Quickest way for a through mortise in 2x4 for 2x3? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 08-06-2012, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quickest way for a through mortise in 2x4 for 2x3?

Creating a rack to hang from the joists in my basement. Just for the heck of it, I want to use a through mortise to Put a 2x3 through a 2x4. I'm guessing drill and jigsaw, then chisel. Sound about right?
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post #2 of 30 Old 08-06-2012, 11:25 PM
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need a bit more info on this

You are going to hang a 2 x 3 from a mortise/hole in a 2 x 4?
That doesn't leave enough side wall material for strength in my opinion. Better to use a 2 x 6 for the hanger.
Yes drill 4 holes, jig saw to the holes and if necessary, chisel to sharpen the corners or round off the 2 x 3 to suit the hole radii.
Not knowing the specific application and the loads involved it all guess work at this point...... There are many ways to hang a board from the ceiling joists. bill

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 #3 of 30 Old 08-07-2012, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I am very tight on space and discovered that my bench grinder will fit up there; all 60 lbs or so of it. I just want two bars going across that I can rest the ply and frame that it's mounted on so the pressure should be down only, except perhaps when pulling it out to use. Do you still think 2x4 is too narrow?

Thanks.

Thanks for pointing out 4 holes. Probably would have tried 1 hole and turned the blade.
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post #4 of 30 Old 08-07-2012, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
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Do you still think 2x4 is too narrow?
Yes, agree with Woodnthings, not enough sidewall remaining.

You could rip the 2x3 to be 2x2. Smaller hole, less work. For the vertical load, 2x2 should be fine.
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post #5 of 30 Old 08-07-2012, 11:46 AM
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sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

maybe you can store other things up there . things that dont weigh 60 pounds . clamps. jigs. etc.

build it right or not at all
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post #6 of 30 Old 08-07-2012, 02:23 PM
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Chain mortiser......
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post #7 of 30 Old 08-07-2012, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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It's a good height for me. Plus the mitre saw wont fit up there and thats he only other space i have. II will either rip it to 2x2 or use some 2 x8 that I have laying around if it's long enough.


Was thinking of storing some boards across the joists in a different par of the basement by screwing some. 2x3 together in an F shape and attaching the short ends of the F on its side to the joists. Then they could be loaded in from the side. maybe even hoold the smaller sheet goods that I have.

Can you tell space is really at a premium?


Don't have a chain mortiser or know what one is...

Last edited by railaw; 08-07-2012 at 03:14 PM.
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post #8 of 30 Old 08-07-2012, 03:27 PM
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Don't have a chain mortiser or know what one is...
Warner will be happy to show you his "portable."

Why not use pipe or threaded rod through the 2x4? It would leave you with much more material to support the load.
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post #9 of 30 Old 08-07-2012, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thx. Pipe is a good idea but my building materials are limited to whatever's lying around the basement.
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post #10 of 30 Old 08-07-2012, 05:46 PM
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You would have to make a tenon on the 2x3 to make a through mortise. You could make the tenon about 3/4" wide. To cut the mortise assuming you have basic tools I would use a drill press if you have one and use a 3/4" paddle bit and drill a series of holes through the 2x4 and then hand chisel out the waste. You could do it with a hand drill if you are real good at drilling straight but I would make the holes undersize say about 5/8" so you can true the hole out by hand. Bottom line unless you have some type of mortising equipment it's not quick or easy. If this is something you would want to do often I would purchase a hollow punch mortising machine. It is basically a machine that has a drill bit in the center of a square chisel so it drills a square hole.
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post #11 of 30 Old 08-07-2012, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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This is a one off thing. Not sure why I would need to make a tenon - do you mean b/c the 2 x4 isn't wide enough? I'd rather use a wider board than. Bother with that. I don't have a decent backsaw yet.

I do have a drill press with a Mortising thing (that's a technical term); it's a delta homecraft from the 50's but haven't gotten around to setting it up. Amd i dont have any mortising chisel bit things yet It took me six months to get to the Bench grinder set up and now I have a chisel and some planes to get in working order before I can do anything, as I don't have a jointer or a planer. I think by the time I get to that it'll be time to move.

