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