Cutting a mortise in a leg

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Blog entry by John posted 04-26-2009 06:58 PM 5716 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have not had much time in the shop because I have been taking advantage of the nice weather and getting a bunch of yard work done. Power dethatched the lawn and had 20 something bags of thatch to pick up. Over seeded the lawn. Planted a 17 foot tall maple tree I bought from Home Depot for $139 bucks!

So I was able to start cutting a through mortise for one of the front legs. I am thinking about a hollow chisel mortiser. I made a simple template jig so I could use a guide bushing in my plunge router.

My bushing outside diameter is 5/8 and my spiral bit is 1/2.So I figured the opening for the template had to be an 1/8 total bigger in each dimension. I made a rectangular template that represented the enlarged opening and built the jig around that.

The bit would not go all the way through and I get nervous with that much bit buried in a mortise. I had one catch a side wall and the router jump out of my hands several years ago. So, I hogged out more waste with a forstner bit at the drill press.

But, the bit would not go all the way through. So I chucked a 1/2 inch bit so I could get all the way through the leg.

This is what it looked like after some of the drilling. I enlarged the hole so I could safely get the bearing bit in the mortise.

Then I chucked a spiral bearing bit in the router table and used the clean portion of the mortise as the bearing guide.

Till next time.

-- Brain the size of a planet and they have me parking cars.

2 comments so far

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3864 days

#1 posted 04-26-2009 07:02 PM

Looks like a good start. You’ll really enjoy the process of making the chair and will enjoy sitting in it even more. Looking forward to watching your progress.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View stanley2's profile


344 posts in 3764 days

#2 posted 04-27-2009 12:51 PM

A Morris chair is a gratifying project – enjoy the process. Do you know that FWW is featuring a series of blogs on making a Morris chair?

-- Phil in British Columbia

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