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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm in the process of doing what I think is my first through mortise and tenon. (I may have done one in the past but I don't remember so I'm thinking this is my first.)

I'm doing this to put stretchers on a chair that keeps falling apart.

So I'm asking you fine folks, what do you think is the fastest method to do this barring a special mortising bit, which I'm not interested in going out to buy right now.
 

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where's my table saw?
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rectangular or square mortises

1. Accurately... drill 4 small holes in each corner that will permit your smallest sabre saw blade to fit inside. Saw carefully... on the inside of the lines. Chisel out the remaining material to the line. You'll need a sharp blade and a good saber saw.
2. A coping saw with a coarse blade may also work.
3. A series of holes slightly less than the opening, made with a Forstner bit and overlapping slightly will clear out the majority of the material and you can clean up with a chisel.
:blink:
 

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You didn't say if the legs are apart from the chair or in place but just loose. You also didn't say the thickness or the species of the chair parts. If the chair is somewhat together, I would cut the stretcher(s) to fit, and clamp the legs together...pinching the stretcher. Then just drill through the leg and into the stretcher with a ½" bit, and insert a dowel with glue.

If the parts are loose, just drill out the parts, and use the dowel as a loose tenon.






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woodnthings said:
1. Accurately... drill 4 small holes in each corner that will permit your smallest sabre saw blade to fit inside. Saw carefully... on the inside of the lines. Chisel out the remaining material to the line. You'll need a sharp blade and a good saber saw.
2. A coping saw with a coarse blade may also work.
3. A series of holes slightly less than the opening, made with a Forstner bit and overlapping slightly will clear out the majority of the material and you can clean up with a chisel.
:blink:
On option 3, drill every other hole, then go back and drill away the webs this reduces the side loads on the bit and your drill press.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone. Rectangular tenons, specifically because I wanted to try this on "junk" chairs before trying to build some high quality ones. The chair was together until I had an epiphany and took the damn thing apart in order to not break it further while trying to hand chisel the mortises.

So far I drilled two holes and then chiseled out the mortises by hand the rest of the way. Two legs finished, two legs to go. Thanks for the suggestions of different options. I hadn't considered a coping or saber saw as an option but it makes sense.
 
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