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Alternative to these mortises

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Forum topic by opalko posted 03-23-2011 05:57 PM 814 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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opalko

135 posts in 2503 days


03-23-2011 05:57 PM

I’m working on this nightstand project (yes, still) and have got to the point of needing to make mortises in the front legs for what are called “front drawer opening frame” pieces in this plan I bought (part L) in diagram below.
The mortises are to be 5/8” x 3/4” x 1/2” deep. These seem a little disproportionate to the front frame pieces, and I’m wondering if there is a better way to make the joinery between the drawer opening pieces and the legs?

Cheers!

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8 replies so far

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#1 posted 03-23-2011 06:05 PM

I guess it depends on your style. If you want to forgo the mortises, then you have plenty of options (from dowels to pocket screws to pins, etc.). But I’m guessing you chose this project for the traditional joinery. It’s hard to say whether the mortises are disproportionate, not knowing the dimension of the drawer dividers. If you post those dimensions, I bet someone here could help. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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opalko

135 posts in 2503 days


#2 posted 03-23-2011 06:06 PM

Drawer dividers are 1-3/8” x 3/4” x 20”

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#3 posted 03-23-2011 06:15 PM

In that case, the mortises sound about right. The “tenons” on the draw dividers should be relatively easy to execute as they’re not shouldered on the long edge. Are you worried that the mortises are too big for the legs? Perhaps the dimensions of the legs? I’m asking a lot of questions, sorry.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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opalko

135 posts in 2503 days


#4 posted 03-23-2011 06:22 PM

Yes, that’s what I was getting at though I didn’t make it very clear. They seem like quite a big “hunk” taken out of the legs, especially at the top. Legs are 1-1/2” square, and biggie mortises are set back 3/8” from front.

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#5 posted 03-23-2011 06:32 PM

Usually when making a mortise you make it about 1/3 the thickness of the material it’s going in. Remember once you glue the tenon in place it makes the legs stronger than it was with just wood because glue is stronger than wood and you tenons are cross grain material.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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opalko

135 posts in 2503 days


#6 posted 03-23-2011 06:35 PM

Ok, I guess I’ll stick with them though I don’t really like the idea of hogging out all that material. I’d rather go with something like biscuits or pocket screws but I don’t see how to make biscuits work. I’m not partial to any joinery technique as long as it’s strong enough and gets the job done.

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#7 posted 03-23-2011 06:49 PM

If you stick with the 1/3 proportions you will be fine. Making the mortise an tenons should not be that hard even if you don’t have special equipment to make them. the mortises can be done just buy drilling out where the go and cleaned up with a sharp chisel. the tenons are even easier on a table saw or router table.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#8 posted 03-23-2011 06:57 PM

Opalko, chopping mortises is the best part of woodworking! I’d suck it up, sharpen up a good chisel, find a comfy mallet & double check your markings. It’s worth the effort because when that divider snugs into the mortise, it’ll feel really good. I wouldn’t use biscuits for this purpose especially because you’d be so limited by the smallest biscuit available. A dowel would work but any imprecision will leave you with a mess; a mortise/tenon, you can trim to fit & are a bit more forgiving. I think the dimensions sound about right & once you chop these, you can justify buying a really nice mortise chisel for your next project. I hope you keep us in the loop and good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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