Mortising inquiry consistent square cheeks

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Forum topic by groland posted 02-09-2009 12:05 AM 676 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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149 posts in 2829 days

02-09-2009 12:05 AM

I am cutting some very large mortises by hand in red oak. Tenons are ca. 3” L x 3” W x 1” thick. I pre-drilled the mortises a bit smaller-than-final-size with a drill press. This helps a lot because I can use the edges of the drill cut-outs as a partial gauge of the amount of wood I need to remove. I cut the tenons on a table saw, so they are nicely squared up and thicknessed and can be trimmed with a shoulder plane.

My problem is that while I can use a tracing of the tenon and a marking gauge at the outer edges of the mortise, I cannot figure out how to determine when I have chiseled out inner planes that are flat and parallel to the outer planes of the stock. I’d like a nice fit, not concavities and convexities inside the mortise “cheeks”. Is there a simple gauge or method of determining this or is cut-and-try the best I can do?

One piece of advice—NEVER try, for your first piece of joinery, through-M&T joints. What was I thinking? ARRGH.

Thanks for any suggestions,

George Roland

1 reply so far

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2131 posts in 3161 days

#1 posted 02-09-2009 01:26 AM

I use a depth gauge similar to to check the squareness of the larger mortises that I cut.

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