Cheap table, Part two

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Blog entry by bandit571 posted 01-30-2013 11:50 PM 2198 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Started chopping mortises. By hand, no less. Laid out the mortise

Yep, they go all the way to the top. next a kerf cut, just to keep things from splitting out.

Doesn’t have to all that precise, just set the depth, and the length. Slight over cut will get covered by the apron. Next

Chisel to chop down into the end. Sets the bottom of the mortise. Need this for the next step

I split out the waste. A few other chisels to define the sides better, and then a check for depth

A test fit, with the apron’s tenon

Fine tune as need. Rotate the leg to the other mortise site, and repeat

I tend to keep the entire leg down in the vise, to ward off any splitting. Repeat for the rest of the legs. Clamp up for a dry fit ( note: front legs and apron were glued up last night)

Glued up the back legs and the back apron. Side aprons are still “loose”. I glue them up tomorrow.

Next item. Needed some square stock to make corner braces. had to plane a board down smooth, first.

A small jointer took care of that. needed to cut miters, next.

Is a saw supposed to sound like a jet coming in for a landing? I needed four blocks, mitered at each end.

Test fit. After the ends are glued up, I will add these blocks. I drill a hole for a screw to go into the apron. A slotted hole is also added, so I can attach the top later.

Used that little panel saw so much lately on this hard Oak, it was starting to get a little dull. Had to saw the last three miter cuts with an even longer crosscut saw. Well, next on the Cheap table program? Stay tuned..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

6 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19597 posts in 2642 days

#1 posted 01-31-2013 01:30 AM

I’m enjoying watching you work!

There are many a vice out there, some good & some bad, some right, some just sooo wrong.
Wood working is one of them good vices, it keeps us out of (legal)trouble.
However, your vise is one of them wrong vices!!! Lol.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15283 posts in 2585 days

#2 posted 01-31-2013 01:37 AM

Love it! Good work, bandit. And it sure looks like you’re having fun.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View NormG's profile


5955 posts in 2971 days

#3 posted 01-31-2013 02:23 AM

Great work, thanks for sharing the use of hand tools for a projecxt

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3301 days

#4 posted 01-31-2013 05:58 PM

Good work. Life doesn’t have to be complicated by big machine tools.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2445 days

#5 posted 02-03-2013 06:42 PM

Looking good Steven. I agree that is not the right kind of vise but I am a tool snob and your not. I thought the open top mortice was a unique idea. I don’t think I have seen that before. I normally make the tenon smaller. and the mortice to match. but it looks like this worked for you.

-- Please check out my new stores and

View bandit571's profile


19743 posts in 2650 days

#6 posted 02-05-2013 05:52 PM

The “open top mortise is a result of seeing wat too many of my leg mortises break out at the top. This is almost like a haunched tenon.

The corner blocks need to be fitted to their locations, due to the way the legs stick into the inside. I drill a pilot hole for the screws that go into the aprons, and add a counterzink to the hole, for the screwheads. I also drilled a “slotted hole” to mount the top with. I drilled a through hole first, then rocked the drill back and forth to make it a slot. Slot needs to run front to back, to allow for the top’s movements.

Came up with the coping saw trick just for this table, something new to try out. It is just to guide the chisels, when I am paring. It also helps when i pop out the waste. Rather than chop all the way along the mortise, I just chop a square hole at the other end. It sets how far down the leg the mortise goes. A couple quick raps with a chisel, and the waste just pops out. A little paring work for the bottom and sides, and move on to the next mortise. Doesn’t take all that long to do. Less work, than having to chop the entire mortise.

Tried routers & jigs ( still have the jig!) didn’t like it. Tried the drill press routine, bits would follow the grain, and then I would still have to do the chisel work.

IF the joint needs any reinforcement, I can usuallyadd a couple small pins ( finishing type nail) through the joint, from the inside. Pin would go through one side of the mortise, through the tenon, and lodge into the outside of the joint. With the correct size of pin, they stay hidden.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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