Thanks all for your input on what is essentially a dumb project. I'll use nice wide boards so the thin doesn't come down on my head and kill me. and post a few pictures of course when I'm done.

EDIT: i might as well learn something from this; is there a ratio or rule of thumb for deciding how wide a mortise can be? Thanks.

Last edited by railaw; 08-07-2012 at 06:53 PM.
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post #12 of 30 Old 08-07-2012, 10:22 PM
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Creating a rack to hang from the joists in my basement. Just for the heck of it, I want to use a through mortise to Put a 2x3 through a 2x4. I'm guessing drill and jigsaw, then chisel. Sound about right?
I'm not sure I understand what you are asking here. Are you putting the "mortise" in the edge (1") side of the 2x4 or in the face (3") side?

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post #13 of 30 Old 08-07-2012, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Through face. And I can put the 2x3 on Its short edge If that helps with size issues.
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post #14 of 30 Old 08-07-2012, 10:50 PM
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Through face. And I can put the 2x3 on Its short edge If that helps with size issues.
That's what I thought. Do you have a good plunge router? guide bushings?
I'd make a template and go after them with a 1/2" spiral bit. You could make them the exact size of the 2x3 and since most off the shelf construction lumber already has 1/4" radiused edges, the 2x3 will slip right in. Other wise you can round the 2x3's over with a router bit or sandpaper.

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post #15 of 30 Old 08-08-2012, 02:59 AM
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It is my amature understanding that a tenon should be 1/3 the thickness of the board that it is cut out of, leaving a shoulder on either side of roughly the same thickness. The obvious problem with cutting a tenon for your application is that your joists are already in place, so you wouldn't be able to slide the 2x3 clear through.

My concern would primarily be with cutting a 2x3 hole into the face of a 2x4. That leaves just an inch of material on the top and the bottom (above and below the mortise). For stud grade pine, that could be structurally insufficient for the whole.

A better approach might be to cut shallow half laps on the ends of your 2x3's (or whatever wood you find and decide to use). This leaves your joists in tact and better supports the weight in the one direction that gravity will be pulling it.

Again, this is my very amature opinion.

Last edited by Phaedrus; 08-08-2012 at 07:27 AM.
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post #16 of 30 Old 08-08-2012, 07:05 AM
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Maybe we are just picturing what you are doing wrong. If you are planning to put the 2x3 through the 3 1/2" face of the 2x4 than it would work. In this case you can put board on the base of your drill press to protect the bit and use a 1 1/2" paddle bit and drill a hole at each end of the slot. Then you can cut the rest out with a jig saw. You could also make a template and make the cut with a plunge router.

On post 10 I was picturing putting the 2x3 through the edge of the 2x4.
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post #17 of 30 Old 08-08-2012, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Perhaps this will help:

Name:  image-3787540272.jpg
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Or The 2x3 might be turned90deg
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post #18 of 30 Old 08-08-2012, 01:31 PM
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Perhaps this will help:

Attachment 48962

Or The 2x3 might be turned90deg
Helps a lot, that's pretty much what I thought you were doing. I'd leave the 2x3 on edge as drawn. Leaves plenty of 2x4 stock around it and will be less likely to do any bowing in that direction.
I still think a router and guide bushing approach would give you the cleanest, best fitting hole, If you have to tools available.

John

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post #19 of 30 Old 08-08-2012, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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I do have a plunge router but only the woodcraft bit set. The half inch straight bit is very short and I don't think it would reach all the way through the wood. I don't have any bushings And am not enthusiastic about making a template for two cuts. I would like to use the router but prob will just go with the jigsaw and drill.
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post #20 of 30 Old 08-08-2012, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by railaw View Post
I do have a plunge router but only the woodcraft bit set. The half inch straight bit is very short and I don't think it would reach all the way through the wood. I don't have any bushings And am not enthusiastic about making a template for two cuts. I would like to use the router but prob will just go with the jigsaw and drill.
Spade bit and a jigsaw will work fine. I just got used to using a router for more things than I ever intended. Template for that would just be a rectangular hole, 1 x 2 in some scrap plywood or other. Dunno why some get the idea templates are complicated.

John

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