.
Could not agree more with that statement...and...precisely why...ALL!!!...critical work is only...hand work...(for the most part) and especially for beginners and those building their skill sets up within the craft...Machines just can match a well trained eye and the skills behind them...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian(J)
I don't think perfect is really the goal here.
I think to this...???...I would have to say what I have said for years to students, as it was said to me years ago from withing several craft disciplines from ceramics to textiles and blacksmithing to stonework and beyond...

"Perfection is a state of mind...not a state of existence."

If of we speak is "precision" of that I am sorry I must not agree...

In wood (as it is in many materials) a well trained and heeled human hand and eye can meet or match (and often exceed) a machine every day...and all day...and has been this way since the beginning of the industrial revolution when all aspects and honest comparative analysis is done of...ALL...aspects of a project and the "big picture" of the craft we call woodworking...Though this is not to discount or disregard some aspects which have strictly become..."wood machining."

With that said, and a nod to what you (et al) do with the template and router, I too do much of my mortising for certain projects with a Festool Domino 700, Mafel Chain Mortiser/Sloter, or related tool...so I'm not an absolute purest, as I do see value in machines where applicable...especially from a professional production perspective or when trying to facilitate a product price margin while still having solid elements of traditional work to give a client (and the work) the best I can for the money spent...while stile generating an arloom quality piece....
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Last edited by 35015; 06-13-2017 at 01:02 AM.
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post #27 of 29 Old 06-13-2017, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Ya, I'm currently just getting started so I am limited to a table-saw, mitre saw, skill saw and cheap basic hand tools.

If carpentry was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!
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post #28 of 29 Old 06-13-2017, 12:03 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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how about a jig saw?

In my post at the very beginning of this, I suggested you could remove a whole lot of the waste material by drilling a hole in each corner of the desired mortise, then using a jig saw with a 3" long blade saw out between the holes. Now all that left is to either shape the tenon to fit the opening/mortise OR refine the mortise to fit a shouldered tenon.

I find it easiest to fit the tenon into the mortise than vice versa. You should make your mortise smaller than the overall size of the workpiece by at least 1/4"all around, to allow for shoulders on the tenon. The shoulders add a critical bearing surface to prevent racking, very important! So, when laying out the mortise, allow for that reduction in size.

As far as chisels go, ordinary plastic handled carpenters chisels will work, but if you have to really bang on the ends, you will want a steel ended chisel. You may not have a mallet for using on the end of a chisel, since it's not really a basic tool. A dead blow plastic hammer would also work. Specialized mortising chisel are much more stout with thicker blades and capped ends for use with a mallet.

If you do not own a jig saw, I suggest getting one. I bought a cheap Black and Decker for my son when he was 10 years old and I'm amazed at it's power and the ease of changing blades. :smile3:

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)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-13-2017 at 12:13 PM.
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post #29 of 29 Old 06-14-2017, 11:12 PM
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Just a note!!

On the replies re chisels being slower.....not necessarily ....today I miscalculated and cut a measurement on a wavy wall with a double window in a 1860 farmhouse 8 different depths (enough said!!! LOL) ...any way built the new jamb and installed to realize one corner was 5/16" proud. I remembered Jay said it can be quicker with a sharp chisel (2" long handled slick for me).....in 5 minutes I was corrected and all aligned back up in 2 directions. I couldn't have gotten the power tools out and and done the job that quickly.

I'm only showing the pile of shavings...too much light coming through the windows for good window trim pics.

THANKS JAY!!!!!

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Have a Blessed and Prosperous day in Jesus's Awesome Love, Tim
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