Building a Thos. Moser Design New Gloucester Rocking Chair #7: Plunging a Mortise in a Turned Leg

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 12-24-2012 06:33 PM 3200 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Laminating a Curved Leg Brace Part 7 of Building a Thos. Moser Design New Gloucester Rocking Chair series Part 8: Fitting a Laminated Leg Brace »

To use a laminated brace, there must be a 1/2” wide mortise in the leg. This is a simple process if you have the proper jig.

Mortising Jig

This is the jig that I used to make mortises for all of my mortise and tenon joints prior to purchasing a mortiser. I simply added some plywood to the base to raise it to the swing of my new lathe. I added a strip of plywood on the bottom to register it between the bed ways of the lathe. It is then secured by a scrap of hardwood that clamps under the bed ways by fastening a bolt through to a threaded fastener in the base of the jig.

Plunging the Mortise

Fasten the seat tenon of the leg securely in a lathe chuch and lock the indexer to prevent the drive end of the lathe from turning. Drill a hole in the center of the leg bottom. This is what registers the tail stock in the correct location. The plunge cut is 1/2” deep at the bottom side of the leg. The router is centered in the jig using an adjustable router fence. I mark the start and stop points of the plunge cut directly on the leg.

Here is what the 1/2” wide plunge cut looks like while still attached between centers.

Here are two pairs of rear legs routed and ready for squaring with a mortising chisel.

Next Step:

The next step will be trimming the braces to fit the mortises…

-- Mark, Minnesota

3 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3356 days

#1 posted 12-31-2012 03:26 PM

I was very happy to learn about this brace method as opposed to stretchers.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View DustyMark's profile


346 posts in 2092 days

#2 posted 12-31-2012 05:05 PM


I haven’t seen braces used on other than Moser furniture. Once you have the bending forms built, they aren’t that difficult to work with and they do lighten up the design. I worked with my first set of stretchers when building a pair of bar stools last summer. It was a challenge to get all of the holes drilled at the correct angle…

-- Mark, Minnesota

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#3 posted 12-31-2012 05:07 PM

Good progress,keep on trucking.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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