Another router mortising question

If I get a spiral bit or two, should I buy the bit the exact size of the mortise/dado that I want or should I buy it smaller and make several passes?
I'm going to try my hand at some basic mission style rail/stile stuff at first like this: http://www.furnitureplans.com/pi_products/1100
Thanks, Mike W.
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If I get a spiral bit or two, should I buy the bit the exact size of the mortise/dado that I want or should I buy it smaller and make several passes?
I'm going to try my hand at some basic mission style rail/stile stuff at first like this: http://www.furnitureplans.com/pi_products/1100
Thanks, Mike W.
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For most mortises, the only "passes" you want to make would be on depth of cut, not width.
Mortise widths are generally based on two things, the width of the material into which the mortise is being, and/or the width of the chisel with which it's being cut .
You would do better, IME, to get the exact size router bit for the planned tenon, ie, 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" ... you can always plane or otherwise adjust the tenon if need be to get that just right fit.
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I use a 1/4" bit regardless of mortise width and use a template and template guide. Multiple passes are made for depth only as the full width is plowed out per pass. The router bit width doesn't necessarily determine the mortise width.
This page illustrates a template very similar to the ones I've made, and an identical technique: http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/w00118.asp
A mortising template need not be fancy and complicated.
Brian.

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Mike,
You can make a jig like Pat Warner shows on his site (www.patwarner.com) for making M&T joints using the exact size bit (spiral upcut bit). No matter how you do it, I think you'll find the best way is to cut the mortise first, then cut the tennon fat and tweak it as needed. Using a good (accurate) jig like Pat explains on his site and in his books is key to making them with a router.
Bob S.

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After my last gaffe with mortises vs dados, I hesitate to reply - but my son and I just finished this exact project - the Mission Style Blanket Chest. I posted a couple of pictures on abpw - It came out REALLY good. This is a good set of plans, easy to work from. We did it in white oak for the rails, and red oak plywood for the panels.
Hope you enjoy it!
Nick B

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Wait! You didnt elaborate on HOW you did it? Did you use the router? What kind of bit?
Im looking for some advice here. I think your picture on ABPW is what inspired me!
Thanks, Mike W.

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I used the dado cutter (Delta 35-535 I picked up at an auction) on my TS, and a sacrifical fence made from a scrap piece of the $60/sheet 3/4 oak plywood (*shudder*...I'm a newbie, wadda ya want?) I bought for the panels.
Tested the cut on some scrap wood, adjusted the blade height and fence and ran those puppies off one after another. Took about 30 minutes to to them all (well, you do it slow so you can enjoy the smell of the wood and the cut of the TS :))). It's a great little plan - post some pics when you finish -
Nick B

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Mike W. wrote...

You can get accurate results more easily using a smaller bit.
Jim
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