Well after going over all the tips I received from my previous post and
having all the parts cut for the sofa table I took the plunge and started on
them. Revelation #1, it's not as easy as Norm makes it look.
The table has through mortises for the side rails. So not to cut the
mortises in the wrong direction on the legs I sat down and marked where they
should be with a ruler and pencil. Glad I did cause on one leg I marked one
wrong. Afer drilling the mortises in the legs (shop fox mortiser) and
cutting the tenons on the two of the short rails I found a problem. The
tenons weren't as long as the mortises, wound up about a 1/8 in shorter.
Figured this came from how I marked with the pencil, inside outside line
things. Think I can make little wedges to slide in the bottom of the
mortises and hide the gap. The width of the tenons matched up a little tight
but after cleaning out the mortises with a chisel and file they fit lightly
snug. One tenon was a little loose and not sure why, never changed the
setting on the tenon jig. I guess this like everything else will go quicker
and smoother the more I do.
Again thanks for all the tips.
Is having a gap at the bottom of a mortise a bad thing? It seems like if you
bottomed out exactly there'd be no room for excess glue to collect, possibly
forcing a split. (I'm a newbie at this myself.)
Now I'm a little unclear about the next part: how can anybody see space at the
bottom of a mortise? The tenon should slide in and fill the hole as far as
anybody can see.
Happens at least once on every project ... just wail until you start cutting
them on inside tapered legs. If you do cut a mortise in the wrong place, you
can often fix it creatively with a plug cut from an extra tenon, though you
may be forced to repeat the mistake three more times for symmetry. :)
Through tenons? Always make an extra part or two ...then you can cut a piece
off an extra tenon to use as a plug for a short through tenon. I alway batch
cut tenons and make them longer than necessary, then cut them to precise
length on the chop saw, leaving themt an 1/8th" short of the mortise depth
to allow for glue.
The parts not being milled to an identical thickness is often the cause of
this. You should shim that loose tenon with a thin piece of stock, then sand
it back down to a proper fit ...tenons that are too loose make a weak joint.
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