Workbench #5: Planning for the Big Day

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Blog entry by KellyS posted 09-03-2009 07:06 PM 1319 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: New found respect Part 5 of Workbench series Part 6: Dry fit time »

I have my top glued up and still in the middle of the living room floor. My wife has been pretty patient about this, but I think it is wearing thin. She keeps telling me I’m going to way up to a bunch of smaller cutting boards if I don’t move it soon. Gotta get going!

I’ve got my legs sized and glued up and I’m ready to start cutting mortises. I took the day off from work so I could play a little tomorrow. Not had much time off here lately. All work makes Kelly stir crazy.

I’ve read Chris’ book on the workbench and I’ve developed my own drawing to go by, but I must say, I’ve not really had much practice at mortise and tenon joints, I have a couple of night stands that I made earlier on in my woodworking career that turned out so so. I noticed that Chris shows both the motise and the tenon at the same length/depth. I thought you needed to leave a little space in there, like maybe 1/16”? I bet its unspoken and I should know that!

I’ve wondered about the best way to attack the mortises. HMM what to do. SHould I make a template and use a bushing on my router and route them out, but I won’t be able to achieve the depth I need. I think I might be better off using a fostner bit and cleaning them up with a good sharp chisel….I could put them on my 3-in-1 milling machine…I think I’ll take fostner bits for $300 Alex.

Sorry to ramble guys, Just trying to think it through before I screw it up and see what kind of comments I get.

I’ll have more pictures later.

-- He who dies with the most tools wins!.....Just wait, I'm going to win!..ERR my wife will at least.

3 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3673 days

#1 posted 09-03-2009 07:30 PM

sounds like good progress, but the thought of many smaller cutting boards sure sounds disturbing…lol

for my bench I used the forstner bit method, and squaring it off with a chisel. and yes – you should live a little gap behind the tenon for glue leftovers… not sure why Chris’s drawing shows a perfect match – worth contacting him and asking this.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View DynaBlue's profile


131 posts in 3215 days

#2 posted 09-03-2009 10:08 PM

How deep are you planning on making these mortises? Mortisi? Anyhow..I’ve had great luck with forstners and then squaring up with a chisel. How big a tenon are you fitting?

-- Mistake? No, that's just an unexpected design opportunity....

View KellyS's profile


78 posts in 3257 days

#3 posted 09-04-2009 02:25 AM

I think the deepest one is 2-1/2 inches deep by 5” x 1-3/4”. I think probably the forstner bit would be the better way and just clean it up with a sharp chisel. Thanks for the hand-holding.

Well, time to rest up for tomorrow. Tonight was Pint night at Taco Mac here in Atlanta, next best thing to woodworking is drinking beer. NOT A GOOD MATCH…HOUSE RULES AROUND HERE. No woodworking when you’ve been sampling beer! I look at it as CARBO-LOADING, bulking up for my big day tomorrow.


-- He who dies with the most tools wins!.....Just wait, I'm going to win!..ERR my wife will at least.

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