Reply by rcs47

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Posted on Should I use"regular" or floating tenons on Mission Furniture

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196 posts in 3335 days

#1 posted 06-07-2011 06:42 AM


About a year ago I picked up a MortisePal and wish I’d done it a long time ago. I have the drill press attachment, but found I could make clean mortises as fast using Forester bits and chisels. I’ve also used a router with various jigs, but the MortisePal is a lot easier. It’s accurate, fast, doesn’t take up floor space, and if you’re working with a long rail, you bring the tool to the work for a loose tenon.

I use the MortisePal for with loose tenons, but I also use it to cut long mortises (just slide the jig down and keep routing) that I then cut a traditional tendon to fit. You don’t have to use a loose tenon for every mortise you cut with the MortisePal.

As far as a through mortise, I’ve seen a video (maybe Fine Woodworking?) where they cut most of the way through from one side with the router. They drill a hole just large enough to fit a flush trim router bit, and use that to complete the through mortise. From that point, you can square up the corners with a chisel. You can cut your tenon using the method of your choice.

For the slats you talk about, it depends on the size of the slats. I would use the MortisePal to cut mortises, allowing for at least a 1/8” shoulder. Then cut a tenon on each slat, rounding the corners of the tenon to fit the mortises. If they are thick enough for a 1/4” mortise, then I might use loose tenons, but it depends on the overall size. If you look at the mission furniture projects, my slats are small (1/2” x 1/2”). I used a 1/4” dowel, but I drilled (mortised?) the holes using the MortisePal because it was accurate.

Good Luck,


-- Doug - As my Dad taught me, you're not a cabinet maker until you can hide your mistakes.

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