|Forum topic by Jack_Isidore||posted 1019 days ago||718 views||0 times favorited||10 replies|
1019 days ago
I’m making a pair of night tables (model view attached), and am to the point of cutting the through mortises for the legs. I have a question about shoulder width, and a request for general advise. First of all, the legs are 1-1/8×1-1/8, and I wasn’t sure what would be a good shoulder width. As it is now, I plan on having shoulders 3/16” wide, leaving 3/4” of the end grain to remain exposed. I guess ideally, I would have more end grain showing through, but I’m afraid of making the shoulders too thin, and running into structural issues. I’m also open to other suggestions, including not using through mortise and tenon at all.
So, I’m wondering how best to go about cutting these through mortises. The table is made of walnut, and I don’t want to ruin or otherwise screw up some valuable boards I’ve put a lot of time into. I have a powerful plunge router (3.25 HP) and a 3/4 straight carbide bit (not helical, i.e. up cutting). I was going to cut pilot holes (not sure if router bit is center cutting) then 3/4” through holes and then square up with a chisel. However, I feel nervous about squaring up the mortises by hand without an original flat reference surface. The plus side to this method is, I wouldn’t need a template, I could simply clamp fences to the board in the x and y direction. If I use a smaller diameter bit, I still have to square the edges, but this might be easier. In that case, I’ll need to make a template of some sort. As far as templates go, I was thinking something simple like 3/4” MDF with a square cutout, and I’d have to find a bit with a bearing on the shank end. Then I could screw stops on the MDF template so I butt it up against the board and clamp it down. Thoughts? Advise? Prayers for success?
I did pick up a bit of wisdom somewhere, to set my plunge depth limit to slightly shallow, as to avoid tear out, and then punch the hole out with a chisel. I also think I’d clamp some boards around the mortise as I square it with chisels, to give something of a guide for the chisel to stay vertical.
I’m having trouble embedding the photos from imgur.com, so I’m just going to put the links here.