Shaker Table - Woodworkers Fighting Cancer #2: My First Mortise

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Blog entry by Kerry Drake posted 03-05-2010 05:30 PM 875 reads 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Hot Knife, meet Butter Part 2 of Shaker Table - Woodworkers Fighting Cancer series Part 3: Shaker, rattle, I'm on a roll »

Started working on the Mortises for the Shaker Table March Guild Build. Pulled out my drill press that I haven’t used sense June and added a auxiliary table to it so I could put on a fence to keep all my mortises in exactly the same position.

Drill Press Set Up

Mortise Layout with Fence

This is my first time using Birch and it seems fairly hard to me. Was getting a little smoke drilling my 1/4” holes, maybe the drill press is set to too slow a speed? Anyway got all the legs rough Mortised out.

4 Legs Rough Mortised

I’ve got 1 1/2 legs “final” mortised, but will probably have them all done tonight.

Final Mortise 1 Leg

-- Kerry Drake, Loudon NH,

2 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3197 days

#1 posted 03-05-2010 05:52 PM

Really nice!

You can put a light coat of beeswax on the bit. That’ll help it ease through.

What’s the distance between leg top and top of mortise?? I’m working on my 2nd of two African Mahogany night stands. The top through mortises are only 3/8” from the top.

Out of a total of eight legs, I think four have split. The only good choice seems to be … to use a loose-tenon joint, instead of a snug fit that gets glued.

In other words … since your grain seems to run in the same direction as mine did … be careful. If you even have to tap the tenons in … there might be risk.

-- -- Neil

View Kerry Drake's profile

Kerry Drake

167 posts in 3044 days

#2 posted 03-05-2010 06:20 PM

The mortises are 1/2” from the top, but I will certainly pay attention. Thanks.

-- Kerry Drake, Loudon NH,

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