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Old School Mortised in Butt Hinge #2: The Mortising

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Blog entry by Waldschrat posted 02-21-2010 07:45 PM 6379 reads 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Start; layout Part 2 of Old School Mortised in Butt Hinge series Part 3: The Montage: part one the Fitting »

So, where did I leave off? Oh yeah, we just finished laying out where the butt hing is going to be mortised in. Now we need to do the actual mortising. This can actually be fun! well as long as the mortising chisel is sharp and nothing goes wrong, for example mortising in the wrong spot, or crooked or cracking the door frame. Which brings me to my next point. We need to put a clamp on the area we are going to be working on, or else our beautiful, perfectly fitting, emaculately joined door frame, will look like, ... well, I can’t think of anything witty at the moment, but it will not look pretty.

I try to keep scraps, or cutoff pieces from the cheeks of through mortise and tennon joint and put them in a small box next to the bench. They make great packers so we do not put dents in the wood from the clamps.

(keep in mind I have already mortised the door, we want to hang and this is just an extra scrap piece with the exact same cross section and rebate, for showing purposes, so in reality you would have to fix the door ein the bench hooks or clamp it to the side of the workbench)

So we beginn by setting the mortising Chisel on the line or marking we made earlier, and hold it flat agains the rebate. Note: If you door happens not to have a rebate then use a guide block and clamp it down to the door frame.

And we lightly at first pound on the chisel with a hammer, and go to the other line and do the same and go back and forth until we have some “holes” in a line. We flip the Mortising chisel so that the mirror side is facing us , away from the rebate, and do the same, lightly at first.

Ok so we keep this up and with a medium force, with a bit of feeling, not brut force. The chisel is after all only made out of tempered steel, and is thin. We keep doing this until we are about 5 mm deep. Then comes a bit of a different technique. We angle the chisel around 30 degrees and pound it in and flip and pound it in, back and forth between the marks or width of the hinge we would like to mortise in.

You will beginn to notice that the little “hooks” on the front of the chisel are pulling out the wood fibres and dust from the mortise

Now just a reminder before we get carried away in our mortising frenzy, (I know once you get going its kind of fun) we need to alway think of keeping the mortising chisel going in to the wood straight, so the hinge is straight, and that we do not, with our wiggeling of the chisel when we are trying to free it, that we do not “mash up” where the mark is. It just doesn’t look good. And if we are going to go through the effort then we should at least make it look we knew what we were doing, even if we didn’t. ;-) thats my trick anyway!

Just to illustrate what I am describe.

Ok so, moving right along… we are pounding away, having a great time. All good times come to an end. So how deep do we need to chisel? of course we could measure the hinge from the pin to the edge of the leaf, and measure the hole, or we could do what I like to do, and thats just simply holding the hinge leaf with the chisel and make a visual approximation, and thats close enough for rock and roll.

In the picture you should be able to draw an imaginary line from the about the last row of “teeth” on the chisel and see thats about the depth we need, plus a little more so make sure nothing is in the way, because as you can see the cutting edge is set back a bit from the points of the chisel and thats where behind that the teeth start, the teeth are what removes the material so thats pretty much where the usable “mortise depth” is cut.

Ok now we have reached the depth that we need.

Lets try that hinge, see if she fits!

That looks pretty good.

now, I would like to demonstrate what happens with out clamps on the side

Yeah, I know, its like looking at a train wreck. But that is most likely what happens if you forget the clamp.

I will post next on how to mount and fix the hinges.

Well, I hope that you all enjoyed reading through this, and hopefully found it interesting enough to look out and wait for the next chapter in this blog… “so stay tuned same bat time, same bat channel!”

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine



19 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1770 days


#1 posted 02-21-2010 10:17 PM

great toturial you have done
even I can follow the steps
so if I can understand it
it´s a very well done
from me thank´s one
more time for sharing
some of the secrets

Dennis

View patron's profile

patron

13034 posts in 1996 days


#2 posted 02-21-2010 10:27 PM

this is very interesting ,

but i sure am glad
we don’t have to do that
with every hinge now ,
i may have looked for
different work long ago !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View JAGWAH's profile

JAGWAH

929 posts in 1739 days


#3 posted 02-22-2010 07:07 AM

Years ago I had to repair a 19th century French wardrobe cabinet. I rebuilt the knife-hinge side of the door and face of the cabinet. I wish I had, had this tool. It was a difficult task mortising a 3” verticle slot 3/32” wide and 1 1/4” deep. First time I had ever seen that kind of hinge.

