My first hand chiseled mortises need glue - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 25 Old 04-22-2013, 12:17 PM
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One quick note on just pegging mortise and tenon joints. Bear in mind these are big joints -- The ones I cut were similar in size to the ones you're working with, about 1"x3". At that size, things that work in timber framing will work fine. I wouldn't necessarily try it with a much smaller joint.

Also, make sure the shoulder of the tenon meets cleanly all the way around. If that's good and tight, my experience is that a little bit (not a lot -- in your case I might consider wedging a really thin piece of scrap or something in) of slop is OK. Not great, but OK.
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post #22 of 25 Old 04-23-2013, 09:46 PM
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I noticed you were getting a dowel former.

Just wanted to let you know that Lee Valley sells a dowel former system with which you can size several sizes of dowels.
They also make dowel making drill bits or long dowel formers.,42524

If you don't want decorative dowels you can put simple screws in the middle of a hidden part of the tenon.
Hope it's working out.
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post #23 of 25 Old 04-24-2013, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Midlandbob

I'm waiting for my new dowel plate from Lie Nielsen as we type. I've watched several online videos on using it.

You gave me some good alternatives. I hadn't considered simple screws behind hole plugs. Knowing how poorly my mortise walls turned out, it might be a good point to punk out of keeping it 'pure'.

I think I'm going to be ok even with dowels. The only real sore spot is the show edge around my through mortises. I boogared them pretty bad.

It's funny, after having spent the last two days studying using router templates to cut through mortises I wish now I had taken that route instead of trying to chop them out with a chisel.

I've pretty much concluded there's no way I can cut a perfect edge on a through mortise and tenon with a chisel. Who am I, Leonardo da Vinci? lol

I've even considered a wild alternative to my boogared edges. I could conceivably cut off my through tenons as they exit the mortise joint and just makes some nice imitation wood blocks that look like through tenons and just glue them over the mortise exits.

Naw, it's a shop wood bench so I don't need to get too crazy making it look good. I don't even consider it a mistake so much as a lesson in pushing the envelope and experimenting. I just had to find out what that felt like, pounding out your own hand hewed mortises.

Now I'm looking forward to learning how to do mortises with a router template. No way am I going to pop $1200.00 for a mortise machine nor do I have the room for such a thing or plan on mass producing them.

I thank you for your kindly advice.
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post #24 of 25 Old 05-21-2013, 08:27 PM
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chopping mortises

Recently I made a rolling cart for my tablesaw that called for 16 M&T joints. After chopping the first 4 and finding them an eighth inch or more oversize than planned, i decided I needed to improve my technique.The next 12 were all to be the same size,so I made a dummy tenon to aid in my chopping process.I had no mortise chisels,only bench chisels, but they worked very well.The dummy tenon allowed me to cut the mortises where needed, and leave them alone where they were big enough already.The remaining mortises all came to size and most were interchangeable,ie.all tenons fit all mortices.I have not seen anyone else do this, I suspect with sufficient skill this step would not be necessary,but it worked very well for me.
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post #25 of 25 Old 05-22-2013, 07:21 AM
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I'm not sure if anyone mentioned that the best order of work is to cut the mortises first.

You can more easily cut and trim the tenons to fit the mortise. A shoulder plane and a well tuned block plane can shape a tenon to size very quickly and more reliably than the mortise. The tip above of adding a bit of veneer or wood slice to a cheek of a tenon then trimming can work for a serious undersized tenon. Tenons should be snug but fit without hammering. The glue does hold the joint together. Pegs fron the back of decoratively from the front will firm up a joint a minimize racking over time.
A tenon should be only 2 inches or so in width. A wider apron or joint would have double tenons.
A good router system of tenon chisels make the job much easier.
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