Deep Mortises

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Forum topic by chicomc posted 01-21-2011 03:25 AM 1023 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View chicomc's profile


1 post in 2104 days

01-21-2011 03:25 AM

Hi All -

I am building a night stand and a table. The design I am doing uses a wedged/tusked through tenon. So both pieces can be “knocked down.”

My issue is that I want to make really clean mortises through the legs so that when the piece is taken apart the mortise is clean and neat. The legs on the night stand are 1 3/4” thick and the table is 2 1/2” thick.

I have been using a plunge router with a 3/8” dia. O.D. guide bushing and a 1/4” dia. spiral up cut bit and a 1/4” thick MDF template. However, I cannot get deep enough even on the smaller legs.

Does anyone have a method for making deep, clean mortises that will be seen from time to time?

Thanks for the help everyone!


4 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2496 days

#1 posted 01-21-2011 03:39 AM

Mortising machine?

You can always drill deep enough holes on your drill press and clean them up with a chisel.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View spunwood's profile


1198 posts in 2257 days

#2 posted 01-21-2011 03:57 AM

Could you use a forstner bit on a drill press?

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Loren's profile


8163 posts in 3069 days

#3 posted 01-21-2011 05:04 AM

You won’t get a very deep mortise with a 1/4” bit. You can drill out the
waste and use your template to shape the mortise from each side.
Excess in the middle you can clean out with a chisel and a rat-tail

This whole thing will be easier if your mortise is in the 1/2” wide range.

View schroeder's profile


702 posts in 3547 days

#4 posted 01-21-2011 05:41 AM

Make your jig to come in from both sides of the leg – build stops that will guide the start/stop – use the same side of the leg as a reference – the mortise will line up perfectly

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

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