Need advice for hand cut mortise and tenons - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-15-2012, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Need advice for hand cut mortise and tenons

Hi Folks,
First off, I'm a rank amature. Please be kind.

I'm in the process of building a Stickley type table (similar to this: http://readwatchdo.com/2012/03/addin...trestle-table/). The top is done. I made that from reclaimed spruce from an old mill.

I'm doing the work at night wood class at a local high school so I have access to pretty decent equipment in thier woodshop.

I'm making the trestle from 3x6 pine and the legs from 6x6 pine which I have cut, jointed etc. For next steps, I was thinking of cutting the tenons with with a table saw or a hand saw and picking up some Forstner bits for the mortises.

I'm I going in the right direction here? I've poked around and I'm still looking for instruction, videos, guidance on the best way to do the mortises and tenons. Any, tips, links and suggestions are deeply appreciated.

Thanks,
greg
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-15-2012, 01:08 AM
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If the shop has a mortising machine (hollow chisel mortiser) that's an easy and clean way to make mortises. Alternatively you can use a router to rout out most of the mortise waste and chisels to square up the sides.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-15-2012, 08:16 AM
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Equipment is everything making a mortice and tenon joint. I agree with purrmaster if you had access to a hollow punch morticing machine it would make it a lot easier. If that isn't an option it can be done by building a jig to set over the part and mortice with a plunge router. If that isn't an option you could set up a fence on a drill press and drill a line of holes with a brad point or forsner drill bit. Then by hand chisel out the wood between. It would take a lot of patience and skill to chisel the material out because you don't want the make the mortice larger in the center. The joint needs to be tight or you might as well dowel the joint. As far as making the tenons on a table saw, the topic was covered pretty good on this thread, Making tenons with dado blade in General Woodworking Discussion.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-15-2012, 09:09 AM
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I do not have a mortise machine. I keep looking at these, but have not yet taken the plunge.

When I have the need to make mortise and tenon joints I use the table saw to make the tenon. Steve linked a recent thread on using dado's to make the tenon.

I use my drill press to make the mortise using a brad point bit. I find these cut faster than a Forstner bit, especially if the mortise is deep.

I then clean up the mortise with a chisel. I do have a corner chisel which helps for the corners, but a normal chisel also works.

The router method works, but takes more setup time for the stop blocks, or the time to make a jig for a top bearing bit.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-15-2012, 09:16 AM
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I'm a hand tooler in a power tools fight but I'll just say to the OP if you chose to do these by hand I'll be more than happy to help you with it.

...now carry on boys - the power tool wars can resume.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-15-2012, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all yourbsuggestions; great info. The shop doesn't have a mortise machine. They do have a drill press. I think I'm going to get a set of Forstner bits and chisels for these big mortises. Design-wise, there are a couple things in my favor: 1-fairly soft, wood which I'm guessing is easier to work with than say, oak, and (2) This is a fairly rustic design there's some allowance for my messing up. (but I undertand that a tight joint= less wobble).

The other issue will be: How to cut long (6") tenons? Standing the boards on their ends on the table saw, I can only go in about 3 inches. I have seen another way whereby one makes a series of cuts across the tenon (see attached photo) that I chisel out.

Greg
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-15-2012, 12:32 PM
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If you are going to use just a regular blade rather than a dado blade to make your tenons I would suggest you turn the board flat and raise the blade up as much as possible and rip the tenon. You will have to stop before you reach the shoulder but it will remove most of the material without making a hundred cross cuts. You will just have to make the cross cuts up close to the shoulder.
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-15-2012, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
If you are going to use just a regular blade rather than a dado blade to make your tenons I would suggest you turn the board flat and raise the blade up as much as possible and rip the tenon. You will have to stop before you reach the shoulder but it will remove most of the material without making a hundred cross cuts. You will just have to make the cross cuts up close to the shoulder.
I'm gonna get a dado blade! Thanks.
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