i just chiseled my first mortise and am looking for some feedback. i've
never worked with mortises or chisels and am wondering if this one is
clean enough to accept glue and a tenon or if it needs more work. it
can be seen at:
thanks for the input.
Looks good, but the real test is whether the tenon fits properly.
Opinions vary, but the tenon should fit snugly - not so tight you have
to pound it in, but not so loose that it falls out unassisted.
Too tight wipes the glue from the wood during assembly and makes for a
weak glue joint. Too loose and the glue bond is compromised, as it's
not (large) gap filling.
Looks good. Hit the layout lines cleanly
and the sided don't look ragged.
Did you use a mortise chisel, firmer chisel
or a bevel sides bench chisel? The latter
doesn't work as well as the other two.
Because the side of the mortise and firmer
chisel are square to the top and bottom
they cut at the bevel edge that all
three types of chisels do, but also at
their sides. They're also self aligning
once you get the mortise started.
Did you start in the middle and work
to the ends or start at one end and work
towards the other end?
If the tenons are going to have shoulders,
consider beveling the top edges of the
If you bevel the end of the tenon a little
it's go into the mortise easier - some
what self aligning. Also leaves a
little space for air and/or glue
This should illustrate things better
than just words.
i drilled a series of non-overlapping holes with a fornester bit, then
cleaned the sides with a 1 inch beveled chisel and finished the ends
with a 3/8 beveled chisel. i chose this method because 1) it *looked*
easier for a beginner and 2) i couldn't find a mortise chisel in town.
good tip about the beveling the m&t. i'll give that a try.
interesting article about your bench....now i've got bench envy.
Nice thing about M&T joints - more than one way to skin
Look at the second and third pictures on this page
See how the leading edge of the sides meet the bevel
end of the chisels? That edge will cut wood too -
nice and cleanly. And if the chisel fits the mortise
it'll be self aligning
This page has two more "tips" associated with M&T
joints and mortising chisels. Scroll down to paragraph
5 "And it's in these moments of minor triumph that
you get careless..."
Why is it that there are so many opportunities
to do something really dumb. Must be a Darwin Thing
(or, for the Religious Fundamentalist Fanatics -
"God's will".)? Maybe I can, by example, demonstrate
what NOT to do - and why.
"So many ways to screw up. So little blood."
I'm sure Tim Allen said it first.
Well start collecting iformation now. By the
time you have a pretty good idea of the possibilities,
know the type of woodworking you want to really
get into and which of the possibilities will suit
your needs, done a bunch of sketches and then
a scaled drawing or two - you'll have the tools
to make yours - and hopefully some of the skills
to make it. Your mortise example indicates you're
on the right track and probably get there sooner
than I did.
Mine works nicely for solid wood furniture
making - which involves a fair amount of
hand tool work. But t sucks for sheet goods
stuff - kitchen cabinets and the like - top's too
ps - I drive a little Miata with a little
1.6 or maybe it's a 1.8 liter engine. What
it lacks in horsepower (and noise) is
made up for by the slick 5 speed, tiht rack
and pinion steering and a bucket seat
that fits snugly. The double delta roll
bar I had to add - convertibles without
a roll bar scared the hell out of me. When
you don't even have hair between your
skull and the pavement a functional
roll bar is a must. Mine is made by
a guy who does NASCAR roll cages.
So that doesn't sound too much like a
neener - the Miata is a '91 model.
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