I may never have to do that type of work again but I think I may need to get a set of these.

Excellent tutorial, thanks.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112093 posts in 2232 days


#4 posted 02-22-2010 07:22 AM

Excellent blog Nicholas clearly photographed and explained. I would like to find a rasp chisel like you have.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14750 posts in 2331 days


#5 posted 02-22-2010 10:43 AM

Interesting!!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View JAGWAH's profile

JAGWAH

929 posts in 1739 days


#6 posted 02-22-2010 04:06 PM

Nicholas, Did you custom make your chisel? If not what brand name or supplier do you use?
Thanks Bob

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View Waldschrat's profile

Waldschrat

505 posts in 2091 days


#7 posted 02-22-2010 08:54 PM

Whoh, thanks first of all for the positive responses.

Jagwah, your work would have been made a lot easier, if you had some of these chisels. But Patron has a point too… there are machines that do this kind of work, I have never had one in the hand though… I do not know where one could even buy one. I do not know the make off hand, I will have to look closly at the stamped in name. No, I did not make this, nor do I posess the skills to make such a tool, although I wish I did. That chisel is probably older than the guy on your profile pic. (no intended insults if thats you, by the way, I really wish I could grow a nice beard like that.) Speaking of beards…

Jim, Did you call it a Rasp Chisel? well obviously you did, but this was a more rhetorical question… my point being I thought they were a kind of or called in English a mortising chisel (I have failed to find the term even in the new Langenscheidt building trades dictionary). Such tools are believe it or not, not too hard to find, they are at flea markets all the time. Should I keep my eye out for a pair? We do not have any such markets now in the winter, but in summer… well let me know, maybe I can arrange something.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View Waldschrat's profile

Waldschrat

505 posts in 2091 days


#8 posted 02-22-2010 08:56 PM

Dennis, I will keep posting, I am glad you are able to understand it all… but I think you are a much better handworker than you let on! ok well I gotta get back to the my studies… I am just started school to finish off my education. Today was my first day of school.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1770 days


#9 posted 02-22-2010 10:09 PM

someone has to ask and say the dum question:—))
for those who wont
and the only dum question is those that ain´t said

congrat´s with I believe the last semester or ?

View JAGWAH's profile

JAGWAH

929 posts in 1739 days


#10 posted 02-22-2010 11:08 PM

Nicholas, Thanks and ya that old guy is me. When I did my hinhe i used a 1/16” drill bit, the used a home made mortising chisel made from a piece of sheet metal and then sand papered the slot.

Awh to be young and learning anew, I envy your training.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View JAGWAH's profile

JAGWAH

929 posts in 1739 days


#11 posted 02-22-2010 11:26 PM

Here ya go Nicholas

St Nic

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View patron's profile

patron

13034 posts in 1996 days


#12 posted 02-22-2010 11:26 PM

best to you in your course completion , Nicholas .

i bet if you found some of these in flea markets ,
some would like to have them here on LJ’s .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View JAGWAH's profile

JAGWAH

929 posts in 1739 days


#13 posted 02-23-2010 12:06 AM

The hinge I had to deal with I’ve found is called a French Fiche Hinge. Commonly used in creole armoire construction. I found everything but a name for those chisels. Nowadays they make them offset. Here’s what one of them look like.

http://www.whitechapel-ltd.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=219HFB4L&Category_Code=cabhng

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View Waldschrat's profile

Waldschrat

505 posts in 2091 days


#14 posted 02-26-2010 08:10 AM

Thanks guys… Patron I will keep my eyes open to any for sale chisels.

Jagwah you probably already saw this, but I thought i would post it anyway… In German these type of hinges are called “Fitch” or “Fisch” hinges… and this comes from French, way back when, and just changed a bit to fit the German language. Thanks for the link I will check it out! And the beard! I look good! ;-)

Dennis, Unfortunately I am not in my last semester. I have one and a half years to go! As you know, I am already a Journeyman, I am going to get my “Meisterbrief” so Masterlevel, which is full time school, but then I have the right to own my own business, and I can have apprentices

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1770 days


#15 posted 02-26-2010 09:50 AM

It slip my brain but still congrat´s that you go that way
I looking forward to hear when you get your meisterbrief
but don´t bee to hard on your new apprentices ha ha ha :-))
I´m sure you will be a great teacher for the youngs you take
under your wings

Dennis

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