this is my first attempt at a beginner’s attempt mortise & tenon. some things i have learned that other beginner’s should be aware of.
using a ruler & a pencil to make your markings is not too wise. if you are 1/16” off your markings,, things could get out of whack. i do plan to invest in a mortise marking gauge ASAP and then later on, make a couple of my own.
the tenon: it seems i was about 5degrees off with my cutting stokes on the shoulders with my dovetail saw. my tenon ends up looking like leaning tower of pisa :) i watched youtube videos of how to do this. how they get a perfect 90degree shoulder cut i assume is by experience. also, one end of my shoulder is about 0.030” off from the other end which means one end is a hair too large and the other end is a hair too small. this was due to me using a ruler & pencil to make the measurements.
notice, the tenon is off center. this is a practice run so i was not concerned about dead center as i’m not using dimensional lumber with this poplar piece.
the mortise: this was the easy part. i used my 1/4” chisel and it came out pretty good for a first try. took me about 5 passes to get down past 1/2” depth of the shoulder. i am using dewalt 4piece chisel set fresh out of the store (no grinding as of yet, no sharpening). and i’m using (dont laugh) a rubber mallet as i have yet to have a wooden mallet. i’ll have to go look at youtube videos to see if the bottom of the mortise looks somewhat chewed up or if they flatten it out as much as possible.
either way… this was fun. it doesnt sound impressive but it’s a start for me and a learning experience. anyone else starting out in woodworking i strongly suggest doing trial / practice runs on cheapest and expendable hardwoods at hand.
-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"