Framing Chisel for Roubo Mortise

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Forum topic by BerBer5985 posted 02-15-2012 07:47 PM 1963 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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445 posts in 2417 days

02-15-2012 07:47 PM

I was toying with the idea of purchasing a 1 1/2” sorby mortise or framing chisel from LV to handle the huge mortises for my roubo bench. I’m sure I could find a use here and there for a large chisel of that size to have around. I also thought for the cost, go with just a regular narex 1 1/2” bevel edge chisel and giving if a 35 degree bevel and using it strictly as a mortise chisel, but I’m thinking the job will go smoother with the right tool. The roubo legs will be 5” square and going through a 3” thick top. I wanted to do the roubo joint as like Chris Schwartz, but frankly don’t feel like drilling that many holes when I can pound away with the correct size mortise chisel and take them out like Paul Sellers does on regular mortises. Any thoughts?

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

5 replies so far

View laxbograt's profile


76 posts in 2424 days

#1 posted 02-16-2012 11:11 AM


Having recently imbarked on a similar task I have already started on my large mortises for my benchtop. I chose to drill and chisel mine to reduce the risk of blowout, I would freak if I chunked a big piece out after all the work I have put in. Granted I don’t have acual mortise chisels I have just been using my bench chisels. One thing I did notice was when I was using my large 1 in bench chisel things really slowed down I think trying to remove that much material all in on shot just bogs everything down. Like I said mabye u would get better results with the acual mortise chisels but I am thinking the amount of force it is going to take to push an 1 1/2 chisel through 3+ inches of wood you are going to greatly increase your risk of blowout.

Just my opinion

FYI it only took about an hour to drill and chisel my first mortise, I expect slightly better time for the rest.

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2948 days

#2 posted 02-16-2012 02:03 PM

I used a 1/2” Narex mortise chisel for my through tenons on my workbench (of of them you can see in my avatar). I also drilled away a lot of the tenon, but the 1/2” chisel worked wonderfully. Also, it’s only $16 bucks from lee valley (plus the cost of shipping, so it’s best to buy with something else). Like Carlos says, it’d be hard work and potentially dangerous to the wood to use such a large chisel. If you’re looking to do it neander-style, you can drill out the holes with a brace and a big auger bit.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2652 days

#3 posted 02-18-2012 07:48 PM

Here is a thought. I am not sure what you want to build on the bench, but buying a tool that will only be used on this one project (the bench itself) is not as beneficial as buying a tool that would make this project easier as well as add capability in the future. You may get a lot of use out of that framing chisel…but let’s just say that you would not…

Here is what I would do. I would go here: and buy one of these (the turning saw would work best)

I would then drill holes in either side of the tenon and I would string the blade through the holes to saw most of the waste out…then I would pare the rest away with the chisels I have. You could then use the saw to cut curves on your future projects.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3957 days

#4 posted 02-18-2012 08:48 PM

1 1/2” beast? Man, ya got some kinda aspiration. Drill ‘em first and use a smaller chisel for clean up.


View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2652 days

#5 posted 02-18-2012 08:54 PM

I meant to say either side of the mortise but you get the idea (I really should have said both sides of the mortise)

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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