|Forum topic by Carpintero||posted 05-18-2012 11:11 PM||1616 views||0 times favorited||10 replies|
05-18-2012 11:11 PM
I’m interested in building traditional New Mexican furniture, and have started on a chair and the steep learning curve. In 1700s and early 1800s all they used were traditional Spanish saw, adze, plane, chisels, knife, awl, ax, auger. By the 1820s, better saws and planes became available.
While I don’t need to use tools as primitive as they used, I would like my building to be almost entirely by hand.I want to stay in “the spirit” of the originals, which I realize will be a somewhat arbitrary call on my part. I will use a bandsaw for rough shaping of parts, and I will use a cordless hand drill for now, until I acquire an egg beater. Eventually I’d like to eliminate them though.
One of the characteristics of the earlier stages of this furniture is through-mortises, and that’s where I need help. I’ve cut all my mortises now for my first piece and certainly I will improve, but hopefully some of you can help speed that up. I’m using pine, which is what they used, and consequently the dimensions are rather large as they were originally-2 inches is about average for the uprights. I made my mortises (after some practicing) by drilling through with a 5/8” forstner bit, and cleaning up with a chisel. BUt I still would not call them real “clean”, to say the least lol, and would like to improve my technique and results, while not deviating any farther from tradition than I already have. Cleaning the sides of the mortises was simple; trying to square off the round holes in the end grain was much more challenging and I’d especially like to improve that aspect. It may just be a technique or sharpness issue.
Ideas? If these were blind mortises I would forego the drill and just use the chisel, and then I wouldn’t have those round corners to square off. I could do that but it would take a mighty long time to score and chip, score and chip, through 2 inches of wood many times over. I have never used or seen a mortise chisel, and I’m not sure how I feel about using one. I’m not sure if it would pass my fickle, internal “in the spirit” test.