Holtzapffel Workbench #2: Next Mortising Session

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Blog entry by jcontract posted 09-12-2010 08:46 PM 2002 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: My First Mortise Part 2 of Holtzapffel Workbench series no next part

Completed the second mortise this weekend. It seems to be getting faster, but I have many more to go. It’s a slow process still cutting them by hand. The first mortise pictured below fits well, hoever I noticed a small hump in the middle of the shoulder which created a slight gap, so I cleaned it up with some light sandpaper. And a shoulder plane goes on the wish list.

So one side stretcher in place.

And then the next.

I’m happy that they they fit pretty well.

I think the thing that’s taking the longest is cutting the corner waste out of the corners of the mortises that have been cleaned out with a forstner bit. Does anyone have a good technique on chpping out the corner waste?

7 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3871 days

#1 posted 09-12-2010 08:55 PM

That looks good.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3313 days

#2 posted 09-12-2010 09:20 PM

looks good from here

one of the cornercheisels from either two cherry or from crown will do the trick pretty fast
they have them in 2-3 different sizes

and they are great to have if you need to square corners after routerjobs


View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3169 days

#3 posted 09-13-2010 03:00 AM

Yes, a corner chisel would be faster. According to Chris Schwarz in the book “Handtool Essentials”, they are expensive, difficult to sharpen, but very handy.

View jtash's profile


30 posts in 3282 days

#4 posted 09-13-2010 05:12 PM

I am sorry to say there is no magic way to do the corners.
A corner chisel, as mentioned above, would be easier but with the cost and the difficulty of sharpening it I am not sure it would be worth it for 8 mortises.
You could get a mortising chisel the same width as the mortise but how often will you use a 5/8” mortising chisel. Again, I could’nt recommend it for the 6 remaining mortises.
Remember, you only have 6 more to go!
The bench looks nice, and it looks like the sandpaper took care of the bump in the center of the tenon shoulder.
Good work John!

View Brit's profile


7545 posts in 3041 days

#5 posted 11-27-2010 09:28 PM

Forget about the sandpaper to clean the shoulders, just pare it with your chisel if you have a high spot. One trick that a lot of people use when paring the shoulders is to angle the chisel in toward the tenon ever so slightly, so you actually undercut the shoulder. This ensures the edges of the shoulders are a tight fit with the mortised component and you don’t see any gaps.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View exelectrician's profile


2328 posts in 2626 days

#6 posted 10-30-2011 04:38 AM

... I remember the first mortise and tenon I put together, measure twenty times cut ever so gently ten times – and then finally the magic moment, when wood meets wood. From your very good photos it seems like you feel the same way.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View jcontract's profile


84 posts in 3286 days

#7 posted 10-30-2011 05:00 AM

Ex. Thanks for the nice words. I do feel that way still. The bench is almost complete. I will post the final product once it’s done. It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I went way over-the-top on it. It’s a labor of love, and I’m in no rush.

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