Reply by ChuckV

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Posted on Chopping overlapping mortices without breakout

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3118 posts in 3525 days

#1 posted 01-18-2013 01:05 PM


I built a standing desk from Roy Underhill’s book “The Woodright’s Apprentice”. There are intersecting mortices in the legs. Roy gives this advice:

When chopping the intersecting mortices through the posts, make the first mortice only as deep as the intersection. That way, the chisel cutting the second mortice will not break out into thin air and splinter away the insides.

I have used this method on several projects and cut the mortices with a mortice machine and it works great.

I hope you can visualize what is meant. If you are making two mortices that are 1” deep and 1/4” wide, then make the first mortice only 3/4” (1” – 1/4”) deep. Then when you cut the second mortice to the full 1”, it will be in solid wood all the way down.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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